Though he’s already staged three fashion shows this year, Philipp Plein decided to get in on the Oscars weekend circuit and throw a party and runway show at his home in Bel-Air. Guests were instructed to dress in black tie and arrive at an address in Westwood at 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening, which turned out to be a parking lot. After 30 minutes or so of waiting, a fleet of both black minibuses and black SUVs pulled onto the street and hustled guests about 15 minutes or so up into the hills of Bel-Air, where Plein has both a “guest house” and a much larger main house, the latter of which is still under work (the homes are named “Chateau Falconview”).
Upon arrival at Plein’s home, tall doors lit up with the designer’s logo and parted to a driveway adorned with chandeliers. Men in Philipp Plein sweatshirts directed foot traffic, for those who were eager to get a calf workout in, and golf carts to take guests further uphill. Rihanna’s “We Found Love” blasted over a sound system as the golf cart whizzed by the hillside step-and-repeat and past giant red lettering that spelled out “Living the Dream Life is F—king Beautiful” on the driveway wall.
The destination was the guest house (Plein’s term for the home, as we’re tempted to call it a mansion), where a bleacher-style set of wooden seating was set up in the driveway across from the home’s entrance. The front row was composed of guests like Vivica A. Fox, Kat Graham, Shaman Durek and Ellen Von Unwerth. One front row guest carried a bag that read “rich as f—k” on it, which she motioned to with a wink and a “subtle, right?” Graham bowed down to Fox, telling her, “I love you so much” as they made introductions.
The runway show was preceded by an electric violinist performer, who then was replaced by various hip-hop songs (including the largely canceled Kanye West’s “Fade” in a perhaps unforced error). A stream of models in glittering silver-and-black dresses came out in succession, followed by Plein’s bow, for which he was joined by Jacob Meir, with whom he collaborated on the collection. But the show wasn’t over yet, he told the crowd. A Mercedes sedan pulled up the driveway and Offset climbed out of the passenger seat, launching into his Migos song “Ric Flair Drip.”
After the show, Plein said he was inspired by his home, and by the idea of doing something new after 20-plus years in business.
“I wanted to do something that is really different to what I do in fashion. It’s a real red carpet collection, and normally I’m more into wearable fashion,” he said. “Today it was at the edge, I would call it. You can wear it but it’s a real show collection. This is my fourth show this year, so I like to change, I like to do different things. I think we will show now every time in the future during the Oscars. You can expect more in this direction. We call it Philipp Plein Atelier. It will become part of our future.”
Plein said he doesn’t have an Oscar favorite this year as “I’m not so much into film,” nor does he have a favorite red carpet look from history. But his favorite look from the show was the finale moment, a black dress with matching black angel wings.
“I think it’s really special and it really represents me: it’s gothic, it’s rock ‘n’ roll,” Plein said. “I don’t really look too much at what others are doing. I like to do things as I imagine it in my own vision.”