In the battle between designers Philipp Plein and Alexander Wang of who could out-party the other during New York Fashion Week, the only winner was the spectator who was in it for the hoopla. On Saturday night, both designers debuted their spring 2018 collections, through very different events — both of which seemed aimed at attracting more buzz than the other.
Plein held his show and after-party (one blended into the next) in Midtown, at the Hammerstein Ballroom, which holds 3,500 people. Wang’s show was in held in Bushwick, on a dead-end street, and his after-party took place in an adjacent warehouse.
In February, Wang took to Instagram to accuse Plein of copying him, pointing out the similarities between his show for his spring 2014 collaboration with H&M and the show Plein put on for his fall 2017 collection. Plein, in turn, chose to hold his spring 2018 show on the Saturday of New York Fashion Week, the same day — and time slot (9 p.m ET) – Wang has traditionally held his own.
Then there was the peculiar musical chairs of performers chosen to entertain at this season’s events. In the original invites sent out by Plein’s team, hip-hop artist Cardi B was listed as the after-party performer. In subsequent invites, however, her name was replaced by Future and Nicki Minaj. Cardi B wound up performing at Wang’s after-party, aka #Wangfest.
Philipp Plein’s original spring 2018 runway show and after-party invitation
As expected, Wang, who is known for throwing “all-night ragers,” worked in several curveballs throughout the night. Prior to his formal show in Brooklyn, attended by press, retailers and celebs, he staged two guerilla-style shows in Manhattan that were open to the public. He transported models to the shows by bus and lit up streets, which served as runways, with Ram trucks.
Vogue writer Nicole Phelps noted that, for those waiting in Brooklyn, the excitement of the show had fizzled by the time the production arrived. They had already seen it twice, on Instagram. Fellow guests included Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Sofia Richie.
The after-party featured inflatable pools filled with Budweiser, tiered “cakes” made of Dunkin’ Donuts, a bouncy castle and performances by A$AP Ferg, Ja Rule, Ashanti and the aforementioned Cardi B.
Comparatively, Plein put on a flashier event. For the show portion, Dita Von Teese put on a striptease, Snoop Dogg’s son and father made appearances, and Future and Teyana Taylor performed. During the after-party, Nicky Minaj hit the stage. Guests, including Fifth Harmony and Paris Hilton, were treated to PP-branded burgers.
Instagram Stories by Yahoo Style fashion features writer Alex Carmen Mondale, snapped at the Philipp Plein show
Both designers’ shows started over an hour late, which didn’t sit well with many attendees. However, those who had to wait fared better than those who never made it to their seats. At Philipp Plein, at 10:15 p.m., hundreds of people were still waiting to enter Hammerstein Ballroom. Some remained hopeful, though nobody seemed happy.
It didn’t take long for those who were never made it inside to air their frustrations on social media.
Waiting in line at the @philipp_plein event. Fashion show? Music show? No. Shit show. #PRstunt#PhilippPlein
— Matt Van Metre (@MattVanMetre) September 10, 2017
As for attendees who managed to get through security, they had mixed feelings about the shows — and most were centered on the quality of the entertainment, rather than the designers’ spring 2018 collections.