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Courtney Love at Philipp Plein SS16
Courtney Love at Philipp Plein SS16Courtesy of Philipp Plein

Courtney Love performs with robots in Milan

What just happened: Philipp Plein’s fashion shows are always explosive spectacles, but the designer just took it one further

What just happened?

German designer Philipp Plein held his SS16 womenswear show in Milan, where models (including Pyper America Smith, Bella Hadid and Soo Joo Park) were sent down an elevated conveyor-belt runway, handed sunglasses and handbags by giant robot arms as they went. Drones flew around them in the air, while robotic musicians played along to Kraftwerk (“The Model” was the song of choice, obviously). 

What did Courtney Love have to do with it?

Love was this season’s special musical guest. She opened the show singing “Celebrity Skin” as she was pulled through a set of PP-stamped, spaceship-like doors and down the mechanical catwalk in a pair of ripped jeans. Post show there was a dinner, where Love chatted it up with a gang of models as the runway space was transformed into a party venue (with hundreds of Plein fans waiting outside to try and get in). Love then appeared to serenade them all below, with hits including “Miss World” and “Malibu”. We captured it all on Periscope, and even Marc Jacobs tuned in.

What were the clothes like?

Plein’s aesthetic is one which simultaneously draws upon the worlds of heavy metal, hip-hop, and high-octane glamour. For SS16, this translated to studded leather jackets (a Plein staple), dresses slashed at the thigh and tutu-like mini skirts. Soo Joo Park wore a very gothic number made from black feathers. It was a bit emo, a bit Harajuku and a bit Hollywood.

Are fashion shows usually like this?

Strictly speaking, no. But Philipp Plein fashion shows are not normal fashion shows. He's sent out rappers on jet skis in customised Plein pools, staged a shootout between cowboys and real horses, invited Grace Jones, Snoop Dogg and Iggy Azalea to perform and put Lucky Blue Smith on the back of a dirt bike.

How much does that cost?

A couple of million. But Plein can afford it, with his t-shirts selling for €500 and leather jackets setting you back €5k (if you want crocodile skin, you’re looking at a figure closer to €80k). And, as the crowds outside proved, people love Plein – that’s why he’s got an annual turnover of $226m.