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The New York Public Library was open late Tuesday night for the fur-clad, perfume-drenched fashion set to take in Philip Plein’s first show in New York. The crowd was so densely packed on the steps of the landmarked building that we were informed that we were violating fire codes. Miraculously I eventually made my way into the lobby, which was decorated with neon lights. Women dressed as skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty walked by, suggesting that Plein’s debut at New York Fashion Week was going to be an homage to the city — no matter how heavy handed the references.
Plein’s work has gained him a roster of famous fans including Mariah Carey, Eva Longoria, and Heidi Klum, who wore Plein’s silver minidress to the Grammys. The German designer told the New York Times that this show, for which he enlisted Carine Roitfeld’s styling talents, was part of his brand’s expansion into the American market.
It was going to be a big splash with rumors of Madonna and Kylie Jenner expected in the front row. Perhaps even more interesting was spotting Tiffany Trump, who fluttered into the venue looking quite satisfied and self-assured.
Trump is making the rounds at NYFW. She took in the Taoray Wang show with her mother Marla Maples over the weekend. Still, the first daughter was one of the last people I expected to see at this show. The fashion community hasn’t been shy in expressing their politics through their designs this week. But Plein’s show notes read, “Make NYFW Great Again,” so it made sense that Trump daughter would make an appearance.
Here was Tiffany Trump, looking as polished as could be surrounded by foreigners, people of color, LGBT, atheists, weirdoes, and other assorted members of the creative class. It was the kind of crowd many of her father’s supporters would loath to see her in – a symbol of everything they view as wrong with America. Still, Tiffany looked right at home, which should come as no surprise. She’s a California-raised Penn grad with her eye on law school, and a former Vogue intern. A true coastal elite if there ever was one.
The first daughter came, naturally, with her security detail in tow, who said it was his first fashion show. Trump sat directly in front of me through the show, flanked by two men in conspicuous fur coats. It was certainly a sight to see – Trump there sitting just a person away from Keyshia Cole (a NYFW first-timer), Remy Ma, and Fat Joe. If the first daughter can share a bench with two Bronx Rappers and Cole, then maybe we can all find some common ground in Trump’s America. Or not?
To open the show, rapper Nas came out to perform “If I Ruled the World,” followed by Plein himself, who briefly addressed the crowd, which included Paris and Nicki Hilton, as well as reality TV personality and rapper Cardi B. The model lineup included “hot felon” Jeremy Meeks, Sofia Richie, rappers Fetty Wap, Desiigner, Young Thug, and rocker Pete Wentz.
As for the clothes, Plein put forth an interpretation of the kind of glamorized hybrid city kid style that’s a little bit street and a little bit rock and roll. There were voluminous puffer jackets that looked like something Missy Elliott would wear. There was distressed denim, lots of leather and fur flourishes, over-the knee boots, bomber jackets, blinding metallic silver pieces, and of course, a generous helping of bling.
There was definitely the feel of New York in the collection, though it was delivered quite ham-fistedly. However, there was a lot in the collection to love, especially for those who cling to the city-street aesthetic. So no, it may not be for the majority of Trump supporters, but something tells us Plein wouldn’t necessarily mind if they embraced his designs too.