Every New York Fashion Week, we get to see the best and worst that designers have to offer — on and off the runway. Often, the takeaway is that designers still haven't figured out how to stop borrowing ideas from one other and, of course, that runways still need more diversity of body type, race, and abilities. And then, there's the seasonal reminder of just how trash the people behind some of our favorite brands can be.
Case en pointe? Philipp Plein. Although he's earned kudos for peppering his runway with more models of color and always delivering a theatrical show, Plein is now under fire for throwing a fat-shame-y tantrum full of insults directed at writer Alexandra Mondalek. Her crime? She dared to give his Fall 2019 fashion show a scathing review for Fashionista.
After being conned into thinking that Kanye West would perform during the show and finding out via Kim Kardashian's Twitter that he'd actually been swindled out of more than $1 million — a terrible review is pretty bitter icing on an already crummy cake. Still, Plein was dead wrong for how he attacked Mondalek for simply doing her job.
Mondalek's first issue was the seating, which was only provided for "two-thirds of the guests."
She and other unfortunate attendees were corralled onto a standing-room-only balcony, where she alleges a videographer for the event repeatedly tried to touch her butt. A black-tie dinner with a side of sexual harassment does sound pretty disgusting.
The writer's evening wasn't even redeemed by the actual runway show.
"It also seemed as if there had been no rehearsal, as a bottleneck of models waited in the dining area for their chance to be photographed individually by the gaggle of photographers," she shared about the first show of the night for the Philipp Plein Billionaire collection. "
And the read only got worse from there.
For the unisex collection, Mondalek gave this VERY vivid description of what she felt the inspiration for it was:
"Judging by his perennial aesthetic and this fall show, Plein's muse is an urban cowboy futurist with a trust fund and a coke problem."
Excuse me while I go grab a little honey to coat my throat for all the scalding tea spilled.
Mondalek refused to walk back her statements about the Philipp Plein show. "I hope you’re proud of yourself for fat-shaming someone who struggles with body image anyway," she wrote on Twitter. "And for what it’s worth, I was on time."
The writer pointed out via Twitter that she has reviewed his shows before and was "far more forgiving." Her Fashionista review also mentions that this was her third Phillipp Plein show.
Ah, yes, and Mondalek also informed him that despite what he says about her weight, her opinion stands that his show "still sucked."
Well, that's that, and there it is. I stan an "I said what I said" kind of girl! Kudos to Mondalek for not letting a designer rattle her for having the guts to give an honest opinion.
Mondalek also wrote about the fat-shaming experience in an opinion piece for InStyle.
"Rather than begin a discourse with me, the fashion writer, about my review, Plein came after me, the person," she wrote. "What is clear is [that] he thinks weight, and eating, are things women should be ashamed of. It was bizarre, mean, and incredibly unprofessional."
Now, more about Phillipp Plein who has shown himself to be a total trash pile.
Artists are indeed sensitive about their sh**, but Philipp Plein needs to grow up. He isn't the first or last designer to receive a terrible review. People — especially journalists who are (supposed to be) trained to tell the untarnished truth — are not obligated to adore everything (or anything) you create. Furthermore, a reaction to your creations should not be considered dishonest just because it didn't stroke your ego.
Designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent, and even MAGA hat-wearing Kanye West have all survived ill-received collections — and those were actually disliked by various critics. Phillipp Plein is flipping out and fat-shaming one person for one review.