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The article first appeared on Vogue.
In a season where designers are packing their bags and leaving New York, one has to admire Philipp Plein’s commitment to the fashion week spectacle. Turning the Brooklyn Navy Yard into ski slopes for his Fall 2018 collection, the designer pulled out all the stops with his UFO set, Migos performance, and an array of the hottest models of the moment. If beauties like Alton Mason, Hannah Ferguson, Luna Bijl, and Halima Aden somehow weren’t enough, Plein had another wild card up his sleeve. Surprising the audience with a special walk by supermodel Irina Shayk—who emerged from the spaceship no less—and an oversized bot covered in Plein’s logo, he raised the bar for an over-the-top presentation.
By kickstarting the show with the off-kilter moment, Plein provided the week’s most Instagram-worthy moment thus far while taking fashion’s love affair with tech to its logical end point. While it’s unlikely that flesh and blood models will ever be replaced by robots, Plein’s cheeky opener highlighted how technology (or the illusion of it) serves as a compliment to style. After Teyana Taylor’s epic runway walk, staging a full scale carnival complete with rides, and bringing Jeremy Meeks into high fashion, it’s clear that Plein aims to top himself each season. The sight of Shayk arm-in-arm with the NYFW equivalent of Optimus Prime will be hard to beat, but we’re sure he’ll come up with something.