“Absolutely no flash during this show,” said the voice over the sound system, as the Philipp Plein spring-summer 2015 was about to start. After passing the polystyrene pearl pool and entering a grotto of faux rock, other instructions proved mildly alarming given that previous editions had included fire play and gun salvoes. Had the superlative designer managed to genetically engineer a Kraken that would devour us at the first burst of violent light? Or Dr. Evil’s sharks with frontal lasers?
None of that materialized. The set-up might have carried grandiose promise, but Plein didn’t follow through. Apart from the projected underwater imagery and orchestral renditions of Fat Boy Slim’s Right Here Right Now or Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence, where was the titular subaquatic upheaval? Rhinestone toucans and oversized sailor bags don’t qualify for that.