Philipp Plein’s shtick is tired. And this is coming from a writer who generally gives the man the benefit of the doubt, and who often kind-of-sort-of likes what Plein does. Not today.
Plein’s shows (now combining women’s and men’s) start late, that’s a given, and it’s forgivable, as they turn into parties as soon as they’ve concluded. And, another given, the shows trump the clothes, always. So be it, such is his thing. But the way he executed tonight’s staging came across as so bloated and wasteful, it left more than the irritation caused by airborne flecks of plastic snow, which coated the entire floor. Here’s the general rundown: A bulldozer plowed through a gigantic wall of foil boulders, filling the room with weed smoke, whereby two snow-bikes revved around. Then Migos performed. Then a robot came out and asked people if they were wearing Philipp Plein. Then Irina Shayk emerged from a UFO. Then the robot and Irina Shayk walked around while “Fly Me to the Moon” thudded from the speakers. She didn’t look over the moon about it. Then, finally, the clothes surfaced—apocalyptic-futuristic mountain sportswear, including skis and snowboards—and everyone continued to walk around until they convened for a super awkward dance party while another musical performance ensued. It was formulaic, predicated on Plein’s own game that intends to splash but never quite does, and it was especially long. It’s time to switch it up.
However, entirely remove the performative and one was left with some savvy sections, like sneakers and bags that had moving LED banners. That was clever. Likewise, elements of the ski-and-snowboard part; bedazzled goggles, for example, fit with Plein’s more-is-more penchant. They’ll find buyers. And maybe the criticisms don’t matter, and maybe Plein is making as much money as he claims, enough to support yet another multimillion dollar production such as tonight’s. It just seems evermore dubious and cavalier and . . . it’s old.
To view on Vogue Runway, click here.