Pharrell Williams' LV Debut Is Officially Unveiled
Jun 21, 2023
On June 21, the Louis Vuitton 2024 spring and summer men's wear show was staged at the Pont Neuf in Paris. As the first show of LV's new men's wear creative director, this can be said to be the most anticipated show of this season's men's wear week.
Fifteen months after Virgil Abloh, the former LV menswear creative director, passed away, Pharrell Williams officially took over the role in February this year. Prior to this, LV promoted the design with an internal team and also tried to cooperate with guest designers. After the appointment of Pharrell, a transition was finally completed. What followed was that everyone's expectations for Pharrell's performance after taking over were infinitely raised. This debut has been highly anticipated since four months ago.
In the end, what was presented to us was a grand performance. There's a lot to like about this show. Let's split this show into multiple parts to see what "Fei Dong" did and expressed in this important first show.
Pharrell was very excited at the curtain call, and the picture on the right is the family hugging together, all wearing this season's iconic camouflage checkerboard suit.
Preheating is on a different level, not only in the preheating blockbuster filmed by Rihanna but also in a large advertisement in the "New York Times".
If the above grand ostentation is not surprising, then "Philippine Director" specially opened a trumpet on Instagram to share spoilers about his daily life in the LV studio and the show, which is somewhat unexpected.
Show venue: Pont Neuf, the oldest in Paris
The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris. Holding a show in this traditional landmark is not only powerful enough but also emphasizes the collision of tradition and modernity. At the same time, the new bridge is just next to the LV headquarters, less than 100 meters apart, which adds another connection with the brand.
The new bridge also appears in this season's design.
Thanks to the double contacts of LV and Pharrell, the starlight value of the show is full. In the front row of the official show, Beyoncé and Jaz-Z, Rihanna and ASAP Rocky, Zendaya, Kim Kardashian, LeBron James, KAWS, Takashi Murakami, NIGO, Edison Chen, and others appeared. Many of them wore Pharrell's new designs early. It would be an exaggeration to list the full list.
There are also dozens of stars in various fields on the runway, such as musician Pusha T, former Yves Saint Laurent creative director Stefano Pilati, skater Dashawn Jordan, and so on.
Music "Philippines Director" performed it himself, and Lang Lang assisted.
Music is Pharrell's forte, and it was a big part of the show. In the past few seasons of LV's men's wear show, popular singers have been invited to perform live. Pharrell's first show has continued on the basis of live performances and added more content.
The 20-minute show featured three main tracks, opening with "Peace Be Still" by Pharrell and piano by Lang Lang, followed by an undisclosed track, "Chains & Whips" by Clipse (a combination of Pusha T and No Malice).
The final track is "Joy (Unspeakable)", which was also featured in the previous trailer. It's a collaboration between gospel choir Voices of Fire and Pharrell, and it was just released a week ago.
First show keywords: sun, love
The show invitation is a piece of stained glass, which consists of three elements from top to bottom: the radiant sun, the new bridge, and the LVERS logo composed of the LV logo and "Lovers".
In addition to concrete elements such as sun patterns, light patterns, and yellow tones, the sun is used as a spiritual thread to connect the entire series. In Pharrell's view, the sun's nourishing and guiding light also leads to another key theme of the series, "love" or more precisely, "a warm, healthy, and friendly state of mind".
The LVERS logo pays homage to the slogan of Pharrell's home state of Virginia: Virginia is for lovers. The original version of this logo was unveiled in April, when LV launched a capsule collection for the "Something in the Water" music festival hosted by "Philippines", which featured the LVERS logo. In this fashion show, an updated version of the pattern runs through the entire series.
The most important element is the Damier checkerboard.
Among Louis Vuitton's signature elements, Pharrell's debut focused on the Damier checkerboard. The bridge deck of the old Pont Neuf was paved with golden checkerboard, and most of the shapes that appeared on the catwalk later had this elemental blessing, and various Damier checkerboard variants came one after another, which dazzled people.
Among them, the main pattern is the camouflage checkerboard, which is named "Damoflage".
In addition to the deformation on the plane, laser hollowing, pearl embroidery, and other techniques endow the checkerboard with more diverse textures.
Bags: Inspired by fakes?
The presence of bags on the runway is still very strong; the number is really large, and the size is really big (of course there are also super mini models).
The Speedy, which appeared in the second half of the season, is also the key model this season. It uses high-saturation primary colors, which are particularly eye-catching.
Interestingly, Pharrell revealed in an interview that the inspiration for this design was actually a fake from Canal Street in New York.
From the perspective of the bag itself, the material is not canvas but grained cowhide. The whole body of the bag will be softer than an ordinary Speedy, and it can even be folded.
The crocodile leather model is equipped with a diamond lock, and the hardware is all gold. The price is said to have reached the million-euro level.
This is actually a very gorgeous and rich series; from clothing and shoes to a variety of accessories, everything is extremely decorative, and many items are decorated with pearls, sequins, and rhinestone embroidery. Pharrell's personal approach to sartorial sartorialism is in keeping with his effortless street style with glam embellishments.
Pharrell's ambitions were evident in every aspect of this massive show.
The performances and starlight at the show brought enough buzz; the reinvention of the classic Damier checkerboard successfully marked the collection and became a memory point in people's minds; After the dissemination of more detailed pictures and physical pictures, more items in this huge series are gaining discussion on social media.
Since LV appointed Pharrell as the creative director of men's wear, many voices have questioned the latter's identity as a star and a non-student, and such doubts have not diminished after the first show. This is actually similar to the controversy caused by the entry of Virgil Abloh back then.
But LV is adamant that it doesn't have to please everyone, especially critics. In an era when critics' right to speak is infinitely dispersed, LV can find enough people to stand on their side. The current positioning of branded menswear is clearly to be a trendy luxury product.
Judging by this standard, Pharrell's first show has at least completed its task. And that's just the beginning.