22nd June 2023

Louis Vuitton Men’s SS24 – Paris Fashion Week

Seminal creative artist Pharrell makes his debut for the luxury fashion House

It should be said, Pharrell Williams is a generational creative talent.  For a story that began with his high school marching band and spawned a legendary career in music, it might have been hard to imagine it would lead to the creative director’s chair for the Louis Vuitton Men’s SS24 collection and a debut on a warm night in Paris.  However, like most things, the signs were there if you were prepared to heed them.

Williams’ own label, Billionaire Boys Club, complemented the many collaborations with major fashion brands he’s worked on over the years, including with Louis Vuitton in 2008.  A long friendship with Virgil Abloh and a shared sensibility for sharp cultural edges to luxury fashion quickly dissipated the surprise when his appointment was announced earlier this year.  For such a grand occasion it seemed only right that one of France’s oldest fashion House’s should take over the capital city’s oldest bridge, Pont Neuf, for the show at Paris Fashion Week.

As the cast began their long promenades, the unification of heritage and contemporary culture was immediate and simultaneously creative and dramatic.  Familiar camouflage patterning, beloved in all the world’s urban jungles, melded with Louis Vuitton’s heritage Damier pattern to create Damoflage, a striking ‘pixelated’ version of the former that was a running motif in jackets, coats and a myriad of accessories throughout the collection.

Tailored shorts were worn with LV’s snowboard boots for new juxtapositions between chic and rugged aesthetics.  Contrasting textures were layered in considered ways, like the ‘rockstar’ shearling coats and jackets worn over tailored wool suits.  Embellished varsity jackets and baseball jackets emblazoned with clever ‘LVers’ logos across the chest were no doubt influenced by the styles of earlier years spent in the American collegiate system.

The silhouettes were equally modern takes on what the House is best known for.  Long over short, leg-extending bootcut denims and oversized baker boy hats amplified dandy echoes for today’s streets.  Colours came in darker rather than obviously bright summer tones.  But they were vibrant and urgent, particularly when filtered through the original Daimer chessboard graphics.  And the leather Pont Neuf photographic print coats and jackets with panoramic slogans across the entire front were made for those who like to announce their arrival before their arrival.

It was perhaps inevitable that the first three rows lining the famous bridge would have been front rows anywhere else.  This was a pivotal moment in the long story of Maison Louis Vuitton, and Pharrell Williams has now skilfully taken the baton from Virgil Alboh to sprint onward into a bright (and important) future.


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