MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

PHARRELL
ON PONT NEUF

2023.06.21

Text by Lucrezia Sgualdino

A new era that speaks of love and a sincere demonstration of strength and power are found in a collection fully traceable to the Maison’s heritage. A street vision but at the same time modern and sophisticated describes the Louis Vuitton man for the coming season.

The collection is the result of a skillful construction of an aesthetic common to Pharrell and the French fashion house. Joy is the word that resonates and echoes among the new looks presented for Spring/Summer 2024. An immersive presentation inspired by the love and support the Creative Director has been blessed with over the years of his life and career. The défilé uniquely and relentlessly integrates culture, a sense of community, the environment, and the air we breathe and is intended for the viewers, those who make each artist’s work possible. The vision brought to the stage by Pharrell is the result of detailed and ambitious research that allows homage to the small detail while also paying homage to the whole. The releases tell of a new streetwear contaminated by maxi logos, tailored garments and casual proposals are enhanced by eclectic colors and patterns. The sun is the pivotal element around which the collection revolves, a symbol of opportunity, responsibility and empowerment, the universal source of life, the guiding light that gives energy and vitality. The impact of the sun returns in the collection in the rays of some of the graphics, in the color proposals with warm undertones, and in the shimmering decorations.

FIRST LOOK, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.
DAMOFLAGE, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.
DAMIER, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.
BACKSTAGE, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.

Pharrell’s narrative unfolds under distinct stylistic sections. The Louis Vuitton initials become the emblem of a new LVers culture, characterized by the warmth and welcome of a diverse but inclusive global community. Details are emphasized by the techniques and materials used, as well as seemingly small details of buttons, rivets, and zippers. The Marque L. Vuitton Déposée logo is taken from the archives and appears throughout the collection. The iconic Damier checkerboard graphic is an explosion of color, repurposed in a series of new adaptations. Pixelated, three-dimensional expressions appear in tailoring, suits, and denim. From this motif comes Damoflage, celebrating the meeting of Damier and camouflage: it combines one of Louis Vuitton’s symbols with a distinctive factor in Pharrell Williams’ personal style lexicon. For the outdoors, it is carried over to prints with colorful landscape motifs and the jacquards of sartorial inspiration. This silhouette seems to appear autobiographical, a contemporary take on tailoring. The cuts are sharp and the proportions modern, the volumes alternate between reduced ideas and straight or flared oversize expansions.

DAMOFLAGE, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.

Emotions. Everything in this fashion show is coordinated to create emotions to share.”

– Pharrell Williams

DAMIER, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.

Even the accessories absorb the real sensibility of the Maison’s new creative direction; the Speedy bag retains the trapezoidal lines of the classic shape but, being made of soft grained calfskin, the texture allows the bottom of the bag to bend and drape as it would only do with everyday wear and gestures. The screen-printed Monogram produces a fuzzy, handcrafted, almost hand-painted effect. Then there are the various representations of the LV trunk that transforms into the Monogram Copper version, an element known to transform in sunlight. The LV Allover calfskin bag is embossed with logos in gold or silver. The Epi XL interprets the emblematic veined leather in maxi shapes. The Alma is embellished with embroidered artwork by Henry Taylor depicting characters who were part of the artist’s life or pixelated images of digital artist ET’s Pont Neuf. The soft leather tote bag with appliqué letters mimics the paper grain of carrier bags, the black Damier tie bag is instead embroidered with pearls, and the Monogram canvas boat bag pays homage to the Parisian Bateaux Mouches that depart right from the Pont Neuf. For footwear, on the other hand, we start with a desire for comfort: shearling slippers with Monogram inlay, nubuck bowling shoes, calfskin Mary-Janes and hotel slippers in pop colors, glazed and expanded leather loafers appear in crystal-studded variants. Among the sporty ideas, the new LV Sport sneaker is made of embossed Damier leather or nubuck, the evening soccer shoe features stitching on the upper in Damier style, and the LV Trainer Maxi is adapted in crocodile nubuck in the colors of the collection, while the LV snowboard boot is printed in Damoflage. Explorer caps and glamping hats also peep out in primary colors, as do crocheted ones. Fur gloves are paired with scarves, and belts, on the other hand, are made of antique metals with gemstones and pearls, chain with rhinestone-studded buckles. Super Zoom sunglasses with caps made in the image of a camera lens invite you to see the world through primary colors; masquerade sunglasses are studded with pearls enclosing the head, and offered in three-dimensional versions framed by black thread. Costume jewelry is adorned with pearls, with floral pendants and crystals echoing a dandy attitude, it returns in military buttons turned into earrings. Rope chains echo those historically used by the Maison to tie travel trunks together, while necklaces and ball bracelets are forged in sterling silver.

LVERS, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.

Henry Taylor collaborates on the collection with works presented in the form of micro-embroideries, his artistic practice combining the pillars of figurative, landscape and history painting in works that transcend the boundaries of any traditional genre. Her subjects span the entire arc of the human condition. The artist also appears in the show’s film prelude, Pupil King directed by Todd Tourso. The short film captures a conversation between Americans comedian Jerrod Carmichael and artist Henry Taylor, reflecting the theme of love, opportunity and empowerment in the show through an exchange centered on passion, action, perseverance and the human condition.

“LV is for Louis Vuitton, but it’s also for lovers, you know: lovers of the moment, lovers of detail, lovers of this time and people who want to absolutely squeeze the best out of life, down to the last drop.”

– Pharrell Williams

SPEEDY, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.
TRUNKS, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.

The show is presented on the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in the French capital, near the Louis Vuitton studios. The metaphorical connection between Paris and Pharrell’s home state of Virginia seems clear and obvious, the evolution of the artist’s early foundational training that made him the person he is today and led him to an invaluable career. The stylistic elements borrowed from American culture are amplified through the craftsmanship of the Maison’s Ateliers, a pivotal element in the history of each défilé presented over nearly two centuries. Accompanying the spotlights turning on the runway is a soundtrack composed for the occasion and sung by the Voices of Fire gospel choir. JOY (Unspeakable), Pharrell Williams’ new single, is the centerpiece of the performance, the track breaks away from the commercial collaborations the singer-songwriter has accustomed us to throughout his musical career. Spirituality and joy meet the cultural elements of the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection. A visionary soul that of Pharrell who has been able to bring his contribution in creating a perfect fit with the history of Vuitton, skillfully creating unique, innovative and incredibly personal proposals. He has been able to give the world an irrepressible joy.

PONT NEUF, LOUIS VUITTON SPRING/SUMMER 2024 MEN'S COLLECTION BY PHARRELL WILLIAMS.

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