MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

TRANSCENDENT SPIRIT OF TRAVEL

2023.12.01

Text by Chiara Belardi

Louis Vuitton presents the first Pre-Fall Men’s Collection in Hong Kong, where a mix of local tradition blends with multicultural influences. Pharrell Williams sails in the wake of the sailors, and together with them, he is influenced by the moon and the stars by embarking on new horizons.

Set by moonlight, under the constellations of the night sky, the Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2024 Men’s Collection show takes place along the Avenue of Stars on Victoria Harbour. A scenic waterfront monument to the stars of Hong Kong’s film industry and epicenter of cultural exchange that has welcomed sailors from around the world since the 15th century. From Hawaii to Hong Kong, the collection illustrates the power of travel through nautical themes and surf codes together tropical floral prints celebrate a wardrobe that spans continents. Pharrell Williams’ proposal for Louis Vuitton reflects on the multicultural influences of familiar wardrobe pieces and their evolution; clothes are activators and transporters of energy, especially as we travel. On the runway, the dandy silhouette takes shape and grafts with the sailor’s uniform, giving a lively expression to the double-breasted navy-style garments complemented by flared pants or shorter shorts. Pea and double-breasted navy coats are adorned with pearl buttons found throughout, and striped patterns are recreated in miniature pearl strings, while in many looks they are set on black double-breasted coats. Sailor’s chambray suits incorporate a nautical vocabulary into designer Pharrell Williams’ grammar in a novel way, which then explodes on the finale. This transition is expressed in a shell-embroidered varsity jacket with a mariner collar that closes into a hoodie. Sailor tattoos also transform into shells and other emblems.

In Louis Vuitton’s Pre-Fall Men’s collection, the garments associated with the bohemian lifestyle are transformed on the beaches of Hawaii and in cities around the world. On the runway, the dandy silhouette takes shape and grafts with the sailor’s uniform, giving a lively expression to the double-breasted navy-style garments complemented by flared pants or shorter shorts.

Being close to the water is a constant theme for Pharrel Williams – who grew up in Virginia Beach – as he takes the opportunity for a bare-bones exposure of his creative process on the catwalk. The harbor with its sailors, a quintessential symbol of the traveler’s power of mental expansion, is presented here as a true cultural movement. The creative chooses Hong Kong for this incredible debut, capturing the intensity of the cultural life of a city in full ferment, filled with music, art, creativity and food. An energy that becomes palpable on the runway: amid tropical plants, sand and ukulele players, the men’s wardrobe is interpreted by a multicultural cast perfect for dressing Louis Vuitton’s story dedicated to tireless travelers.

Under a starry sky made up of a dance of hundreds of drones in front of the Hong Kong skyline, a show is staged where familiar patterns associated with the theme of sea travel are suggested by urban influences, sailors are reimagined in every look by unexpected elements. Neptune – god of the sea and fresh water-appears as the inspiration for the floral shirts typical of Hawaii, as does the denim bomber jacket embellished with crystal beads that wink at the lakes and fishermen of Virginia. A new LV infinity logo netted like a net appears on a knit cardigan, on the jacquard of a dress, and on the mixed-material ensemble of nylon shorts and leather jacket. The energies of sailing and surfing reinforce the symbology of the Maison’s iconic bags. The new Surfing Monogram inspired by the Hawaiian scenery appears in four different colors. The bags are made of yellow Damier Scuba leather and incorporate versatile zippers. The Damier Denim 3D line evolves the pattern through speedy and other iconic editions with pearl-adorned zippers. The enlarged chaine et trame of the Damier Heritage captures the naval essence of the collection in nautical blue and white with orange details. The spectacle of the Pre-Fall 2024 Men’s collection illustrates the LVERS philosophy at the heart of the creative director’s practice and sincere interest in building a true lifestyle: an ode, his, to the core value that binds people around the world, love.

”It was inspired by the idea of a businessman in Hong Kong who has decided to spend a week or so in Hawaii on holiday. But in the middle of his trip, he has to go back to Hong Kong for one day for a meeting he couldn’t move.”

– Pharrell Williams

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