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Louis Vuitton Goes West

Pharrell Williams took Vuitton to the American desert. Visually the show was a feast, but the references were too obvious, resulting in an outing that felt flat despite the bling bling, writes Angelo Flaccavento.
Models present creations for the Louis Vuitton Menswear Ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collection as part of the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris on January 16, 2024. (Photo by Alain JOCARD / AFP) (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Louis Vuitton Men’s Autumn/Winter 2024-2025. (Getty Images)

PARIS — Pharrell Williams chose to stage his second Parisian outing (and third show) for Louis Vuitton in a white cube at the side of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a giant “Paris LV Virginiainsignia emblazoned on the outside, the inside covered with a screensaver-like projection of the American desert.

Was Louis Vuitton going West? Indeed, it was, complete with cowboy hats and boots, turquoise buttons and a sense of rough elegance, with the addition of some Carhartt-like workwear, boots developed in collaboration with Timberland and lots of denim.

“One of the reasons I am here is to bring Louis Vuitton to places: not to appropriate, but to appreciate,” said Pharrell backstage. As a creative director, he clearly loves a theme, seemingly unafraid of being too literal.

Visually, the show was a feast, with multicultural casting that gave the goings a wonderful sense of varied humanity. But the references were too obvious and Pharrell didn’t really take them anywhere, resulting in an outcome that was ultimately a little flat, despite all the bling bling and in your face richness.

This is really something that could be fine-tuned in the future. What appeared to be perfectly formed, however, was the vision of the LV man, with plenty of specimens in the front row: a lavish big spender not afraid to wear his wealth on his sleeve, jacket and trousers, with unrepentant pride. Quiet luxury this isn’t.

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