Louis Vuitton

Pharrell on the Paris Catwalk

Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton menswear collection debuted on a spectacular scale. The Pont Neuf bridge was the setting for the musician, now a full-time fashion designer, to show off his version of luxury looks. Virigil Abhloh’s death left a big hole to fill. When the Virginia native was made head of the famed house in February, eyebrows hit the ceiling. Williams’ limited experience and lack of training felt a bit out of sync with the demands needed to be a creative head. The multi-nominated artist has street cred with his label, Billionaire Boys Club. The streetwear brand is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Going to a fashion show in some cases is not about the fashion but about who is attending. Jay Z and Beyonce sat next to LVMH head Bernard Arnault. LV brand ambassador Rhianna hit the front row with baby bump and husband A$AP Rocky. Throw in supermodel Naomi Campbell, singer Lenny Kravitz, actress Zendaya. It pays to have famous friends, add in all the resources a $20 billion corporation with the Paris landscape as a backdrop, a choir, band and symphony, this event was spectacle worthy of Imperial Rome.

Looking over the numerous looks strutting over the Seine River, suddenly I had flashbacks to downtown Los Angeles. There was a guy who sold who sold fake designer clothing from the back of a truck. If a buyer wanted to try on the pieces, the alley way was the changing room. All transactions were cash only, no questions asked.

Not a Capsule Collection

Granted, Pharrell had only had three months to put together a collection. Looking over the pictures from June 20th, I saw recycled archives with new colors along with a homage to 90’s Ghetto Fabulousness. The absence of subtlety and lack of elegance struck because buyers want quiet luxury, toned down pieces of high quality. Secondly, there was no demonstrative style longevity with this collection. A fashion creative head needs authenticity, not the feeling of a capsule collection collaboration produced for a quick trip to the bank.

A person could be forgiven for thinking they were watching a garish indoctrination ritual. Logomania took over the catwalk in every color, shape and size, from bags and trunks to leather track suits with prints, suits with square patterns, pixel prints and knee length shorts with jackets.

I am willing to give Pharrell a second chance to reevaluate. Perhaps he will grow into the job. If not, the hit song maker still has his first career as a fallback.