Editor's Pick, Style

Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton presents a western empire

Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton presents a western empire

For a brand that’s synonymous with the many different facets of luxury, Pharrell receives the advantage of interpreting his collections at Louis Vuitton without the ‘baggage’ of a strict, monolithic perception of individuality. Using the Maison’s history — where travel presides — the American Western wardrobe, in its most honest depiction that’s shared through early childhood memories of Wild E. Coyote and Yosemite Sam, sets the theme for FW24.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Southwest skies and canyons to gunslinging cowboys, pieces from this collection are essential world-building tools to the heart of the house — its leather goods and accessories. Materials are tanned and nubuck are embossed in tattoo motifs, while the monogram canvas appear sun-soaked and weathered from long journeys.

Predictability comes across as a necessary and natural creative choice for the Savoir-faire to shine. The idea of American Western dressing, which so many of us already share a semblance, creates the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the colossal amount of craftsmanship for the new collection. Some were even done in collaboration with Native American artisans of the Dakota and Lakota tribes. Much like its cult silhouettes reinterpreted in endless materials and hues (this time the Speedy appears in fuchsia, turquoise and cow hair), a much-predicted trucker jacket and western shirt interpreted through Pharrell’s signature Damouflage and the newly-introduced Cowmooflage make these pieces feel familiar, distinguishable and desirable.

While subversion and intellectuality make for great fashion discourse, perhaps it is the literal approach that truly has the ability to bring about democracy — in ways that pop culture cornerstones such as music and idols have become a gateway for casual audience to consume fashion. Thus, Pharrell’s work has been a testament on how accessibility can bring on certain commercial and artistic success that’s always been sought after.

For the new generation of fashion consumers who prefer watching 30-second breakdowns on TikTok rather than a full show, or identifying the next must-have pieces through celebrity ambassadors, maybe approachability by ways of familiarity (and with a bit of predicting) provides a different manner to being part of the larger fashion conversation.

Ride on, cowboy.

Written by LingJie Tuang