Goin’ out west

Louis Vuitton FW24: Americana in Paris
By Ella Joyce | Fashion | 17 January 2024

A year on from his debut as creative director, on the first night of Paris Fashion Week Men’s, Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton show transported the crowd to the Wild West. Taking over the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the runway was set against a backdrop of rocky mountains and great plains. Frenzied fans waited eagerly outside the doors to catch a glimpse of the famous faces on Pharrell’s front row, including Bradley Cooper, Andrew Scott, Will Poulter, Michael Ward and Jackson Wang, while the likes of Pusha T and Shilo Sanders took a turn on the runway. After the hysteria had died down and the crowd took to their seats, Pharrell’s cast entered the makeshift desert via a metallic silver portal, stepping to the beat of a soundtrack featuring original scores from indigenous powwow group Native Voices of Resistance, Mumford & Sons and Miley Cyrus.

Born and raised in Virginia, Pharrell turned to his roots for a collection constructed on the foundations of workwear – transformed with the meticulous luxury of the French Maison’s savoir-faire, in a continuation of the designer’s ‘from Paris to VA’ ethos. Cowboy iconography was reimagined through damier denim suits iced with pearls or sequins, wraparound blanket coats, buffalo check prints and lots of heavy fringing. Taking the same principles into tailoring, Pharrell gave the quintessential dandy figure a prairie makeover with glittering beaded suits, studded tartan, heavily embroidered shirting bowed at the neck and oversized Stetsons, while recurring images of cacti, bulls, lassos, swirling florals and Aztec prints provided decorative embellishment. Outerwear was lined with shearling, tasselled and crafted from supple leather, built from durable canvas in trucker jacket silhouettes or delicately quilted in a collarless fashion with gold fastenings.

Keeping on theme, the equipment used at this ranch is not your average, as models wheeled giant LV embossed trunks down the runway dressed in equipé workwear overalls, cow-print camouflage and heavy suede. The collection also debuted a collaboration with Timberland, translating as a glistening trunk and monogrammed reworking of the iconic Timberland boot. Elsewhere, Texan bootmaker Goodyear specially crafted an authentic cowboy boot, combining the codes of a harnessed lace-up and a cowboy-belt buckled monk shoe in croc, python, ostrich, suede and cow hair. It’s special, we want it.

The show came to a close after Pharrell’s design team and the Native Voices of Resistance had taken their bows and snow began to fall. It was winter in the desert, and it was time to warm up with LV burgers, champagne and a live performance from Pharrell and Mumford & Sons. What’s next? We’re back on that open road.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Louis Vuitton MENS-FALL-WINTER-24