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Hold your breath, make a wish, count to three. Come with me and you’ll be whisked away to the world of Pharrell’s LV.

Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton exists in the realm of pure imagination, you see, and his second LV fashion show continues to make that dreamy imagination tangible.

Hosted on Hong Kong’s Avenue of the Stars late on November 30, Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2024 menswear runway was a spectacle no less huge than his earth-stopping LV debut atop Paris’ centuries-old Pont Neuf bridge, and make no mistake: it was a spectacle through and through.

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Pharrell’s collection had a plainly tropical bent suitable for a hot ‘n humid Hong Kong autumn (highs were 80°F the day of the show): models strode between birds of paradise and palm trees wearing sailor suits, beach-patterned souvenir jackets, and Hawaiian shirts stitched with sequins that shaped a sparkly beach scene; their feet shod in plush socks and LV sandals.

You don’t come to Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton shows for the clothes, necessarily, but the clothes are definitely there. And the craft is not to be taken lightly.

For one, between the chain-stitched nylon blousons and double-breasted denim blazers, there’s an appreciable blend of fairly classic suiting made un-classic by Pharrell’s chopped ‘n screwed remix of LV’s signature Damier pattern. This season transmogrified into an intarsia pattern that gave jacket-and-shorts sets as much joie de vivre as their jaunty berets.

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Pharrell’s LV menswear doesn’t comprise a singular look but a singular attitude, one of wear anything wherever, whenever. Though Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton man is a dandy sartorialist, he's keen to pirouette between eras: In Pharrell’s Summer 2024 collection, his guy was dapper in leather ties and patchwork denim flares; in his Pre-Fall 2024 collection, that same dude is similarly sharp in crisp linen blazers, sailor caps, and knee-scraping shorts. He dresses up, adding a quirky chapeau to kickstart conversation, but he also dresses sharp, and timeless. Freshly familiar. Always meticulously well-tailored.

In this case, Pharrell’s dolled-up Louis Vuitton models looked like tourists whose idea of “roughing it” is staying in a four-star hotel, traipsing a space that evokes not a catwalk but a beach, thanks to hundreds of pounds of sand that covered the waterfront walkway. Surf’s up, dudes.

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And there were A-list dudes surfing it up, from Pusha T to K-Pop star Felix, a member of STRAY KIDS and an LV ambassador. Really, the star power of the front-row guests just barely drowned out the visual pandemonium of the Hong Kong skyline. Barely.

After the models finished their turns, fireworks in the shape of the Louis Vuitton logo lit up the sky. Pharrell stepped out to collect the acclaim, his new heart-shaped Tiffany & Co. sunglasses twinkling a Cheshire Cat grin.

“We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams,” wrote Arthur O'Shaughnessy, though who remembers it was his little couplet rather than Gene Wilder's, whose Willy Wonka so utterly owned it? It’s such a perfect encapsulation of his raison d’être, and Pharrell’s, too.

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See, like Virgil Abloh before him, Skateboard P isn’t merely responsible for clothing design: he must create an entire world for each collection. Though, yes, it must be said that Virgil walked so Pharrell could run. Virgil, who shunned the title of “designer,” knew that he was a creative director. He creatively directed Louis Vuitton from stalwart luxury classic to a maison at the cutting edge of culture. Virgil’s collections were rich with evocative clothes and famous faces, and dripping with innovative ideas that were eventually knocked off by lesser creatives.

Pharrell’s job is basically to do that but more.

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Virgil oversaw LV runways that were show-stoppers; Pharrell must create catwalks that shut down city blocks.

He must dream the theme, conceive of the set, curate the music, impart his wisdom to the disparate teams — footwear, ready-to-wear, accessories — and then oversee their designing, sampling, and finishing processes. He has already secured A-list talent to model his wares, too, if his Rihanna and LeBron campaigns are any indication.

Every season (and pre-season, and resort season), Pharrell must build a new Louis Vuitton Chocolate Factory, stuffed with wonder and studded with celebs. Oh, and it must be imminently marketable. A tall order for anyone, even the industry’s premier dreamer of dreams (backed by one of the world’s richest companies, no less).

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Doesn’t it feel odd that the demand for a complete seasonal vision means that the actual clothing is merely folded into a bigger spectacle? Perhaps, but that’s really part of the Pharrell experience. Whereas runway shows once solely presented the designs it envisioned its clients wearing in the coming season, runway shows — especially for luxury houses at LV’s level — are now an experience. In the same way that the traditional museum experience is being replaced by Instagrammable gotta-be-there events, fashion shows have transitioned from an unemotional parade of wearables into a social media-first happening. That’s not a good or bad thing, mind you, it’s just the state of fashion. To his credit, no one’s better equipped to lead the pack than Pharrell.

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I’ll admit, I had my doubts about Pharrell leading Louis Vuitton, back when his appointment was first announced. Not because of his design acuity or fame but because I figured it’d have been nice for LV to elevate an emerging young  designer who hadn’t yet received their flowers from a fickle industry. Yet the selection of Pharrell makes more and more sense the longer he sits in the throne.

Like, how could any of us mere mortals bring to life the stuff he creates with ease?

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Are you champing at the bit to be singularly responsible for redefining a 170-year-old brand? Is your brain equally stuffed with provocative ideas tailor made to drive international engagement? Are you willing to meet the world’s gaze? Do you have Beyoncé on speed dial?

That’s why there’s only one Louis Vuitton music maker — he just so happens to make music, too.

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