Pharrell’s shorts are making us a whole lot of Happy
When it comes to fashion, singer/songwriter/producer Pharrell Williams is known for taking bold style risks on the red carpet.
Sunday's 86th Annual Academy Awards event was no exception — when Pharrell was spotted wearing a tuxedo suit by luxury brand Lanvin, complete with Bermuda shorts.
It was a controversial pick according to some who took to popular social media sites during the awards ceremony.
But the bold fashion statement was a massive hit with the fashion savvy locals who spoke to The Royal Gazette's Lifestyle section.
Rebecca Hanson, the founder of The Authentic Bermuda Shorts (TABS), said she was excited to see him confidently rocking the shorts and bringing extra media attention to the Bermuda fashion staple.
“It was a hit,” she said. “Anything that puts Bermuda on the international stage is a win. Also, it's Pharrell Williams — he can do no wrong.
“I love to see artists taking risks with their wardrobes. The only thing I would have added were Bermuda socks — and his extra large hat from the Grammies.
“I would have also tweaked it to make them a little more tailored and slightly shorter so they come up about one inch above the knee. They look a little big for him in the picture.”
Ms Hanson said she could definitely see this style becoming a new global trend.
“We saw Bermuda shorts rocking the catwalks in 2013. And now that celebrities are starting to wear them, it won't be long until the trend hits the high street,” she said.
Event organiser Belcario Thomas believes the island should be capitalising on the superstar's interest in Bermuda shorts — by flying him to our shores and showing him what else our country has to offer.
“You're telling me that a bona fide fashion icon and hip hop rock star who regularly spurs international hipster trends hasn't been contacted by Bermuda yet?,” Mr Thomas asked.
“Fly him and his whole entourage in, hang out down here for a tour, take them down to St George's for an iconic Art Mel's fish sandwich, swing by a cool little beach bar like the one at Tobacco Bay and showcase them having fun, wearing his tuxedo shorts.
“Then you can link in Andrew Kirkpatrick to edit the Bermuda Happy Video, Karrieem Sherrieff for sick social media viral capabilities, Stratton Hatfield and myself to lead a ‘collaboration of awesomeness', then let the world know Bermuda's spirit is alive and kicking as a luxury, boutique playground of fun for the next generation.”
He said Pharrell's Academy Awards appearance has helped to get the word ‘Bermuda' back into people's consciousness.
It's an “opportunity staring us in the face”, he said.
Meanwhile when it came to Pharrell's fashion, local retail store owner Angel Burgess admitted that she loved the look.
“I would have added a little colour to the tuxedo, but I think he rocked it,” she said.
Bermudian fashion designer Kiara Richardson also “adored it” and predicts it could be a popular trend going forward.
“I love his style whether it be on the red carpet, or just a casual day. He's got it going on,” Ms Richardson said.
“I can see that being a huge hit. I personally love the Bermuda shorts and what people do to jazz them up, and Pharrell making that into a tuxedo is awesome.
“It will definitely be a new trend because 1.) Pharrell is a fashion icon and people adore his style and 2.) It looks so classy but comfortable and who doesn't love comfort?”
Whenever she sees stars sporting Bermuda shorts, the budding designer said it warmed her heart because it puts the island on the map in a positive way.
She said: “The funny thing is I was flicking through Marie Claire Magazine's Spring edition the other day and Bermuda shorts were one of the picks for spring trends. I love seeing things like that, it really makes me smile.
“I was really wowed by Pharrell's look [on Sunday] night — props due to the designer. Awesome job.”
Fashion designer Regina Q Simmons believes that having Bermuda Shorts on the Red Carpet could make for a huge opportunity for local fashion.
“I know that if it is a ‘hit' people are going to be looking to Bermuda to see what else we have to offer in terms of style, and that is where local designers like myself have an opportunity to get unsolicited exposure,” she said. “Our challenge is being ready when the waves of attention hit so that we can maximise the impact to our personal brands. I think there will be an increase in people google-ing ‘Bermuda Shorts' or ‘Bermuda Fashion'.
Pharrell was at the Academy Awards to perform his hit single ‘Happy' from the children's film ‘Despicable Me 2'. The tune had been nominated for Best Original Song — and his performance brought several A-listers to their feet, including Lupita Nyong'o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.
A Bermuda version of the ‘Happy' song by Burnt House Productions has gone viral on the internet with more than 150,000 views as of yesterday.
Pharrell's tuxedo shorts aren't the first time the artist has gained attention for his style choices. He showed up to the Grammy's wearing a Mountie hat, created by acclaimed designer Vivienne Westwood — that later went on to sell at auction for over $44,000.
In 2005, Pharrell was voted ‘Best Dressed Man in the World' by Esquire magazine.