If you thought that Pharrell wearing a Native American feathered headdress on the cover of Elle UK‘s July 2014 issue was the thing to make your jaw drop (I will resist the urge to make any puns about not being “happy” with it because that’s not funny), what’s inside is even more surprising. And here’s a hint about the bombshell: it’s not the fact that a dude landed on the cover of a woman’s mag–Elle UK has been doing a series of male covers and I have the shirtless David Beckham one to prove it.
If you can tear your eyes away from the photo, and attempt to wrap your head around the fact that they really did put Pharrell in a feathered headdress (accessorized with a pearl necklace) and all of the cultural appropriation that goes along with it, to read the article, you’ll be in for another massive shocker–though thankfully this one probably won’t be called culturally insensitive.
Pharrell reveals that his Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hat, aka that infamous Mountie hat, was not birthed at the Grammy’s:
“I remembered [Malcolm McLaren's] Buffalo Gals video, where he wears the hat. I actually wore it for five years before I was ever photographed in it, it’s just that no-one was paying attention to me at the time.”
What? Are these words he speaks, the truth? That hat and the Grammy’s were a match made in media heaven. I’m not trying to sidestep the whole controversial cultural appropriation thing (but if I think about it too much, I will start to think back to Coachella with feather headdresses and wearing bindis and the whole it’s-called-fashion-not-culturally-insensitive thing, argh). It just seems unbelievable that someone wouldn’t save that hat for a red carpet and risk being photographed out and it ending up in the “Stars Out On The Street” section of a tabloid. (The hat deserves so much better) Plus, I find it hard to believe that the hat was not taken from the Vivienne Westwood archive by a very clever stylist who wanted to ensure that Pharrell would be the talk of the Grammy’s whether he won any awards or not. Take that Lorde.
And if you’re curious, Pharrell did return to his ol’ faithful Mountie hat.
There’s our old friend, paired with a lace jacket that I really want it. This photo and the new Mountie hat revelation, almost make me forget about the feathered headdress. Almost. Not quite.