Pharrell: A Fish Doesn't Know It's Wet

Image of Pharrell: A Fish Doesn't Know It's Wet
Release Date: 
October 2, 2018
Reviewed by: 

This reviewer had no idea what to expect from Pharrell: A Fish Doesn't Know It's Wet coupled with no idea why Pharrell Williams has anything to say about anything other than his music and his good fortune.  

After just two chapters, what came to mind is: always consider the source; this young man (45) is either wildly talented or just plain lucky aside from musically, which cannot be reasonably or accurately assessed on the fashion talent side, which evades analysis no matter how deep into the book one reads.

Unquestionably in today’s world of fashion, clothes/fashion are capable of selling merely by being linked to or endorsed by any given celebrity but that only equates to the financially successful side of fashion and not to the creative or design facets of the craft. The conundrum then becomes how or why do you intelligently categorize or evaluate the success of a brand or product via endorsement hype.

Personally, any book that comes off as preachy and self-righteous is offensive to this reviewer; the need to have others of so-called renown or success bolster your feelings of self-worth and history becomes more of a love letter to oneself than an exploration and appreciation of one’s talent, fortuitous associations, and collaborations rather than an inspirational monograph for your generation.

The book is beautifully filled with great photographic images of Pharrell and his successes, which to some might come off as a lot of chest beating and back slapping, yet for others might be perceived as highlighting what this guy has been able to do with his life. The editors of the book might have taken into account that the text is rather difficult to decipher given the page and ink colors, which prove difficult to read; one could say  that Pharrell: A Fish Doesn't Know It's Wet is not for “old eyes.”

The fairest evaluation of Pharrell: A Fish Doesn't Know It's Wet is that if you are a fan of Pharrell, then this book is for you; if you are curious about Pharrell’s life and fashion contributions then have at it; and lastly, if you are in need of knowing everything there is to know about fashion and its link to music then once again, this is a must read.

This reviewer was unusually nonplussed and rather confused as to the need or value of such a monograph, but then again, maybe it’s a generational disconnect.