Fashion Week will look very different in 2020. Brands can’t meet in person for fashion shows and are taking new approaches to showcasing their designs. Chanel debuted its collection at a fashion show that had one guest – Kristen Stewart. Gucci hosted an event called GucciFest, a seven-day film festival that takes place online. And Balenciaga? It held a fashion show-like experience in a video game, Afterworld: the age of tomorrow.
The game will take place in various locations in the near future in 2031: a Balenciaga store, a post-apocalyptic town, and a forest rave. Models travel all over the world – some dancing, others looking at their phones – wearing different pieces of the Balenciaga Fall 2021 Collection
Video games and fashion have become increasingly intertwined over the past few years, whether that’s over now Video game skins and armor or corporate collaborations in luxury goods. And now here’s another one. I caught up with Emilia Petrarca, the fashion writer for The Cut, through Slack to talk about the game with someone who really knows the fashion world.
Here is an excerpt But you can read the full chat over at The Cut.
Emilia Petrarca: This is so interesting and also fits in with Demna’s previous shows – where you feel kind of uncomfortable and not sure if it’s heaven or hell or both or a joke or dead serious. I definitely felt rushed, which is also a very “fashion week” – I run around cities trying to see as many clothes as possible and never REALLY interact with them.
Nicole Carpenter: Huh! I love to hear how this fits in with the designer’s story. I felt absolutely uncomfortable with it. The first level, specifically in this creepy Balenciaga store – a place that isn’t inherently scary but feels creepy because of the way it is presented. Horror video games have been doing this a lot for at least the last decade.
Emilia: This is so funny, I went to the store and thought: Oh yes, the Balenciaga store. They look kind of scary in real life …
Nicole: He has!
Emilia: Regarding Easter eggs, I thought that all of the fake ads around town in Zone 2 for the “rejuvenation project” that “bring life back to earth” are funny / sad at the same time. I tried to read the graffiti in zone 3 more closely. All I could really make out was “EDF,” which probably stands for Environmental Defense Fund. And then I saw posters for a “T-Party” that could mean something, but also nothing.
Nicole: The artificial bees really got me. I saw this huge billboard in-game and got as close as possible to read the text. I imagined that it would be about saving the bee population but laughed when I read that it was indeed via cybernetic bees that work in conjunction with real bees for pollination. It feels really absurd, but also a useful and sad way to mitigate the devastating effects of a declining bee population, at least in this imaginary world of the near future.