Fashion Week looks very different in 2020. Unable to meet in person at fashion shows, brands are taking new approaches to showcasing their designs. Chanel launched her collection for the first time in one guest fashion show – Kristen Stewart. Gucci held an event called GucciFest, which is a seven-day film festival held online. Balenciaga? She set up a fashion show in a video game, The Other World: Tomorrow’s Age.
The game takes place in the year 2031, in various locations around the world of the near future: Balenciaga shop, post-apocalyptic city, and raving in the jungle. Exhibitors around the world – some dancing, others looking at their phones – are putting on various pieces from Balenciaga Fall 2021 collection.
Video games and fashion have become increasingly intertwined over the past few years, be it through video game skins and armor or the company’s collaboration on luxury goods. Now, that’s another thing. Slack got together with Emilia Petrarca, fashion news writer for The Cut, to talk about the game with someone who really knows the fashion world.
Here’s an excerpt, but you can read the full chat at The Cut.
Emilia Petrarca: This is very interesting, and it also goes with past Demna shows in person – you feel uncomfortable, and I’m not sure if it’s Heaven or Hell, or both, a joke or dead serious. I definitely felt the rush, and it’s also Fashion Week – running around cities trying to see as many outfits as possible, and never interacting with them.
Nicole Carpenter: Huh! I’d love to hear how this matches the designer’s history. I felt uncomfortable about it. The first level, specifically, is at Balenciaga Spooky Shop – a place that is not inherently scary but feels spooky because of how it is presented. Horror video games, at least in the past decade, have done this kind of thing a lot.
Emilia: This is so funny, I walked into the store and thought, Oh yeah, Balenciaga store. They look scary in real life …
Nicole: He has!
Emilia: Regarding the Easter eggs, I thought all of the fake ads all over town in Zone 2 for “Restoration Project” “Bringing back to Earth” were funny / sad at the same time. I tried reading graffiti closely in Zone 3. All I could really do was “EDF”, which supposedly stands for the Environmental Defense Fund. Then I saw stickers for “T-Party,” which can mean something but also nothing.
Nicole: Artificial bees have really got me. I saw that huge board inside the game and got close to it to read the script. I imagined it was about saving bees, but I laughed when I read that Actually About how cyber bees work alongside real bees for pollination. It’s a really silly feeling, but it’s also a helpful and sad way to mitigate the devastating effects of declining bees, at least in this fictional world of the near future.
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