The saga of how fashion week will survive following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has seemingly become an endless creative battle on maintaining the allure and stature of runway without sacrificing any of the fantasy. Demna Gvasalia has taken this time of uncertainty and his inclination for out-of-the-box shows to new heights for his Fall 2021 collection. Titled “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow,” the house’s latest collection is imagined in video game format allowing an accessible immersive runway experience for everyone, fashion editors and those at home in PJs alike. The project, which took over a hundred people to pull off, was teamed up with Unreal Engine of Epic Games in rendering the models, clothes, movements, and surroundings to create a ‘phygital’ world. In terms of the clothes, the collection incorporates nods to video gaming culture in the form of the coveted PS5 gaming system logo and branding that resembles Alienware computer hardware commonly used in gaming.
Players who “transcend the Afterworld” are able to win a “real-life breathing exercise set in a virtual utopia. In the end, the hero has finally become a ‘Master of Two Worlds,’” says the house. In today’s world, Balenciaga’s video game runway experience is exactly as genius as it seems. With most around the world locked up in their homes until further notice, living out life in a virtual realm outside from one’s own seems like the perfect method of escapism (especially if you’re offering up a virtual closet of free Balenciaga). “Today’s customer does gaming. It’s an important luxury customer base. They project so much onto their character. It’s a parallel world” says Gvasalia”
Balenciaga’s Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow is now available to play online.END
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