Balenciaga to unveil its fall 2021 collection via video game
The house of Balenciaga plans to stage its next runway show a long way from any catwalk. Instead of a runway, creative director Demna Gvasalia has opted for a video game.
Sunday, at 2 p.m. on Dec. 6, to be precise, Balenciaga will present its fall 2021 collection on Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, which the house describes in a release as “an innovative, record-breaking video game designed especially for this season.”
“The game and the collection imagine a near future by creating an allegorical adventure set in 2031,” explained Balenciaga.
The decision marks the latest radical departure from the classical show format which has dominated fashion for the past century, as brands strive to develop new visual configurations in the midst of the Covid pandemic, which has led to the cancellation of the vast majority of actual live catwalk events all over the planet in 2020. Balenciaga itself skipped the most recent Paris Fashion Week that ran from late September to early October this year.
High-tech futurism has long been a theme in shows by Gvasalia, the Georgian designer who has made Balenciaga one of the hottest brands in fashion. In September 2018, the Georgian-born designer built a digital vortex; a giant rectangular tube made of 2,000 square-meters of LED screens inside which his cast of models marched in his Neo Tailoring Spring 2019 collection.
But where that show was staged for 400 guests, the designer’s latest step is a highly democratic, as Afterworld is accessible and shareable from any device, by using the most advanced technology available for game hosting.
“It sets a record for the largest volumetric video project ever undertaken,” insisted the house in its statement.
The game’s environments and characters use cutting edge photogrammetry to create an in-depth look at the new collection and the projected future in which it is intended to be worn. A theme of Balenciaga Fall '21 is human destiny, as seen by an interactive, gamified journey, where a hero avatar advances throughout distinct zones, Balenciaga explained.
“The narrative of Afterworld is anchored to mythological pasts and projected futures with timeless archetypes and speculative imagery. The world may appear to be decaying at first, but it is far from a dystopian view, showing instead the slow return to a healthier balance of nature and industry,” added Balenciaga.
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