Ever since Demna Gvasalia grabbed hold of the creative reigns in 2015, Balenciaga has helped reshape how the masses consume high-fashion musings. Let’s not forget, it was Gvaslia who orchestrated the house’s park-centric spring showcase, sending real-life families down the catwalk in the label’s seasonal wares. The Georgian-bred artist unveiled a new form of sartorial storytelling, choosing to unwrap Balenciaga’s Fall 2021 Collection in a video game setting, titled Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.
Characters are tasked with moving through zoned areas that resemble different rooms of a labyrinthine-style shop. The experience kicks off in a similar manner to how a combat fighting game would, by allowing players to first choose a “fighter” to navigate the game with. As can be expected, players will interact with others also sporting signature Balenciaga gear, with educational markers used to detail product info also surfacing here and there. The garments themselves encapsulate Gvasalia’s defiant sensibilities, which tends to show face via boxy silhouettes, exaggerated shapes and excessive layering options. With that said, structured puffers, bedraggled denims, quirky accessories and metallic body armor creatively juxtapose against each other, which when examined from afar, combine to create a truly unique design style narrative. Other points of interest include the spattering of NASA emblems and PlayStation 5 logos found informing a selection of items, doing well to extend the campaign’s gameplay thematics.
According to the press release unveiling the game, Balenciaga had this to say on the presentation, “The narrative of Afterworld is anchored to mythological pasts and projected futures with timeless archetypes and speculative imagery. The world may appear decaying at first, but it is far from a dystopian view, showing instead the slow return to a healthier balance of nature and industry.”