Balenciaga's creative director Demna Gvasalia is to unveil his Fall 2021 collection via a futuristic video game.
The unusual format is the latest alternative to the runway for the Georgian designer during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and a statement from the Spanish fashion house said the main collection will feature solely in Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.
The video game, which has been billed as the "largest volumetric video project ever undertaken", is an "allegorical adventure" set in the year 2031 and will feature a variety of environments and characters created by photogrammetry and state-of-the-art computer technology.
“A hero avatar advances throughout distinct zones, motivated by tasks and interactions,” a statement from Balenciaga read. “The narrative of ‘Afterworld’ is anchored to mythological pasts and projected futures with timeless archetypes and speculative imagery.”
The 'heroes' in the video game are based on studies by the late American academic Joseph Campbell, and the collection was inspired by Gvasalia imagining what fashion would be like in the future.
“A theme of Balenciaga fall 2021 is human destiny, as seen by an interactive, gamified journey,” the statement continued. “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.”
The video game comes after Gvasalia was praised for his show-stopping presentation during Paris Fashion Week in March, in which he flooded the runway as he showcased his autumn/winter 2020 collection to highlight the effects of climate change.