Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2021 collection explored the prospect of fashion in 2030—a sustainable, rather than a Stanley Kubrick space-age place—and now the brand is launching us into the year 2031 for autumn/winter 2021. The format for Demna Gvasalia’s futuristic collection showcase will be a video game, which will see the consumer as an avatar embarking on an “allegorical adventure”.
Entitled “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow”, the game will drop on 6 December and set a record “for the largest volumetric video project ever undertaken,” according to the house. While viewing Gvasalia’s shape-shifting, streetwear collection, inspired by human destiny, players will experience Balenciaga’s virtual world as it moves from decay towards a healthier balance between nature and industry.
Redressing the balance between fashion and nature has been on Gvasalia’s mind for some seasons now (remember the apocalyptic autumn/winter 2020 show?) Over 90 per cent of the plain materials in the Balenciaga spring/summer 2021 collection are either certified sustainable or upcycled, and 100 per cent of the print bases have sustainable certifications. “There are solutions if you look for them. There’s a need to revise things. To start a new chapter,” the brand has said of its progressive green outlook.
Balenciaga’s utopian video game also neatly taps into our lockdown lives in a way that last season’s music-video format did. Gvasalia took a number of home essentials—from slippers and bathrobes to pyjamas—and re-contextualised them for the fashion fan stuck at home. Just as the backing song, a fun remake of Corey Hart’s ’80s banger “Sunglasses At Night”, became the ear worm of autumn, “Afterworld” is certain to make noise come December.
This article was originally published on British Vogue