In lieu of an in-person runway show, Demna Gvasalia presented his Fall 2021 collection for Balenciaga using a social distance-friendly activity that has gotten a big boost thanks to ongoing lockdowns: video games.
Titled Afterworld: the Age of Tomorrow, the fashion-meets-Fortnite spectacle puts the player in an allegorical adventure set in 2031. The gamified future requires people to complete tasks to advance through distinct zones. Upon winning — which is the guaranteed outcome — the reward is a real-life breathing exercise set in a virtual utopia.
The collection suggests that to get to paradisal bliss, we’ll need to be armored with medieval boots and sharp-edged pumps. Along with protective footwear, Gvasalia offered heavy parkas bedecked with NASA patches, puffers re-envisioned with asymmetrical construction and T-Shirts printed with game-convention logos. There are alien-shaped sunglasses to go with the retro space gear, as well as seriously ripped jeans and silver sequined pieces that resemble dragon skin.
A continuation from last season, Gvasalia gave old materials new life by shredding leftover fabrics and embroidering them on down jackets to give them a fluffy, fur-like appearance.
See every look from Balenciaga’s Fall 2021 collection in the gallery, below.