In a move that’s acknowledged that fashion fans and gamers might have a few more dimensions than they’re generally given credit for and might, goodness me, actually overlap, Louis Vuitton has collaborated with game publisher Square Enix to make Final Fantasy character Lightning the face of their Spring 2016 collection “Series 4”.
The ads for the Series 4 collection were created by Louis Vuitton in collaboration with publisher Square Enix and the main character designer of Final Fantasy XIII, Tetsuya Nomura. Our first peek of the campaign has come from Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière who has posted shots from the upcoming Series 4 campaign on his Instagram account.
There’s even a video of Lightning wielding some pieces from the line like weaponry in an attempt to be a fashion heroine. “Our bags are so high quality you can hit Noel Kreiss around the head a hundred times without a scuff to the leather.”
This isn’t exactly an industry first, since back in 2012 Prada enlisted the help of Square Enix and the Final Fantasy characters to model their 2012 Spring collection in a CGI photoshoot. But things have moved on a little since then in terms of visuals, and there’s a serious sense of the uncanny valley about this campaign.
Fashion and videogames aren’t exactly distinct worlds, particularly when it comes to Nomura’s character designs; clothing in videogames isn’t just there to add to a character’s overall stats and act as armour, sometimes it reveals a lot more, highlighting aspects of a characters personality or personal history – clothing is a big part of effective world building and character design.
There is something ever so slightly ‘off’ about this, though. Whilst it’s interesting to see pop culture and fashion meet like this and it brings a new side to what we consider virtual reality, I can’t help but have some reservations. We’re finally getting to the point where attempts are being made in the fashion industry to recruit models who are healthy and won’t promote unrealistic body images, and the practice of photoshopping unachievable proportions onto real women is being scrutinised. When your model is a purely digital creation, do the same rules still apply? Is it a means to circumvent the healthy body image rules that are finally slowly falling into place? In an industry that is sometimes incredibly divorced from the reality of how the majority of people actually look, is using a woman who is literally not real a bit of a backwards step?
Since there are so few instances of this it’s hard to tell, so for now I’ll take this campaign for what it is; a fun meeting of fashion and gaming that shows that the fashion industry is willing to look outside of itself for inspiration and showcases just how far games have come visually. But also really freaks me out.
How long before Lightning has a Louis Vuitton DLC pack? We don’t even want to consider the Cosplay costs if designer label-clad characters become the norm.
Main Image via Flickr © Community Mag