25.1.16

Play On: Lighting x Louis Vuitton

The sun had already set. It must have been around 7pm, but who knows. Regardless of, I could clearly see my brother's reflection and my own on our old bulky 90s tv. In a blink of an eye though, we were immersed in Zanarkand, and we had front row seats in the Blitz Ball game that was going down. I don't remember how or when the hype was created for that moment. All I remember is that my brother and I couldn't wait to play Final Fantasy X (when I say "play", playing for me meant sitting beside my brother and watching him play. All because I wanted to truly grasp every moment of this chocobo filled world.)

Now fast forward to 2010, a flat screen TV and me screaming relentlessly at the motorcycle foe inside the screen that was brutally killing me, thus leaving me to give up on the game altogether. Maybe I should've stayed in the sidelines when it came to RPGs.... But how could I when Final Fantasy XIII was before me and this time I remembered the hype all too well? (and secretly wanted to be playing what was supposed to be Final Fantasy versus XIII and is now Final Fantasy XV. Beggars can't be choosers, I guess.) Yes, it was all fun and games in 1999 when controlling Tidus in his asymmetrical overalls (Versace, I see you), but in the 21st century we had a new heroine who kicked ass in a mini skirt and made pastel pink hair a thing before it was even a thing. Kudos to Square Enix's character designer Tetsuya Nomura who was a true visionary when it came to character details and personal style.

But what happens when two visionaries pair up?

When Nicholas Ghesquière unveiled Louis Vuitton SS'16 collection, we could easily pin point that he pulled inspiration from Japanese anime, manga and gaming― being that the collection was presented as "a journey to the frontiers of the digital era." For example, model Fernada Ly was a mixture between Sailor Moon, hence the iconic diadem, and Mini Moon with her playful pink hair. 

And if that wasn't enough, what truly blew my mind occurred a few weeks ago when Ghesquière announced that Lighting from Final Fantasy XIII was Series4 new modelBut now when I put two and two together (the creeper sandals, leather gloves, Bermuda shorts and jackets alike paired with multiple zippers, straps and belts should've raised some red cards) the geek and fashion lover inside me couldn't be more pleased. Why hadn't anyone thought about this before? It's pure genius!

Interestingly enough, this isn't Louis Vuitton's  first time pushing the boundaries. In 2012, when Marc Jacobs was still visual director of the fashion household, Jacobs modified pieces of the SS'13 collection to fit Vocaloids star: Hatsune Miku in her musical opera THE ENDAlso Final Fantasy characters, including Lighting herself, aren't strangers either when it comes to the fashion and gaming crossover. In 2012, with the direction of the Visual Works Studio in Japan, the magazine Arena Homme+ contained a lengthy spread of Final Fantasy's XIII characters sporting some of Prada's Spring '12 collection, as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Final Fantasy series. 
As you can tell, similar to Arena Homme's editor, I too "have always been interested by the power of videogames and their place in society".  Then what does it mean for society to establish video games characters as fashion icons? Some in the gaming and fashion industry alike reacted by saying it was ridiculous, absurd and even silly. More so, some sites have opened the conversation to the new "beauty standards" that this will propose. 

OK, I get it. You are questioning what body positive message could a fully "photoshopped" model possibly give young women. Wait... That sounds familiar. Shouldn't the question revolve around what the difference between Lighting and a model that has been drastically retouched for an ad is? Our society's beauty standards have never been obtainable, so isn't a video game character a viable medium to present future fashion collections? We already know it's made up. There are no #goals, no #thinspo whatsoever. 
Therefore what Ghesquière  proposes, in a collection where each one of the pieces "expresses a point of view about a muse of a new era",  is a marketing technique that questions our reality and how we identify and differentiate it with the (un)real, the (un)known. 

All by emphasizing  a girl who is sick of the sidelines and wants to play a part while looking the part disregarding whatever life throws at her (even if it is a deadly motorcycle of DOOM). 

And to that I say: play on, Louis Vuitton, play on. 

What are your thoughts of having fictional characters modeling for fashion households? 

Let's discuss! 

Sincerely, Bianca Nieves! xx


*Click each photo to be directed to its original source 

3 comments:

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