The fashion legend that influenced your favorite games, Manga

IN Final Fantasy XVyou push protagonist Noctis with a boy band through the town of Altissia just to get a look at Vivienne Westwood bridal couture dress, in which the heroine Lady Lunafreya was supposed to get married. As the rain falls, Noctis, Prompto, and Ignis stare at the window of a Westwood store with their hands on the sides of their black jeans.

“They all look so happy,” Prompto says. “And it’s all because of this one dress.”

British designer Vivienne Westwood, who died at the age of 81 on December 29 last year, was “mother of punk”, trying climate activistand unrepentant teasing. Her inclusion in Final Fantasy XVis to some extent notorious product placement was a welcome easter egg for me – her bridal fashion played a similar role in Sex and the city movie— and the game’s art director Yusuke Naora remembers the collaboration on the dress as “good memories,” translation his recent tweet he says.

Like me, some geeks—non-traditional fans of what’s been in the past 15 years Big Bang Theory he decided geek culture like video games, manga, computers, etc.—can better identify Westwood by the softness of her 18th-century-inspired clothes. Every time we see it in games, manga, or anime, it’s a beacon of counterculture fashion, something that will hopefully push us towards the salvation of gaming.

“I think I’m the only one who’s original,” Westwood He said The New York Times 1999 “I don’t see anyone doing anything that doesn’t come from me.”

Feeling unique in a traditionally male-dominated space, geeks naturally want a taste of that originality. Salon written in 2007 to generalize gamers as (I would add men) “teenagers with an unhealthy fascination with murder and mayhem”. That was at its peak in the 2000s “nerd chic”— when it’s heavy black-rimmed glasses, messy hair and graphic tees with Master Chief showed the tailor’s intention on them. Remember when Seth Cohen was obsessed with comics inspired guys by being a stealth dreamboat on OC?

Girls never had a geek renaissance, but now we can dress in Westwood. We note her V-shaped corsets, like the ones she made in 1990, with muted prints of rococo paintings by François Boucher across the chest. In 2021, it seemed like every counterculture girl was wearing Westwood necklaces, three strands of pearls they were joined by the glittering, majestic Saturn—Westwood’s orb logo. Today, women often use Westwood for construction inspired by video games outfits or storing your Westwood accessories in between their anime collection.

“I think what makes Westwood’s style so adaptable to video games and anime is that it has bold colors, layers, movement and adaptability,” the fashion historian and fantasy author Natania Barron he told me via email. “It also seems to be lived in. So as customization becomes more and more possible in video games, you can create similar styles that give the right sense of place and tone in a few broad strokes.”

Westwood’s fall 1994 ready-to-wear collection featured colorful designs Hunter x hunter-type of headgear: clown caps s orange pom-poms on top like a lethargic fish tail. Her clothes can also be wickedly funny, steam-pressed commedia dell’arte for women who still want to breathe deeply and be infallible. In the same collection, Westwood showed white fur peeled away to reveal a model wearing only a pearl necklace, leggings and white fur diaper below, like bizarre One Punch Man criminal. Her clothes don’t mold easily the stereotypical nerd created for women in his space— breasts bigger than her head, ideally covered in a ready-to-shoot bikini.

But that’s what might make them so appealing. Westwood’s clothing was passed down block by block to Animal Crossingand “I think you see A lots of Westwood in Borderlands games, for sure,” Barron said. “That mix of old and new, and Westwood’s love of using historical costumes with new materials just feels like a completely natural fit.”

More broadly, you can find Westwood’s geek culture in the Grimes galaxy music videos, Skyrim reminding photographyand most of the recognizable fashion in Ai Yazawa’s 2000 manga series and anime. Mint. So much so that die-hard fans of the series (myself included) have equated buying Westwood with shopping Mint goods.”

When games and anime embrace Westwood’s sassy women’s clothing, members of the femme community get an aesthetic they can finally identify with. Our capabilities suddenly grow from any a The last of us jeans and a t-shirt or Bayonetta tie equipment to something more individual. Artistic. And like Westwood, which is famous put on the Sex Pistols, could be mean in interviewsand shaved her head at the age of 72 to protest climate change, geeks could be considered punks. At least I think we have reason to.

Geek chic prevailed for a few years before geeks tried to crack down on the changing, evolving identity of fans with GamerGate, “allegedly […] reclamation of the term ‘gamer’, but mostly “embroiled in conspiracy theories” and harassment of women in the industry, wrote Stephen Totilo for Kotaku in 2014.

Almost a decade later, some things have changed. 48% players identifying women in the US and the rise inclusive game spaces they certainly indicate that “player” is a more malleable term, but sexism is a stubborn goat. Being a woman in gaming can sometimes feel like you happen to be a politician. Westwood’s spoofing of courtly, old Britain – the bodices, the pearls, Saturn’s ring hanging placidly among the stones around our necks – is a perfect fit. Although she is gone, her timeless influence on gaming and geek culture in general cannot be denied.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *