No One (Ever) Expected Fashion Photography to Look Like This

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Animal Crossing Fashion Archives
Photo: Courtesy of @animalcrossingfashionarchive

Who would’ve thought that the fashion community would one day seek comfort within the animated realm of a video game? There’s no doubt that the pandemic has left most of the fashion industry without work for the foreseeable future and, with an entire community under lockdown, it was only a matter of time before new creative-output channels were born. Enter: Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Released on March 20, 2020 – when many parts of the world were firmly in lockdown – New Horizons is the first title in the Animal Crossing series, a popular Nintendo Switch game. With typical social interactions on hold, this game – with no real goals nor time constraints – offers a virtual substitute for almost everything you once did in the real world. However, it’s the high level of customization for the game’s avatars that has creative heads obsessing. The ProDesign feature that translates real-world clothing and accessories into customized looks has spurned a community of fashion gamers to experiment.

 

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Fashion enthusiasts unable to get their hands on the latest styles due to movement restrictions have turned to recreating designer clothing digitally. The vibrant virtual world within the game was soon flooded with the avatars of gamers dressed in everything from streetwear brands like Supreme and Comme des Garçons to luxury labels such as Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton. Several accounts showing off the recreated designer clothing popped up on Instagram, with Manila-based photographer Kara Chung’s Animal Crossing Fashion Archive securing the highest number of followers – over 24,000 and counting.

What started as a way to pass time soon turned into shooting virtual editorials for the likes of HypebeastHighsnobiety, and i-D, creating virtual showrooms for designer labels. Chung prepared what looks like an in-game studio, complete with items that look like studio lights and a studio floor. Working with the avatars of people she recruited, she directed them in the same way she would while working on an editorial shoot IRL – and the results are worth a closer look.

 

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Phoebe Philo fan club 💙 @ohmynessa + @oldceline

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finally reached the point in the game where I can post item codes, thanx to everyone who requested @nepenthes_newyork 👉🏻

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@jazz.d.robinson + @helmstedt_

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