For this year’s Elle Gala in Stockholm, Swedish artists Yaeger and BELL brought their A-game when pulling up to the red carpet — in more ways than one. The artists were wearing outfits inspired by the AAA games Redfall and Starfield from game publisher Bethesda Softworks. With Han Kjøbenhavn’s Diablo IV collection at Milan Fashion Week fresh in mind, it’s clear that gaming-inspired fashion looks are reaching far broader audiences than cosplay forums online.
This initiative was birthed by Bethesda and Xbox who reached out to Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm to challenge its students to create one-off outfits for the Elle Gala, with the only design brief that the looks had to be inspired by the Redfall and Starfield games. A joint jury from the gaming companies then chose two winners; Ingrid Norberg for Redfall and Linn Hermander for Starfield.
Please walk us through the design process. Did you play the game to get inspiration, or were you shown different mood boards or renderings?
Linn Hermander: — I sadly couldn’t play the game [release date is September 6 2023]. We were told to have fun with it and it was clear that it was meant to be fashion and not cosplay. We got some information about the games and then of course I watched the trailers a lot.
— Then it was time to just get creative! I used a lot of inspiration from the 60s space fashion era and the NASA Punk style. I have always loved 60s fashion, and I thought all of the above would go great with the inspiration I picked up from the game itself.
Ingrid Norberg: — They sent over a few pictures, and I really fell in love with the Redfall aesthetic, a twilight apocalyptic world that still combines pop culture. So I made a mood board and took my main inspiration from the character Layla Ellison that has a hip-hop-like style with touches of utility and military.
— In my imagination, I was making an outfit for a teenager or young adult that would have to adapt to her world being turned upside down during an apocalypse. So the cargo skirt she’s wearing can be made make long or short, depending on what she wants from a style point, but also to stay adaptable. It also matches my ambition to always design with upcycled garments.
What is your personal experience with gaming? How is it part of your life today, or how has it been growing up?
Linn Hermander: — I used to play a lot growing up, my sister and I played a lot of Minecraft and The Sims in our free time. Gaming kind of got away from me when I started my education but I have really picked it up since this project started. Now my boyfriend and I play something almost every night on our Xbox.
Ingrid Norberg: — I haven’t played a lot of video games since my teens unfortunately, but I’m so excited to get into it again. Growing up I would play a lot of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, and I was really into cosplay and anime culture back then. I actually remember designing a cosplay costume for my favourite character Lightning [a Final Fantasy character], so this isn’t my first time making a gaming outfit!
On that note, can you recall any favourite well-dressed video game characters or avatars Linn?
Linn Hermander: — Since I loved The Sims growing up, and creating and styling my avatars’ outfits from scratch was definitely a favourite. I also really enjoy when the fashion really fits the game, and it really improves the world so much, like in Zelda, Hogwarts Legacy and Starfield (of course).