Let’s create some mashup words. Fashionista + Gamer = Gashonista? Fashmer? Gameonista? I kinda like the last one.
Several notable game series are releasing fashion lines and to be honest, gaming fashion can be done correctly if it continues to follow this trend. Now, while I respect the work and dedication that many Cosplayers give to their craft, in the end, it is more about accurately portraying the look and persona of a character, than fashioning an outfit based on that. What I’m talking about, is the transcendence of gaming to inspire fashion that can be brought, tastefully, to daily life.
Now, it’s one thing to create a graphics tee that has gaming inspired art, phrases and/or characters inked on to it in the ways that webcomic Penny-Arcade, online store Split Reason or even gaming inspired fashion line Joystick Junkies. They are fine pieces in their own right, but it’s hardly a product line that markets itself in another form. Sure, developers have their own stores, but you may as well be a living representation of your Xbox Live avatar touting a Capcom or Sega logo across your chest.
What I’m talking about is a game that develops a fashion line, not only using the brand as a selling point, but creating a line that you can definitively say, this is fashion, not a costume.
Two prominent franchises have announced that they will be selling new fashion lines inspired by their games: Gran Turismo and Metal Gear Solid.
Gran Turismo has a small line of three jackets and two shirts that are very subdued and save for a single Gran Turismo logo on each piece, would be a typical piece you would see everyday. The shirts in particular are reasonably priced shirts that have nice accentuating details and don’t blatantly advertise the game.
The Metal Gear Solid line is inspired by outfits from the most recent Peace Walker game. The line is, as expected, inspired by military styles, especially those of the Cold War era, during which the game takes place. One piece is fairly costume-y as it is drawn directly from one of the character’s outfits, but taken away from the game it is a military inspired shirt with angled pockets.
So here we have two opposite ends of the spectrum. The Metal Gear line is obviously inspired by fashion of the era and the military, resulting in a more costume-like aesthetic. On the other hand, short of making a track jumpsuit, the Gran Turismo line is inspired by the series’ knack for precision and exemplifies itself in clean lines and simple style.
With all the outrageous styles to appear in video games throughout the years, it’s curious to think about whether real world trends inspire character designers or whether characters inspire their fans. RPGs like Final Fantasy are the greatest form of blurring the line. Typically, outfits are seen as out of this world and something that would be insane as a daily wearer. Sure the bomber jacket of Squall and the new age kimono of Yuna are deeply rooted in established pieces of fashion, but how about when the game inspires fashion? (warning some content NSFW)
There are certainly a lot of interesting pieces to be discovered out there that have their gaming roots, literally, worn on the shoulder. Be it a Kingdom Hearts inspired hoodie, No More Heroes inspired lingerie, or the many commissioned designer pieces for film the video game inspired Tron: Legacy, gaming fashion is a diverse world that is filled with creativity with just a touch of fan service.