Animal Crossing New Horizons: Fashion Week
The real world fashion calendar has been stripped bare this year, with none of the awards shows, galas, or runways that usually serve up the freshest – and often weirdest – couture looks. Yet once again, the unrivalled creativity of Animal Crossing New Horizons players has stepped up to the challenge, crafting beautiful digital designs that wouldn't look out of place on the catwalks of Milan.
This week, we're looking at Animal Crossing's answer to Fashion Week – the designs that are strange, boundary pushing, unique – as well as a few stunning re-creations of real-world looks that are a must for every islander's wardrobes.
This incredible creation is based on Zendaya's iconic Joan of Arc-inspired look from the 2018 Met Gala, a Versace number in real life. Designer Ben has put a phenomenal amount of effort into capturing every detail of the breathtaking garment, from contrasting pixels to evoke the chain-mail look of the outfit, to the banded sleeves below the exposed shoulders which match the armour-like pauldrons.
This design is a marvel front and back though, with the exposed back, slit skirt, and pendant detailing perfectly positioned, while clever shading gives this look a tighter fit than the in-game template normally allows for. A simply masterful piece.
02. Alice Royal Suit
Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, designer Amber has created a dress here that would turn heads on any red carpet. The ruffled sleeves and the intricate detailing bring a sense of baroque aristocratic fashion to this dress, while the layered spades on front – notice it's a black spade inside a larger white one – captures the card suit motif of the fictional Red Queen. Overall, the darker reds and yellows add a touch of danger to this design, but perhaps the best hidden detail is the skull-bow at the back of the dress – quite literally, off with their heads!
03. Christian Lacroix
Named for the famed couturier, this top from creator Xan is a beautiful homage to Lacroix's still-stunning 1988 fall design. Trying to capture the multifaceted real world look could easily result in a muddy blur of colours, but the work here is astonishingly specific, with close to every gemstone and pearl accurately positioned. Look close, and you'll even notice that the larger gems have multiple layers of shading to them, giving an appearance of glistening. A magnificent look that pushes the Animal Crossing design tool to the limits, and shows what's really possible with it.
04. Rebel Coat
A striking monochrome look that could just as easily fit on the catwalk as it could our look at gothic fashions in Animal Crossing New Horizons, this incredible piece is a real delight. There's a surfeit of detail, bringing out the belts, buckles, chains, and rivets that bring this piece to life, and while it's undeniably busy, it avoids feeling crowded. Lesser designers might have thrown some colour in, but creator Nipah here keeps things stark, which works in the outfit's favour. Best of all? Check out the frilly, layered lapel and collar, a subtle contrast with the goth influences elsewhere.
05. Lana Gucci Met Gala
Something about the 2018 Met Gala seems to have really struck a chord with Animal Crossing Islanders – maybe no surprise when you have breathtaking works like the work of art Lana Del Rey wore to take inspiration from. While this look – another from the talented Xan – lacks the seraphim-styled headpiece Del Rey wore, the gown itself is spot on. It's an ethereal look, the floor-length white dress covered in luxurious golden detailing and a near-tapestry of vines at the hem. It's the sacred heart, complete with seven daggers stabbing in, that draws the attention though, and although it's not 3D like the real dress, it's no less impressive here.
06. Abandoned Android
This dystopian yet undeniably futuristic approach to fashion is a brilliantly inventive one from designer Mia. The shredded dress still presents as runway ready, with intricate detail and shading creating a sense of layers and texture, while the exposed circuitry makes a real statement – man's endless commodification of the world around us? That we're becoming mere machines in a capitalist system? That we're sacrificing our humanity to the devices we can't separate ourselves from? Or maybe simply that the robotic elements here are incredibly cool? Whatever it is, this is the sort of look we can imagine Lady Gaga or Janelle Monae wearing if it were real.
07. Circus Ringmaster
This bright and colourful look from designer Caitlin is definitely not your everyday outfit to do the grocery shopping in – this is high fashion with a retro, almost vaudevillian flair. The candy-striping of red and white, plus the gentle use of blue accents, makes this seem a lighter, freer outfit from the front, while the tent-shape draping of the skirt sells the circus look. Pay closer attention though, and the extreme pointed tails at the rear of the waistcoat and the oversized black bowtie give it an air of authority, perfect to command the attention of audiences everywhere.
08. White Suit Dress
This spectacular outfit not only defies gender norms by combining a conventionally feminine ball gown silhouette with a more masculine suit upper, but it seems to defy category – the colour scheme screams "wedding" but this wouldn't look out of place at the finest fashion shows. It's a perfect design for a game like Animal Crossing New Horizons, where there are no gender restrictions on clothing, but also stands out for its precise lines, elegant pleating detail, and the restricted use of colour, with only the flower on the lapel breaking the cream aesthetic. Another exceptional piece from creator Mia.
09. Prada Frank Met Suit
Another Met Gala look, but this time from the 2019 affair. The theme for last year's real-world event was 'camp', which meant the almost formal black-and-white Prada look worn by Frank Ocean attracted some scorn at the time. Designer Aryjawn recognises the truth though – in a year where Jared Leto carried his own head around and Bette Midler wore a swarm of butterflies, a sleek hoodie-meets-suit is transgressive and bold. The elegant look is smartly recreated here, with zippers, pockets, and a flash of silver for the logo all perfectly positioned. It's not the busiest look, but you know what they say – less is more.
Admittedly, creator Brandon could have given this a more distinctive name, but the look itself is plenty distinctive. The searing nuclear green palette might not be your typical go-to for a catwalk look, but that's part of the rebellious vibe this gown gives off. It's beyond punk – taking a classic ball gown shape with its wide open-shoulders, but adding a deep neck plunge and adding in an almost skeletal design around it. The "butterflies" that are dangerously close to radiation warning icons are a great touch, too. Radioactive skeleton realness, anyone?
Next page: Ball Eleganza...