- Bethesda Softworks partnered with fashion outlet ELLE to showcase two one-of-a-kind outfits inspired by Redfall and Starfield
- Design students Ingrid Norberg and Linn Hermander created the designs, which were shown at the 2023 ELLE Gala in Sweden
- We interviewed both designers about their designs and their thoughts on fashion in gaming
Gaming style has existed for decades – from Master Chief’s signature Mark IV helmet to the swashbuckling styles in Sea of Thieves. Over time, more modern, open-ended forms of aesthetic expression have made their way into games, through the way of custom character creators or collectible skins. What we put on our virtual bodies is now just as important as what we drape over ourselves, if not more so.
Games can also inspire real-world outfits, and that has been deftly showcased at this year’s ELLE Gala, which took place in Stockholm. As part of the show in collaboration with Bethesda, two unique outfits inspired by upcoming titles were shown on the red carpet. Both outfits were created especially for this event, and are one of a kind designs not available anywhere else.
Designers Ingrid Norberg and Linn Hermander had the opportunity to create the looks, inspired by Redfall and Starfield respectively. Norberg penned an edgy but sleek outfit inspired by the post-apocalyptic world of Redfall, while Hermander opted for a stylish, retro space aesthetic akin to the interstellar vibes shown in Starfield.
We were lucky enough to be shown the original concept sketches for the two designs, and we were able to ask the designers about their inspirations, their work processes, and what they loved most about this fabulous collaboration between ELLE and Xbox.
Lady In Red(fall)
For the Redfall design, designer Ingrid Norberg took a less traditional approach, opting for a grungier style while keeping to the classic red carpet GALA look.
“I got hooked on the slightly hip-hop street style hit by an apocalypse,” Norberg says. “The colors are clear and at the same time soiled in their shades, which creates a lovely feeling of constant twilight.”
As shown, the outfit consists of a slouched hoodie in a deep purple, with military style belts crossed over the top. The bottom half is dark blue jeans that are worn and frayed, with fishnet tights peeking through the gaps. The ensemble is tied together by a khaki skirt, with a removable trail attached by an eye-catching zipper.
Norberg has sought to convey Redfall’s setting through the design and explains that it’s worn by a woman from a modern, functioning, contemporary background and has been thrust into a world where survival is the most important thing.
“I think that the look has evolved as the clothes have been broken, redesigned and given new features,” Norberg explains. “Functional elements such as zippers and buckles versus the purple hoodie and jeans become a crossover between the military and street wear.”
“But I couldn’t forget that I was doing something that would work at a Gala after all. There came the skirt that has a long, more draped side. That was my little gala nod.”
Using new fabrics would’ve been the most time-efficient way to create the outfit – and Norberg tells us that time was of the essence on this project. However, using brand new materials didn’t create the recycled, apocalyptic vibe that Norberg was looking for, so they had to get creative.
“I prefer to work with reused materials anyway I can for environmental reasons,” they add. “The only reasonable thing was simply to sit down in front of a good movie and slash up a bunch of old cargo pants and jeans from second hand.”
Norberg hopes that fashion in video games will grow as an extra creative medium for designers.
“It’s fun with fashion and people might get more ways to identify with the games and the different worlds that provide fantastic escapism,” they say. “The fact that Xbox and Bethesda are represented by these looks at the ELLE Gala in connection with the release feels like a smart and fun move that I hope is made more in the future!”
The Devil Wears NASA
For the Starfield gown, designer Linn Hermander explains that she was quickly inspired by the space fashion trend that blossomed in the 1960’s, which tied together elements of retro and futurism. Starfield’s design is described as “NASA punk,” mixing classic space looks with a choppy, swashbuckling feel.
“It was important to me that the look should not feel like a costume,” Hermander explains. “Even though cosplay is so incredibly cool, I wanted to emphasize that you can combine fashion and games. The two so easily become completely different worlds, but one does not have to exclude the other.
“I wanted to create something that felt cool and fashionable while clearly relating to Starfield.”
The outfit consists of two parts. The dress features a sleeveless top half with a high neckline, with two asymmetric cut outs on the left-hand side. The front of the dress is capped at the knee similar to a mini skirt, while the back and sides are longer. The color palette is a mix of rich blues and greys, inspired by “the view of space through the window of a well-loved spacecraft.”
It pairs with a matching coat, inspired by the space suit worn by Constellation members in Starfield.
“I wanted to create something that felt protective, hence the jacket is padded and very large,” Hermander says. “It should envelop the wearer like a spacesuit protects an astronaut.”
The design process was not without its challenges according to Hermander; Starfield is a new universe that draws inspiration from many sources
“It is always a challenge to make your visions a reality.” Hermander tells us. “Starfield is a whole new world with so much inspiration to get and when you do something like this, you really want it to be just right. Everything from material choices to fit and accessories is thought over many times. But thanks to everyone involved, this collaboration has gone very smoothly!”
Hermander says that the exchange between the gaming and fashion industries during this project has been absolutely fantastic and adds that the chance to work with such large companies so early in your career is only dreamed of for many.
“My eyes have really been opened to how rewarding cross-industry collaborations are,” they say. “There are so many ways to express creativity and it is only right that we put our heads together.”
Redfall launches on Xbox Series X|S and PC on May 2. Starfield arrives exclusively on Xbox Series X|S and PC on September 6. Play both games day one with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.
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