Well, it finally happened. The world of gaming and the universe of high fashion have collided all thanks to the Kinect. Lanvin, one of the oldest and well-known of Paris’ fashion houses, released their 2011 Fall/Winter ad campaign with an assist from Harmonix’s Dance Central. Filmed by revered fashion photographer Steven Meisel, the video has produced quite the industry buzz since it debuted.
The viral video features fashion models Karen Elson and Raquel Zimmerman wearing Lanvin’s autumn collection and dancing to Pitbull’s “I know you want me (Calle Ocho).” According to my fashion sources who actually care about this stuff, this in itself would not be anything out of the norm. However, any Dance Central veteran watching this video would quickly realize that the choreography on display is straight from the minds of Harmonix even if Microsoft’s popular motion control device is nowhere to be seen in the ad. Check it out yourself and marvel at how models are just as bad at dancing as you are:
Despite no direct acknowledgement to Harmonix or Dance Central, the models clearly appear to be staring directly at the camera as if a TV screen was in front of them and they all have that awkward look to them that only the Kinect can induce. Even ethereal and stern-looking models must try to fight bursting out in uncomfortable laughter while struggling to follow the dance moves, which is probably made even more difficult when carrying handbags or looking like an extra from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
By the way, the little short guy at the end of the video is not Larry “Bud” Melman, but is actually Lanvin’s creative director, Alber Elbaz. While Mr. Elbaz and Lanvin sought fit to use stills from this vid for its print ad in Vogue’s September 2011 issue and also has used the video to lure fashion industry folk to their New York boutique on Madison Avenue for a fashion event being held on September 8th, they had no qualms about not crediting Harmonix for the choreography. It seems unlikely that such a snub would happen to creative folk in other industries, but at least the ad campaign may convince more non-gamer types to purchase Dance Central 2. The sequel to the well-received first installment will now allow for two-player dancing and contain a whole host of other new features.
This new ad campaign does beg a bigger question though: is it possible high fashion could slowly be going gamer? Will Anna Wintour soon have to sit front row at a show in Milan and watch pencil-thin models sashay up and down the runway wearing oversized Master Chief helmets? Or maybe they will take baby steps by showing off the new Deus Ex: Human Revolution collection?
Dance Central 2 releases on October 25, 2011, exclusively for the Kinect on Xbox 360.