The worlds of gaming and fashion haven’t always played co-op. Many a developer has dismissed the runways of Paris to be an elitist world of pomp, and there’s no denying the front row’s far removed from the Lynx Africa-scented bedrooms of teenage Halo fans.
But the two aren’t as diametrically opposed as you’d think. Just this year, Louis Vuitton tapped not Cara or Kate to be their cover girl, but Lightning – the jaded protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII. In 2012, Prada outfitted the entire cast of the same game in a four-page fashion spread. And then there are the game-makers themselves. Not satisfied with the usual clobber on our consoles, they’ve taken big steps to kit their characters in the finest digital threads out there.
Don’t believe us? Check out our roster of gaming’s best dressed.
Final Fantasy VIII
Brooding, mysterious and capable of bringing down a boss twice his size – Squall Leonhart is the masculine ideal. Better than all his shady one liners and romantic inner turmoil however, is his style. Specifically, that shearling jacket. The white fur collar wouldn’t look out of place in a Canada Goose store, but is countered with a black leather construction and dozens and dozens of Gosha-worthy chains. Cue battle victory music.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Drake from Uncharted was repping the adventurer flex way before Brunello Cucinelli. His granddad collar shirt is not only form-flattering, but a key element in his masterful tonal dressing. Then there’s the Bremont-esque watch (with chronographs for days should you get lost in the Gobi Desert) and a sharp print clash from the Shemagh scarf. Tomb raiders, step aside.
Final Fantasy VII
Who said boardroom garb was dull? The Turks, the suited bodyguards of Final Fantasy VII’s villainous supercorporation Shin-ra, broke the mould with a reimagining of the ’80s power suit. Be it the oversized silhouettes (Balenciaga, we see you) or the Berluti-esque statement brogues, sci-fi dictatorships have never looked slicker.
With Agent 47, the Hitman developers moved away from Kevlar vests and moved Italian style into the crosshairs. All the targets are hit: well-fitted black suit, crisp white dress shirt and a blood red tie – just three things that make gaming’s most iconic assassin also its best dressed. Beautifully executed.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
It was acceptable in the ’80s, and revered in 2016 – GTA: Vice City is often considered one of the greatest games of all times. But the credentials aren’t just limited to gameplay. Vice City druglord Tommy Vercetti had an interchangeable wardrobe that encompassed everything but a ‘Frankie Says Relax’ tee: pastel suits, Hawaiian shirts, Cuban collars, stonewash jeans, even a roller disco outfit. It’s enough to make you nostalgic for the days of cheap cocaine and questionable Reaganomics.
Craig Green! Such creativity! Such vision! Hold up. Ryu, arguably the most iconic Street Fighter character, pioneered floaty silhouettes and wide legs long before the days of London Collections Men. A head-to-toe karate get-up might not be easy to imitate, but Capcom was undoubtedly ahead of runway trends with Ryu’s martial arts ensemble that’s remained unchanged for a decade. One word, copycats: hadouken!
Ace Attorney deserves to be trialled for several crimes: trial-and-error gameplay, bizarre loopholes and an overbearing mysticism. But protagonist Phoenix Wright’s style? Not guilty. The Japanese legal smash hit has the sartorial nous to rival other pop culture representations of the legal profession, including Ally McBeal – except there’s more navy two-pieces and anime histrionics. True, Wright’s hairstyle defies the laws of gravity, but there’s much to be learnt from his contrast tie and waistcoat move. We rest our case.
League of Legends
Not a ballroom dancer, but a hulk of a man that can nail white tie dress codes as hard as he can swing a battle axe. Yes, League of Legends’ Jayce Debonair may be a grand departure from the typical camo-kitted deathmatch hero, but his effortless take on tailoring deserves its own Xbox achievement.
When you’re chased on the daily by gun-toting war boys on an 18 wheeler, style isn’t as important as, you know, survival. But somehow, Max Rockatansky nails it anyway. Tonal dressing hits its apex with a focus on beiges and browns and unlike Uncharted’s Drake, the grisly beard and repurposed biker jacket make everything a lot more rugged. Witness.