Published on: 27/02/2023
Milan Fashion Week showcases Diablo-themed outfits
Last Saturday, Milan Fashion Week showcased various high-fashion, Diablo-themed outfits designed by fashion house Han Kjøbenhavn. The Danish designer collaborated with Blizzard Entertainment to bring the “Chthonic Penumbra” collection to life, inspired by Blizzard’s upcoming Diablo 4 title.
Chthonic Penumbra features a variety of haute-culture women’s fashion, sporting striking leathers and gothic colors along with metallic ornaments. Han Kjøbenhavn was reportedly influenced by the idea of “hell as a beautiful place,” experimenting with the concept through stark hues and sharp silhouettes.
Han Kjøbenhavn creative director Jannik Wikkelsø Davidsen said the brand wanted to collaborate outside fashion partnership norms. While Han Kjøbenhavn has collaborated with other clothing and accessory brands like Puma or Pendleton Woolen Mills, Davidsen and CEO Daniel Søndergaard Hummel agreed that the brand needed a different approach.
“We wanted to look at new possibilities, with new partners, where it’s more about the emotional DNA and the connection between brands than a product. Talking to the [Blizzard], the match between us and Diablo has been really, really good, because my and Dan’s aesthetic, creatively, is not clean and sweet,” Davidsen said.
“The darker side [is more] our aesthetic more than a classic fashion brand.”
Rather than incorporating obvious elements from the Diablo 4 title, the Danish fashion house attempted to reproduce the nuance and emotion of the original game. Davidsen aimed to avoid “gimmicks” in the collection and, instead, highlight the “creative DNA” both brands share.
As a fashion house, Han Kjøbenhavn is no stranger to the vivid imagery shown in its Diablo collaboration. It has sewn gothic and disturbing imagery in its previous collections, most famously seen in Julia Fox’s March 2022 Oscar outfit entitled “Grip.” The outfit consists of a dark leather dress with a fist-shaped choker.
Fashion enthusiasts and stylish gamers can look forward to purchasing the Chthonic Penumbra collection when it releases in the summer. Diablo 4 will also follow alongside it, scheduled to release in June 2023.
Hellish and beautiful conflicts
Even before the collaboration with Blizzard, Davidsen had been intrigued by Diablo, having been an avid player of the game. The creative designer said that Diablo 4’s “big, beautiful evil Renaissance” aesthetic inspired him the most while creating the collection.
He also highlighted the importance of conflict and journey in Diablo 4, wanting to bring those grim-dark themes into his fabric and material.
“Conflict is an important word – no emotions exist without a conflict. For me, darkness is beauty. How do you balance those two things? That generates a new feeling,” Davidsen said.
“What we’re creating has a lot of volume and language in the garments we’re working with, so in that sense, I’m trying to mirror the journey within Diablo as well as my own journey.”
The collection’s materials reflect Davidsen’s vision, featuring tight rubber and leather that mirror Lilith in Diablo games. Mesh and fabrics also convey movement in the collection, mimicking the struggles and journeys of hell’s ghosts and spirits.
Future ready-to-wear clothes
Though famous for its stark runway fashion, Han Kjøbenhavn also sells casual outfits, including T-shirts, sweatpants, trousers and jackets. While the fashion brand started its experiment on the runway, Hummel noted that their collaboration with Blizzard would eventually lead to more ready-to-wear clothes for the common folk.
“When we do the runway, we know it’s a set format: It’s extravagant, big emotions. The first assignment for us is to get emotion out, be extravagant in some of the lines. For the audience, we’re obviously thinking about daily, ready-to-wear pieces,” Hummel said.
“Hopefully we have a good idea of the gamers, and the audience, and create something special for them.”
Hummel refrained from giving an exact date to the ready-to-wear outfit releases, suggesting that the fashion house would need to discuss designs first. He said that both Han Kjøbenhavn and Diablo audiences have high expectations and that pleasing both was essential.