2 Literal Fashion Experts Give Their Tips On Creating A Fire ‘Animal Crossing’ Fit

Okay, so no doubt you’ve been playing Animal Crossing and living your holiday island dream best self, away from this Covid-19 pandemic nightmare. You’ve probably got a community of villagers you love, are staying up late contemplating whether you made the right decision naming your island, QR coding your favourite memes and albums and struggling to create the perfect wardrobe of fire Animal Crossing fits.

But, uh, just how do you become an Animal Crossing fashionista? What are the dos and don’ts of AC fashion, what’s trending and just how do you translate high fashion pieces by Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Dior into the game? 

Well, Syrup spoke with Richmond and Shel, the creators behind Crossing The Runway, an Animal Crossing Instagram and Tumblr account dedicated to replicating iconic high fashion looks in-game (srsly), to learn just how to make your perfect Animal Crossing hi-fashion fab fit. 

Essentially, the pair look at runway collections from high fashion brands like Jacquemus, Prada and Dries Van Noten, pick an outfit they love and recreate it in game using the customisation tool. Through what can sometimes be a painstaking multi-day process, they transform a sleeveless plain and pixelated dress, pants and flat shoes into this shimmering Rodarte dress, fishnet stockings and embellished heels. 

Truly, they’re virtual fashion experts leading the game in the AC world and we have no choice but to stan and listen to their wise words of styling wisdom. So, from hats to colours, here’s everything you need to know about crafting and styling your perfect look in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

What Are Some Examples Of The Best Animal Crossing Fits You’ve Seen So Far?

Richmond: “Things that do well, not to like point out a demographic, but of course pretty flowy dresses and ruffle-y dresses. They really translate well into the game and are cute. Who doesn’t want a Chanel dress with a bow on it?”

Shel: “There’s this account called ACNHCelebrity. They kind of are similar to what we do except they take more like celebrity looks and they don’t do runway fashion.”

Richmond: “They don’t really call out the designer that that celebrity will probably be wearing, it isn’t the focus. The focus is like the face of the celebrity in the situation.”

Shel: “So, there’s this video of Celine Dion when she was in a car and somebody was singing to her. And then her face goes deadpan and she puts up the window. And they recreated her perfectly. Like the face was like, it was exact. I gave them a follow up immediately after that.”

Richmond: “I think definitely, though, when we see what our audience likes, it tends to be more like Chanel or Gucci with the bows. We do have people asking for like, ‘oh, are you going to do this XYZ streetwear brand,’ and we’re like, ‘well, we’re not trying to avoid that, but it’s just not our realm’.”

So, you’re more into recreating high fashion than everyday wear?

Richmond: “The whole idea started like, isn’t it funny that we’re getting this fresh from the runway, and you’re fishing in the game wearing this outfit, and that was the whole point of it all. Not necessarily to be like, ‘oh, I’m wearing this new Gucci sweatshirt with my new sneakers and this crazy skirt that I got,’ like, it’s not so much like that.”

“But of course, it’s really nice seeing people kind of integrate it into their wardrobe. I guess that’s where we’re speaking almost like fashion designers like, ‘oh, it’s great to see like, the clothes take another life and how women dress today.’ Maybe next season we’ll do something interesting with things like that.”

What Fashion Trends Do You Think Are Gonna Be Big In The Animal Crossing World?

Richmond: “I feel like it can go either way. I feel like the more realistic it is to real life or what people are buying now, the more attention it’s going to get. But, also at the same time, you go the other way around and go obnoxious and do like a Victorian gown.”

Shel: “We’ve done like three of the ball gown shapes, and those ones are actually surprisingly worn a lot. I feel like it’s kind of because it’s funny to see in game.” 

Richmond: “But it’s also like the whole fantasy thing. Like, I mean, we all I mean, I don’t know your situation, but like, I cannot afford a ball gown to just wear around or like a crazy outfit. I think that really plays into it that someone can just tap into this ridiculous Dior ballgown and just wear it any day.”

“And then the other side of it is that, Yeah, like I would totally buy this. I would totally wear this, this character looks exactly like me. We have a friend who every time I see her picking the stuff we do mixed with the stuff that she could get in the game…  it looks exactly like her. Like, can you be a little bit more adventurous and do something a little wacky?”

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What Are The Biggest Do’s When Putting Together An Outfit In Animal Crossing?

Shel: “I would say a lot of people always turn to us like we released this one dress but we also added a hat with it. And we didn’t release the hat code, but everybody was asking us for the code for the hat. But it was plain black on the pro template. So we told them we’re not going to release this. It’s plain black on the template.”

“Don’t replicate what we’re doing and experiment with other ways to match our pieces because we only offer the shirt or the dress, for example, we don’t necessarily offer the pants. We do style it, but I always wish I would see people kind of more like a spin on something and make something a little. A little, like, cooler than following the styling that we’re giving.”

Richmond: “Yeah, because what I mean like we’re just will we’re literally translating it from the runway to the game and we’re not really going the Vogue route and like kind of like mixing in like doing something unexpected and like, and I guess that’s when personality comes in.” 

“Like our friend Brandon, he kind of goes crazy. He changes his hair colour every day, mixes this blue coat with wacky shoes and an umbrella and like, great, amazing [claps], groundbreaking… ” 

“I guess also [try] taking it seriously again both ways. Like seriously like, whack but also seriously, like, wow, you actually look good. You could wear that in real life and I would look at you walking down the street and be like, wow, who is that?”

Do You Think People Might End Up Recreating Fits Made In-Game In Real Life?

Richmond: “I think everybody’s currently inspired by clothing that already exists. I have seen a couple of people who have tried to do, I think they’re called collaboration concepts, where they’re like, ‘oh, imagine if this brand collaborated with this brand.’ That’s kind of like an interesting conversation that can actually happen or is yet to, like fanfic or fanart [or fan-fashion].

Shel: “Something could happen. I don’t know if it’s going to necessarily come from a raw idea. You know, like a company’s going to make somebody’s exact look that they came up on their own. But I think these maybe fantasy collaborations they have could turn into something IRL, yeah.

What Are The Biggest Don’ts?

Richmond: “I would say more than half of the time it creates a look, I mean, obviously looks ranged from like something that would take us like 20 minutes, 10 minutes tops to like, ‘I’m going to spend a couple days on this, leave it go back to it…’”

“But most of the time is research and finding the right shape because you’re so limited, like, a lot of the shapes just don’t work and you shouldn’t boil it down to a plain black dress with like squigglies on it, like things like that.

Shel: “It kind of does drive us a little crazy. We do see things and we’re like, you should have just left that.”

Richmond: “Like Valentino as of recent has been going crazy puffy ball gown, bright colours, big sleeves and like all these crazy details, but like, we’re stuck to that princess ball gown shape or the straight dress or that short sleeve dress.”

Shel: “Yeah, there’s no way you can get all the shapes and volumes in Animal Crossing, unfortunately.”

Richmond: “So in the old game, the way they kind of let you pick a template is almost like a modular system, [either] a dress or a shirt. So, you could do sleeveless short sleeves or long sleeves and the same for dresses. So like you could make a short sleeve coat for example. But here, [in New Horizons], you can’t. There’s only one coat or a T-shirt. There’s no long sleeve shirt or long sleeve jacket. There’s only like, shirt and hoodie and sweater. So it’s kind of like missing a lot of stuff that you can do. Yeah, a lot of women’s wear surprisingly long sleeve dresses… we’re shut out of like, 70% of women’s wear.”

Shel: “The thing is, too, is you can import the New Leaf codes in the game. So sometimes we even make things in there and we share these scannable QR codes, not design ID ones.”

If You Could Make Any Animal Crossing Fit Out Of A Runway Look What Would It Be?

Richmond: Oh my gosh, there’s a lot. We did a dress from [Alexander] McQueen from 2007… I feel like I would do something like that. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. It’s the one with like, the rotting flowers falling off the dresses as the models are walking in them.”

Shel: “I always look at his one of his last shows Horn Aplenty when they’re like, it’s all this huge excess houndstooth prints that are huge and they’re walking around this like trash heap. And it’s like, it’s an incredible show. And I literally always like looking through it, like, oh my god. I’d say that would be my choice, something from the Horn Aplenty McQueen show.”

Top Tips For Styling & Creating Ur Perfect Animal Crossing Fit

Do What You Like And Enjoy Yourself

Richmond: “It’s funny I always say go hard but don’t take it too seriously. Just, don’t care what [other] people think.”

Shel: “Yeah, wear what you like.”

If You Like A Piece Of Clothing, Buy Every Colour Of It

Richmond: “Always buy multiple colours of the same thing, oh my god.”

“We have these boots—I’m not sure what they’re called in the game, I guess, ankle boots— and they go good with anything. But I only bought a few colours of them, so I only have yellow, brown and black but there are other colours.”

“I should’ve just bought it all then and there because you have to wait for the [Able Sisters tailor] shop to recycle and it randomises.”

Don’t Forget To Add A Headpiece Accessory 

Richmond: “A hat makes the outfit look great.”

Shel: “Yeah, everything looks better with hats. Take advantage of all the different hairstyles and hat accessories.”

Richmond: “Not just ‘hat’ hats but any headpiece accessories. Take advantage of all the options like hat, glasses, face accessories, shoes. Otherwise it just looks empty and I feel like you could go push it further.”

Richmond: “In the last [Alexander] McQueen look we did, [as part of Alexander McQueen’s Spring Summer 2007 collection], we did the Mozart curl flick back style.”

Shel: “Yeah, people were losing it in the comments like, ‘Oh my God, look at her hair!’”

Richmond: “We also did this Channel look with the pompadour and that was an item in game, kinda like an Elvis hair pompadour but in that context it just made sense because the runway had that hair.”

Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment

Shel: “Because of how we work, we’re always wearing something new anytime we’re in the game.”

Richmond: “Yeah, anytime a friend comes to visit they’re like, ‘wait where are you?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m right here,’ and they’re like, ‘wait, we didn’t know you were blonde today?’”

“Obviously not all of the items in the game reflect what we try to copy so we always try different shoes, like, ‘oh, do these shoes look better than these, are they giving the right impression?’”

“A couple of looks ago we did Dior and they did these super thigh high padded leather shiny boots, but ofc, that’s not going to exist in the game. So what we did was our friend gave us neon leggings and that kinda gave the impression of thigh high boots. Play around, there’s some things you can do to pull off the look you wanna do.”

Key takeaway here: you don’t have to have the exact pieces of clothing to recreate a look. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Use Others As A Reference

Richmond: “Don’t be afraid to reference because there’s so many people that do this. Like, we’re not the only ones of course and we say, we’ve been doing this for six years, but people have been doing this since ever and all the time. Maybe not high fashion, but it’s always existed. And there’s a lot of tutorials and guides online like [on] Tumblr [and] Pinterest that show different bow options or like how to [do] pleats.”

“Oh my God, pleats are like a nightmare because it’s literally you’re staring at like pixels, moving them one by one.”

It’s Trial And Error

Shel: “I guess this would also be under experiment as well, because it’s like, obviously you don’t get the bow or the pleat that you want.”

Richmond: “Yeah, don’t be afraid to fail. It’s always a trial and error in terms of getting it right.”

Shel: “You can always go back and refine.”

Julian Rizzo-Smith is a writer and producer. He also claims to be a vine historian, avid connoisseur of low-fi beats, indie hip hop and Kermit memes. In a perfect world, he’d be married to Tyler the Creator, own an Arcanine and a Lapras, and don his own Sailor Scouts uniform. He tweets @GayWeebDisaster, which is also, coincidentally, how one might describe him.

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