The virtual world has become one of the few relatively safe spaces for queer expression, making room to share endless dimensions of our complex realities. It offers a chance to escape the physical world, where lack of acceptance is glaring, into a utopia of validation and affirming support.
This cyber realm is not without danger, though. Co-existence is mandatory and cannot be fled entirely. Maybe that is why so many of us design ourselves to become post-human, or rather, inter-species with one foot in each world. Shielded by the garish armor of our own making for protection, we forge on with the quest for our true identities.
The immaterial journey is infinite, but the voyager is not. Below, David Oldenburg and Luke Nugent visualize this for PAPER through a CGI shoot that challenges the traditional production process and features fashion designers invested in escaping our own reality with sci-fi, retro futuristic silhouettes.
Photography: Luke Nugent
Creative direction: David Oldenburg and Luke Nugent
Styling: David Oldenburg
Hair: Alex Sarghe
Makeup: Mus Emin
Styling assistant: Marco Bortone
Makeup assistant: Shaquelle Raevon
Hair Assistant: Ula Wunderl
Nails: Kezia Leah
CGI and set production: David Oldenburg
Models: Tayce (courtesy of Models1), Gartruche (courtesy of iDAL) and Webster (courtesy of D1)