Two days ago, in the days leading up to The Game Awards 2022, I wrote about how the wildly inconsistent fashion at the event was indicative of the industry’s identity crisis. Things quickly got out of hand.
The discourse machine revved up and began spinning at an impossibly fast rate: Nintendo president Doug Bowser tweeted at me, Xbox president Phil Spencer replied to the thread and confirmed he is now aware of what Mike Mercante wears to go get bagels, everyone was weighing in on the “T-shirt with a blazer” fit, and the word “drip” was learned and subsequently overused by half the industry.
Other publications wrote about the discourse, developers weighed in, and the lead-up to The Game Awards became less about speculation over which game would win GOTY (spoilers: it was Elden Ring) and more about whether or not Josef Fares would wear a skin-tight t-shirt again (spoilers: he didn’t).
Ultimately, it seems like my call-out worked. Numerous people who attended the event told me via DM that I shamed attendees into dressing better. The presenters and on-stage talent at this year’s Game Awards were almost uniformly sharper-dressed than in previous years, and even Phil Spencer seemed to be wearing a slightly more formal outfit.
The Game Awards is a chance to have fun with fashion and to lean into the themes that are so often in the games the night is celebrating, so it was great to see some people really doing that last night. That’s why I decided to highlight the best-dressed attendees and honorees at gaming’s biggest night. You all did amazing, sweeties.
Jared J. Tan (Devolver Digital)
Jared J. Tan came in a head-to-toe Cult of the Lamb look which would earn them a spot on this list even if it didn’t look as god damn good as it does. The fit was custom-embroidered by Glass Embroidery, who Tan told Kotaku was “working on [it] until the very last minute.”
Leave it to the Glass Onion star to bring pajama chic to The Game Awards. Henwick looks comfy and cool in this look, which I desperately want in every colour so I can wear it to the office. The soft, casual updo keeps it simple, but the matching minty eye makeup reminds you that she is, indeed, dressing up.
Del Walker (Naughty Dog) and Jeryce Dianingana (Rocksteady Games)
The boys showed up and showed out this year! A fitted suit with a fun neckline underneath helps keep things a bit more casual, and this colour looks amazing on Walker. Dianingana brought a pop of colour with the jacket to brighten up his all-black fit, offering up another reminder that style will always win at awards shows.
Halsey really said “you’re getting me for a single bridge and one chorus” but still served us a deliciously devilish look. She appeared onstage to perform a song she wrote for Diablo IV, sporting a robe before removing it to show off a look that was pure vampy goth lingerie. Please step on me. Her makeup (which I’m assuming was done using her own line, About-Face) made it look like she was bleeding from her eyes, which probably happened after she saw my post about what rich people have historically worn to The Game Awards.
Danny Peña (Gamertag Radio) and Riana Manuel-Peña (Zebra Partners)
Danny was one of the first people to reach out to me and make sure I knew that not everyone dresses casual for The Game Awards, so him and wife Riana Manuel-Peña making this list is no surprise. The two of them together are giving big-time ‘70s vibes, with her fur coat, vibrant pantsuit (from RebDolls), and gold accessories and his colourful suit and slightly tinted aviators. It’s a vibe.
Mia Ginaé, Riot Games
Mia Ginaé wore this gorgeous, shimmery gold number that really played with both masculine and feminine silhouettes. She told Kotaku that she found it while searching Google for an outfit for The Game Awards. “Theme for my fit was ‘MONEY’. Styled by me.” And that’s that on that.
Karim “Cheese” (CLG Gaming) and Albert Dankwa (Xbox)
Karim “Cheese” said he was going to bring it, and he did, with a turtleneck/suit combo that feels deliciously ‘90s. And Dankwa in shorts? A Dior cravat? Dress shoes? The vibes here are immaculate, and yet another example of how you can have fun with dressing for The Game Awards. If there’s no official dress code (still don’t know the answer to this), then putting in an effort and wearing something with style goes a long, long way. This, my friends, is style.
Actor Shioli Kutsuna, who has a role in Death Stranding 2, offers up the textbook example of how to have fun at The Game Awards with a simple but sexy silhouette paired with a supremely cool piece of face jewellery that wraps around her ear, goes over her eye, and around both nostrils. This is futuristic fashion! This is Cyberpunk 2077 but make it chic! You could recreate this on a budget! (and I just might).
Mila Pavlin (Sony Santa Monica)
One of the best moments of The Game Awards was when I realised that Pavlin, who accepted the Accessibility Award for God of War Ragnarök, was the same person who had tweeted at me “If I get to go on stage I want a drip rating.” I’m happy to say that she did, indeed, get onstage, and served up there, too. The well-tailored suit, the accessibility pin, the Captain Marvel bag — perfection.
The Norwegian singer-songwriter, who gives very much the same vibes as this TikTok, temporarily stole the show with her “fucked up” voice from karaoke-ing the night before, her hilarious mannerisms, and her wildly cool outfit. Sure, it feels like she exists at the crossroads between Björk and Grimes, but you cannot deny that her outfit and styling are very cool and very European.
Jay-Ann Lopez (Black Girl Gamers)
There’s a reason Jay-Ann Lopez has “gaming & fashion” in her Twitter bio, and this picture sums it right up. Wearing a blue knit dress from Halifa that plays with textures, layers, and peek-a-boo cut-outs, Lopez looks like royalty. The matching eye make-up and updo seal the deal. This is unsurprisingly one of the best looks of the night.
Listen, Al Pacino showed up at The Game Awards, so he’s getting on this list even if he was wearing a T-shirt. But he wasn’t, because he’s Al Pacino. He wore a black suit and a black scarf, as is the Pacino tradition, but he pulled a fast one on us by wearing the same sneakers as queer baristas across the globe: all-black HOKAs.
At the 2021 Game Awards, Josef Fares wore a beige T-shirt and skinny jeans. I pointed that out in my aforementioned story, and I think he might have heard me, because at the 2022 Game Awards, Fares wore a very well-fitting suit. And he didn’t curse. Whomst is this new man?
Valkyrae and Fuslie
The streamers came correct tonight, with Valkyrae and Fuslie presenting the award for accessibility while wearing gorgeous dresses. Valkyrae’s look is giving yassified Beetlejuice, while Fuslie’s asymmetrical neckline and hemline are lovely. Necklace game on point, too. No notes.
Kelly ‘Arekay’ Yeo (Blizzard)Photo: Kelly ‘Arekay’ Yeo / Kotaku
Kelly ‘Arekay’ Yeo sent me this on Twitter and boy, am I glad she did. In her tweet she wrote, “[a friend] commented ‘I’ve never seen you without armour before’ the last time we hung out…so I am obligated to be so fucking over the top extra tonight.” Yes, that’s a bondage-y, rib-cage-y golden armour chestpiece over a dress. I’m speechless. This is how you merge fashion and games. And the makeup? Laid.
Streamer Brandon Lee was tagged in my feed and rightfully so. This is such a great example of wearing something fun and fashionable: a giant silver chain, a deep neckline, drapery mixed with hardware accents, it’s all so perfect. This could be worn by someone at the Grammys. No notes. Except maybe, can I borrow this?
Animal from The Muppets brought Bushwick they/them energy to The Game Awards and for that, we thank them. This is what every single one of my queer friends in a poly relationship looks like: giant bondage chain, tie-dyed torn-up shirt they found in a dumpster and dyed themselves, genderless shorts they borrowed from the bike messenger who is sleeping on their couch, brightly coloured hair. This is style. This is best dressed.