Stylist Lori Lyu brings ‘Knives Out’ game to life on impressive commercial series

Although she had been interested in clothes and fashion at a young age, Lori Lyu first dreamed of pursuing a career as a stylist when watching movies as a teenager. Watching films like Anna Karenina, Atonement and The Great Gatsby, she was enchanted by the way the clothing allowed the actors to transport back in time. When she did costume design for her first film, she knew she was right where she should be, and began her journey as a stylist and wardrobe designer.

Throughout her esteemed career, Lyu has shown both her home country of China and the rest of the world why she is at the top of her industry. Her work on projects like Nylon China’s ‘I’m Kie Lie Fie’ editorial December issue, 361° Sports Lookbook, and Nasty Magazine ‘Wasted Bride’ editorial April issue have been seen by millions and been great successes for their respective brands. 

Beyond print, Lyu has also had great success, still working on movies and commercials like she dreamed of as a child. One of her ongoing projects is for Knives Out, the top mobile video game in Japan. Lyu is a stylist for the pop-up series commercials every month. As a fan of the battle-royale style game itself, Lyu was excited to take a project and showcase some of the beautiful designs seen in the app.

Lyu shoots this commercial series twice each month. As a stylist, a key aspect of her role involves working with the same leading actors for each shoot. There are two aspects to the commercials, a fight mode part of the story, and a daily part of the story. For the fight part, she prepares uniforms for the actors that look like the fighters in the game, and keeps every shoot in mind to ensure continuity in the costumes. For the daily part, she changes their outfit every episode depending on the different holiday or theme, such as Christmas/Thanksgiving, etc. When choosing these outfits, she always talks to the art department to check on the set color tone and plans accordingly, knowing that costumes can aid in enhancing a story and mood.

During shooting, Lyu is always on hand to make any quick adjustments or mend anything that is damaged from filming. It is a large production for a commercial, with a lot of action, which can lead to costume mishaps. She always aims to have the costumes in the best possible condition at all times, knowing that will help attract the audience to the commercial and in turn, the game itself. 

“I like the scripts for the commercials. They are composed of several small stories. Each story is independent in narration, but the relationship between the characters is related. The whole style is mainly relaxed and funny, so I can have some exaggerated ideas on clothing, and my creativity will not be limited. Every time I see a new commercial going online, I watch them and enjoy them as a fan of the game, not someone that worked on it. That being said, I also love the working vibes of this set very much. Everyone is enthusiastic about the project and has great team spirit. Each department has a very tacit understanding of each other,” says Lyu.

The commercials are distributed primarily on YouTube and are also seen on Twitter and as in-game ads. They have had a tremendous response in Japan, the targeted demographic, and have contributed to an increase in downloads of the game, as each ad gets at least 50,000 views on every platform. People love the characters in the commercial and the features of the game style prompted them to download the game, and as the stylist, Lyu takes tremendous pride in being such a major factor in the commercial series’ continued success.

Photo: ending card of ‘Knives Out x Evangelion’ episode, wardrobe designed by Lori Lyu, directed by Evan Wang.

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