Couture in orbit: from spacewalk to catwalk
ESA and the Science Museum in London are working with five leading fashion schools around Europe to design clothes for the space age with their ‘Couture in Orbit’ project. Between 2014 and 2016, five ESA astronauts from the UK, France, Italy, Denmark and Germany are visiting the International Space Station. To mark the missions, European fashion schools from the astronauts’ home countries are designing and developing clothes that are both desirable and practical, while incorporating high-tech innovations.The participating schools are Fashion Design Akademiet in Denmark, the Politecnico di Milan in Italy, Ravensbourne in UK and ESMOD in France and Germany. Each is assigned a theme for its clothing, ranging from technology, environment and innovation to health and nutrition, and has to consider the applications of their designs in daily life.ESA provides space-certified textiles for the students to use in the project, which is supported by the companies Bionic Yarn and Sympatex. In addition, national corporate sponsors offer technical advice.