A jumpsuit that converts human sweat into drinking water. A dress with climate-controlled pouches for storing food on the go. Garments studded with sensors or heating units. Those are just a few of the designs that made their way down the runway of London’s Science Museum last week. Part of “Couture in Orbit,” an event celebrating the European Space Agency’s five missions to the International Space Station over the past two years, the catwalk-cum-competition tasked fashion schools from the astronauts’ home countries to create looks inspired by space flight. (Cue the jokes about “out of this world” fashion.)
In addition, each school—Fashion Design Akademiet in Copenhagen, Ecole Supérieure des Arts et Téchniques de la Mode in Paris and Berlin, Ravensbourne in London, and Politechnico di Milano— was assigned a specific theme, say technology or health and nutrition, based on the research interests of their designated astronaut.
Using high-tech functional textiles from sponsors such as Bionic Yarn, i.nanoE, and Sympatex, the students whipped up outfit that underscored the growing role that technology and innovation will play in fashion.
“It went absolutely amazing. It was a proper show with no holds barred,” Bionic Yarn’s Alex Tapia said in a statement. “It really gave an insight into what the kids are doing in these schools that was absolutely special, using the materials that we provided in a brand new way that I have never seen before. It was innovative and refreshing.”