The romance of space exploration has been a constant inspiration to many of us when we were kids. Today, these kids have grown to be, among others, artists and designers fascinated by the limitless space and the unbreakable human spirit of space fliers. They work to create space-related items reminiscent of astronauts’ paraphernalia that would let every single one feel as if their childhood dreams of space travelling had finally come true.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the safe landing of the Appolo 13 lunar module, Rumpl, manufacturer of technical blankets, has launched a capsule collection of NASA products. The limited series features two types of blankets and a puffy poncho.
The design is inspired by spacesuits and includes such recognizable elements as a NASA logo patch, a replica NASA issued flag, and NASA RED matching trim and details. The items feature a 100% post-consumer recycled 30D polyester fabric shell and Nanoloft insulation. The blankets come with a special stuff sack that has been treated to deter moisture, while the spacesuit-inspired poncho has 5K laminated waterproof shoulders and a hidden drink holder for hand-free mobility while on adventure.
That is not the only case when designers look to space for inspiration. Back in 2018 paying homage to NASA’s 60th anniversary, fashion designer Heron Preston has collaborated with NASA to launch a collection of streetwear clothing with the classic Worm logotype used by NASA between 1976 and 1992.
The collection includes a range of jackets, hoodies, t-shirts and caps as well as socks and belts. Among the items is a silver denim jacket that resembles the pressure suits worn by the Mercury Seven, the original group of astronauts to embark on a NASA mission. The featured square backpack is reminiscent of the portable life systems worn by astronauts. It is designed to be multi-convertible, multi-functional into three parts – a tote bag, the fanny pack and a backpack — all in one.
Apart from the logo used as prescribed by the strict guidelines established by NASA, the pieces also features the American flag and a printed statement by President Eisenhower in 1958, describing the purpose of NASA as an organisation for aeronautical research and the civilian space program.
The Astronautics jacket released by Jun Takahashi’s cult fashion label Undercover is also designed to resemble a spacesuit. The garment’s key feature is the helmet hood, which features a transparent visor, based on an astronaut’s helmet.
The puff jacket is available is red and Bordeaux and boasts patches on its padded sleeves, similar to those worn by NASA astronauts, which bear the slogan Undercover Astronautics Agency.
To complete your space look, keep your eye out for Nike Mars Yard Overshoe trainers, which look like the lunar overshoes worn by astronauts. Designed by New York-based artist Tom Sachs, the collectible trainers feature an overcoat stitched onto a previous iteration of the shoe, with a knitted collar on the inside. Made with nylon-reinforced Dyneema, a dense polyethylene, the overcoat can be worn rolled up or down depending on the weather conditions. The strong material, impervious to weather, is generally used for boat sails. The overcoat is aimed to protect the original Nike trainers, which are light and breathable, but not waterproof.
When the overcoat is pulled upwards, it can be secured using a toggle and magnetic straps that fasten the material in place around the leg, the chunky buckles and thick nylon straps reminding of the footwear worn by astronauts in space. Alternatively, when rolled down, the trainer reveals a cream-coloured tongue with a bright red donning strap, a loop of material on the tongue used to help the wearer put the shoe on.
Interestingly, Sachs initially designed the shoe for a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, which created the airbags used in the Mars Exploration Rover missions. The shoe first appeared in a 2012 exhibition of space-related items and updated in 2017 to include a polyester meshing, instead of the previous Vectran, a material used to make these airbags.