A visible historical past of space-age vogue

Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

The Nineteen Sixties area race was greater than a measure of scientific progress. The anticipation of this subsequent stage of humanity left an indelible impression on tradition, too.

President John F. Kennedy’s imaginative and prescient of man reaching the moon quickly spawned a throng of TV exhibits and movies — together with cartoon sitcom “The Jetsons” and the “Star Trek” franchise — all of which seemed to cater to America’s newfound curiosity in area journey.

The success of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 solely whetted appetites additional. For vogue designers Paco Rabanne, Pierre Cardin and Thierry Mugler, it turned the rocket that launched a thousand appears, as they centered complete collections round an intergalactic imaginative and prescient of the long run.

Whether or not it was a chain-mail shift gown, a bulbous helmet or a pair of stark white boots, the sartorial legacy of the ’60s and ’70s was outlined by a space-race exuberance. However even many years after we first set foot on the moon, the cosmos has remained a mainstay of inspiration for a wide range of vogue homes.

Now as a brand new area race unfolds, this time with a human mission to Mars on the horizon, we have a look again at vogue’s enduring love affair with outer area, by which artwork imitates life kinds — whether or not alien or astronaut — and celestial our bodies alike.

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin helped spearhead the space-age aesthetic with an array of ensembles in silver vinyl. Credit score: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Pictures

The early work of Italian designer Pierre Cardin, pictured right here at Paris Vogue Week in 1968, was a cascade of silver vinyl. Cardin, who died in December 2020, was a pioneer of space-age vogue, crafting sharp, modernist silhouettes from shimmering lamé cloth. His futuristic designs have been worn by the likes of ’60s type icon Mia Farrow and The Beatles.

André Courrèges

A trained civil engineer, André Courrèges used his mathematical know-how when constructing garments.

A skilled civil engineer, André Courrèges used his mathematical know-how when developing clothes. Credit score: Kurita Kaku/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Pictures

André Courrèges launched his Moon Lady assortment, together with white go-go boots and tall, spherical hats, within the spring of 1964. The late designer used high-shine PVC to assemble stiff A-line skirts that held their very own when twisted and contorted in vogue shoots. His curiosity in intergalactic glamour solely grew from there. Three many years later, Courrèges was nonetheless sending space-inspired appears down the runway, as pictured right here at an April 1993 present in Kyoto, Japan.

Paco Rabanne

Paco Rabanne's early sci-fi designs made models look like they were dripping in metal.

Paco Rabanne’s early sci-fi designs made fashions appear like they have been dripping in metallic. Credit score: AFP through Getty Pictures

For a lot of designers, the area race meant experimentation. Spanish designer Paco Rabanne was no totally different, fashioning mini shift clothes and matching headgear out of surprising supplies like chain mail. Rabanne’s now infamous chain-mail creations made his fashions appear like extraterrestrial warriors — wearing physique armor that was equal components Sixteenth-century knight and futuristic dancer.

Reed Crawford

Reed Crawford showed the "Dollar Princess" hat at a fashion show produced by the associate members of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers.

Reed Crawford confirmed the “Greenback Princess” hat at a vogue present produced by the affiliate members of the Included Society of London Vogue Designers. Credit score: George W. Hales/Hulton Archive/Getty Pictures

Helmet-hat hybrids have been key options of ’60s space-age type. At a London hat present in 1966, the late British designer Reed Crawford debuted the “Greenback Princess” hat, a half-visor, half-space-helmet creation that seemed distinctly futuristic — regardless of being created from silver milk bottle tops.

Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler took a more ethereal approach to cosmic style and made feminine gowns fit for a space princess.

Thierry Mugler took a extra ethereal method to cosmic type and made female robes match for an area princess. Credit score: Daniel Simon/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Pictures

At Paris Vogue Week 1986, the Fall-Winter assortment by French label Thierry Mugler was brimming with embellished star motifs and ornamental ear cuffs that stood up like antennae. A lot of Mugler’s collections all through the ’80s concerned space-age vixens sporting huge, boxy shoulder pads shrouded in gold or silver lamé.


The Givenchy Fall-Winter 1999-2000 collection spoke to a certain anxiety about the new millennium.

The Givenchy Fall-Winter 1999-2000 assortment spoke to a sure anxiousness concerning the new millennium. Credit score: Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Getty Pictures

However not everybody felt optimistic about our fast-approaching future. Alexander McQueen’s 1999-2000 Fall-Winter assortment for Givenchy was full of “curiosity, and concern, of the long run,” as one Vogue runway assessment from 1999 put it. Fashions have been studded with protruding metallic plugs, and neon lights radiated off of white PVC as their complete our bodies turned circuit boards.


John Galliano took his bow while wearing a Dior Haute Couture spacesuit in 2006.

John Galliano took his bow whereas sporting a Dior Haute Couture spacesuit in 2006. Credit score: Toni Anne Barson Archive/WireImage/Getty Pictures

After Dior’s 2006-2007 Fall-Winter Haute Couture present at Paris Vogue Week, the label’s artistic director on the time, British designer John Galliano, wore an astronaut swimsuit as he did a customary lap across the catwalk.


Moschino gave a new meaning to the space-age '60s.

Moschino gave a brand new that means to the space-age ’60s. Credit score: Catwalking/Getty Pictures

At Milan Vogue Week in 2018, Moschino’s Fall-Winter assortment took us again to the space-age ’60s differently. Fashions wore candy-colored mod clothes with excessive necklines and pillbox hats à la Jackie Kennedy Onassis, all of the whereas sporting supernatural-looking inexperienced, blue or yellow pores and skin — a nod to circulating conspiracy theories that the late first girl had been an undercover alien.


At Paris Fashion Week Womenswear in 2017, Chanel wowed audiences with a branded rocket.

At Paris Vogue Week Womenswear in 2017, Chanel wowed audiences with a branded rocket. Credit score: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Choose/Getty Pictures

For the Chanel Fall-Winter 2017-2018 ready-to-wear assortment, the Grand Palais in Paris housed an infinite monogrammed rocket ship that even underwent a pretend launch, full with billowing smoke. Fashions stood in entrance of the spacecraft sporting “Jetsons”-inspired ensembles with glitter knee-high go-go boots and double-breasted bouclé skirt fits.

Commes des Garçons

Rei Kawakubo took a deconstructive approach to intergalactic fashion.

Rei Kawakubo took a deconstructive method to intergalactic vogue. Credit score: Catwalking/Getty Pictures

In the identical 12 months, Rei Kawakubo’s assortment for Commes des Garçons was sculpturally space-age. Extra summary than A-line, the inflated clothes worn by Kawakubo’s fashions have been created from silver insulation materials and seemed like floating items of area particles.

Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen's Haute Couture show in 2019 was filled extraterrestrial-looking creations.

Iris van Herpen’s Haute Couture present in 2019 was crammed extraterrestrial-looking creations. Credit score: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Pictures

No designer working at the moment seems extra constantly influenced by otherworldly shapes and concepts than Iris van Herpen. The stage design for her 2019 assortment Hypnosis featured a spherical sculpture by American artist Anthony Howe that bore a placing resemblance to the lunar phases. Based on the present notes, the Dutch designer was impressed by cosmic themes of “infinite enlargement” and “a common life cycle.”


In the present day, outer area nonetheless captures the creativeness of vogue. For the Balmain Fall-Winter 2021-2022 assortment proven at this 12 months’s Paris Vogue Week, the catwalk turned a narrative of escape. A rocket hangar, an airplane and even the moon hovered suggestively behind strutting fashions as viewers fantasized in unison about touring throughout a pandemic. No vacation spot was out of the query, even off-world.


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