Ravensbourne showcase space collection with European Space Agency

Rachel Houlden

_Q3I9774Ravensbourne is the only UK institution to have been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to work on ‘Couture in Orbit’ a project which challenges students to create outfits inspired by space flight. The collections hit the runway at a space inspired fashion show held at the Science Museum last night, hosted by presenter George Lamb

The aim was to bring science and couture together using the latest innovative technologies and materials, from embedded sensors to heating units and super-absorbent textiles, the challenge was to predict the future of fashion in designs that are desirable and practical, whilst showcasing their national cultures. Space-certified textiles were provided for the students by the ESA, supported by companies Bionic Yarn and Sympatex.

Ravensbourne students’ designs from across four different courses; MA and BA Fashion, MA Wearable Futures and BA Fashion D 58a 75c 7-40f 5-4d 6a -9fdf -88b 6ea 5f 159aAccessory Design were selected. The designs included space inspired handbags, neck pieces, head wear including retractable hoods, casual separates, footwear and outerwear. The collection features wearable technology elements for the future consumer while the fabrics provided by our sponsors have technical properties fit for the future of space travel for leisure.

Ravensbourne were amongst five top European fashion schools chosen to mark the five European Space Agency missions to the International Space Station (ISS) between 2014 and 2016. Visitors at Science Museum Late event had a chance to discover more about life on-board the ISS, meet our students and technology sponsors and explore how wearable technology and intelligent fabrics  are used in current and future space missions and our everyday lives.

Caroline Gilbey, Associate Dean of Fashion at Ravensbourne said:  ‘As Associate Dean of Fashion at Ravensbourne, I feel privileged that we were invited as one of only five schools in Europe to take part in the European Space Agency collaborative design project “Couture in Orbit”. The project has given our students the chance to collaborate not only with one another but also with high profile fabric sponsors across the world. The final outcome shown at the Science Museum last night proves that these students rose to the challenge'. Laura Perry, MA Fashion student at Ravensbourne said: ‘I have really enjoyed working with ESA on the “Couture in Orbit” project,  it has been a great opportunity for us all and a fun and exciting design challenge’.

Rosita Suenson, Human Spaceflight Communication Programme Officer at ESA said:  " The students have really impressed us with original ideas and stories about the future of space travel and the marriage of fashion and technology. Working with the students atRavensbourne convinced me that design, space and wearable technology is here to stay".