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Space Inspires Fashion

The invited designers were: Martin Bergstrom, Bella Rune, Frida Hofslagare, Alice Schulman and Adam Gauffin. Photographer was Märta Thisner, stylist Hanna Kich, art director and project manager was Johan af Geijerstam. Credits: Märta Thisner
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) Jan 31, 2007
How can space inspire fashion? Has it inspired fashion throughout history? These were questions put to participants of a fashion workshop in Stockholm, timed to coincide with Christer Fuglesang's trip to the ISS. As part of the 'Space Base Stockholm' (Rymdbas Stockholm) event, 7 - 12 December, a number of workshops were held. One of these was entitled 'Fashion and Design', a hands-on workshop culminating in a real photo shoot.

Driving the show was Johan af Geijerstam, freelance project and production manager in fashion and PR.

"As part of Space Base Stockholm, there was the idea to combine the interests of the target group for fashion with space and the special aesthetics of space. What brings space and fashion together? We wanted to find these connections, and see how they have formed over time," said af Geijerstam.

Space as inspiration - then and now

With space and its place in history as a source of inspiration, the goal was to create a meeting place that primarily showcased the process of how a product is conceived, but with actual results that could be used after the project was formally ended.

Johan af Geijerstam explained: "We ended up with a work station showcasing the process in a mini-format, where the three parts were 'inspiration', 'creation' and 'studio'. As a finale there was a genuine photo shoot where visitors could see how make-up assistants, photographers, lighting supervisors and project manager work - but most of all to see the clothes."

To show the role of space as a source of inspiration for fashion, a number of films were shown of the most prominent, futuristic designers of the 1920s and 1990s.

A challenge

During the workshop the participants, together with established designers, designed and produced futuristic garments in many unusual materials, like bubble plastic and rubber. In the 'studio' part, the participants were exposed to other professions in the fashion sphere, such as the photographer, art director and stylist.

In one part of the workshop schoolchildren were invited to create and realise thoughts and ideas on how to characterise space from an aesthetic viewpoint with simple tools.

"We had groups of 10 people at a time, and we had maybe 10 such groups", said af Geijerstam.

"The participants enjoyed it very much, and found it challenging. That's really one of the main points of a workshop - to create something with limited means. To see that ideas can take you very far."

The invited designers also enjoyed the workshop", said af Geijerstam. "This was a subject they had not worked with in this hands-on way before. But there has been a trend building over the last year - great designers have done a lot of futuristic work. So the workshop suited the invited designers very well. That made it even more rewarding."

Cross-cultural meeting place

Members of the public could also visit the workshop, to look at the work being done and watch videos of fashion shows by history's great designers . There were also magazines and books on space, futurism and fashion to look at, as well as opportunities to sit and chat with the participants.

"Our goal was that the workshop should be a cross-cultural meeting place, where you could talk about about your ideas on space aesthetics, and see if there are new ways to look at things. Can environmental thinking be 'space' today? We wanted to challenge established views," concluded af Geijerstam.

Footnote: The invited designers were: Martin Bergstrom, Bella Rune, Frida Hofslagare, Alice Schulman and Adam Gauffin. Photographer was Marta Thisner, stylist Hanna Kich, art director and project manager was Johan af Geijerstam.

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