The ESMOD Paris International University of Art for Fashion is one of five European design schools participating in Couture in Orbit, ESA’s project to look at the future of fashion using space materials and technology. Cristina Labat, modelling teacher at ESMOD Paris, gives an overview of the school’s role in the event.
Working on Couture in Orbit was interesting and enriching to the students at ESMOD Paris. It was a pleasure to welcome representatives from ESA and have them explain their projects – the students were immediately enthralled.
For us the difference from other projects was that we got to work with technical fabrics and new technologies such as the JOHAN sport receiver that tracks a wearer’s movements.
Style professor Katia Mourot and I adapted the course’s programme to include the Couture in Orbit project. The students who took part already had a full schedule because they are doing a combined year.
We wanted all the students in that year to take part in the project. To start with, all students designed original garments using samples we received from ESA such as highly insulating materials.
A jury of ESA and ESMOD representatives chose six designs to be turned into real garments for the show in London.
We didn’t give our students a specific theme but they are obviously all original and futuristic. The only constraint was that the students use the textiles we were given. The designs that were chosen for the London event are inspired by sportwear and are comfortable, practical and tight-fitting.
We worked with the fabrics from Sympatex, Bionic Yarn and 37.5, who gave us samples of their new, ‘intelligent’ and performance materials that offer high resistance, comfort and elasticity. We made all the garments from their materials. We also integrated the JOHAN sport receivers. The sponsors were very helpful and answered our questions via email and telephone – we are very grateful to them.
The students loved working on this project and reacted with enthusiasm and professionalism. The students selected for London – Maxime, Jamjuree, Ye, Valeria and Nuria – invested a lot of time in this project despite their busy schedule to graduate at the end of the year.
We often work with external partners so that students can gain some experience with professionals. This project allowed us to work with a different partner outside of the world of fashion and create new designs with advanced technology that will likely be part of the future of clothing.