The Final Frontier of Fashion

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Interdisciplinary projects for the commercial space age are dominated by collaborations involving engineers and biologists. Where designers collaborate with scientists in production of work for space travel, their goal is often to advance digital or mechanical technology. While there has been substantial research into wearable technology and textile technology for space travel, the field of fashion has not yet explored opportunities to collaborate with, or to take inspiration from, the field of physics. Microgravity is one of the most dramatically unfamiliar features of the spaceflight environment, and weightlessness is identified by potential space tourists that one of the most appealing factors influencing their desire to engage in commercial space travel. There is scope, therefore, to consider how designed objects, including clothes, behave in microgravity. This research must be distinguished from existing investigations into wearable technology, in part to recognise that not all engagement with space travel must be high-tech. The condition of weightlessness forces fashion designers to revisit many of the assumptions that have long been fundamental to fashion design, in particular those related to the weight and drape of fabric, and the prioritization of the silhouette. Weightlessness causes clothes to be malformed and reoriented in ways that require entirely new approaches to shape and form, and to the relationship between clothes and the body. These new approaches to design make it possible to develop garments that visibly evidence the effects of weightlessness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021
EventTVAD International Symposium 2021: What the World Needs Now is Artists Engaged with Science
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jan 20219 Jan 2021


ConferenceTVAD International Symposium 2021: What the World Needs Now is Artists Engaged with Science
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • space
  • fashion
  • microgravity
  • weightlessness
  • physics
  • phenomenology
  • collaboration
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Art


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