Out Of This World Fashion
Mars has inspired mankind for years. As children, we watched Marvin the Martian fight with Bugs Bunny; as adolescents we read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, or The Barsoom novels (John Carter and Dejah Thoris) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. There have been movies (Mars Needs Moms!), TV shows (My Favorite Martian), and music (Life on Mars by David Bowie to Mars, The Bringer of War by Gustav Holst). Lately, the Mars rover Curiosity and all the amazing information it has provided has fascinated us.
One segment of popular culture that seems to have missed the boat, or rocketship, to Mars is fashion. Well, never fear, intrepid explorers, Mars has made its way to the runway.
The Atlantic reports that Nanette Lepore, best known for frilly and ruffly outfits more suited to dreamland than outer space, debuted her new Fall 2013 collection earlier this month at New York Fashion week. Her overriding theme? Mars, of course. The collection featured “holographic leathers; sharp, vaguely mechanical angles; and mod-style shapes … all punched up with bursts of — yep — red.” Really a step away from her usual garb.
However, Lepore didn’t base her clothing on the actual Mars, or even our current understanding of Mars. Rather, she used an image of the Endeavor crater that was taken by the Opportunity rover in March 2012. Sounds authentic, right? No. The image Lepore was fascinated with was a “false-color image.”
“It’s a mosaic comprised of a dozen or so images taken through the rover’s Pancam filters and centered on different wavelengths: 753 nanometers (near infrared), 535 nanometers (green), and 432 nanometers (violet). The sweeping view of the crater would, with more natural coloring, appear to be dusty-red; it’s presented in false color to emphasize the textures of the Martian landscape.”
Lepore’s collection has incorporated those greens and aquas of the false-color image into the clothing, making a strange juxtaposition of colors and edges.
It’s not that surprising really; don’t most of us prefer the dream of Mars that we built watching those movies, or reading the books? I know that in my mind, no matter how many pictures Curiosity sends back of red dirt and rocks, I still expect to see a picture of John Carter fighting alongside Tars Tarkas someday.
Lepore is not alone, however, in being inspired by space; she is just the first to focus on just one planet. According to this article in Vogue, fashion has been inspired by everything from Star Wars stormtrooper uniforms to the landing on the Moon. If you are interested in something more realistic, and way sexier, check out the Galaxy collection at BlackMilk. They are using actual space telescope images to create some far-out fashions.
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