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How Apollo 11 Inspired Fashion and Music

The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing was just a few days ago, and I can’t stop thinking about how this event influenced culture and brought the space-era style to life.

It was July 16 of 1969 and every family, in the whole world, was gathering in front of their television to attend the Apollo 11 crew landing in the moon. It was the first time ever that a human would put a foot on the moon surface. And that day, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin showed us that dreams could truly come true.

While the launch of Apollo 11 was being planned, there were artists and designers crafting ideas about space. Pierre Cardin, the French fashion designer, really took it to the next level with avant-garde collections pairing midi dresses in long boots and gloves, with architectural helmets. He chose materials like vinyl, glass, lurex, and Dynel and incorporated LED circuits to heighten the fashion show. 

«Pierre Cardin’s two-tone jersey dresses, with vinyl waders, 1969. Yoshi Takata», CNN Style

After the Apollo 11 mission, he even went to NASA and designed his own spacesuits for the institution in 1970. 

«Pierre Cardin wearing an Apollo 11 space suit, 1969. Credit: Courtesy of Archives Pierre Cardin», CNN Style

Long before, Mary Quant was revolutionizing women’s fashion introducing mini skirts, hot pants, and exploring new fabrics that portrayed the 60s fashion spirit -swinging sixties- as she did with her Wet Collection.

Wet Collection by Mary Quant

And when it comes to music, David Bowie was referring to space to alleviate love pain as he did with ‘Life on Mars?’, and the mission to get to know the moon with its lyrics for ‘Space Oddity’ that was released just five days ahead the Apollo 11. 

The song was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
David Bowie on Stage, 1973.
A later version for Space Oddity video clip.
‘Tokyo Pop’ by Kansai Yamamoto, the mind behind David Bowie style for his Ziggy Stardust era during the 70s.
Photo: Sukita in The Japan Times

This year, Vans promoted a collection in honor of David Bowie. Vans X David Bowie.

And Barbie too created a doll inspired by Bowie’s artistry. 

Photo: Mattel

Today, astronauts and the exploration of the universe still a source of inspiration in our culture: 

Miu Miu

Britney Spears 

The Weekend Ft. Daft Punk

Empire of the Sun

What other artists make you dream about aliens and spaceships? Let me know in the comments!

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