Ground Control to Major Tom

10 Things about the history of the spacesuit

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I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but there seems to be a lot of astronaut movies coming out right now. Maybe it’s because of the renewed interest in manned space missions since the success of the Mars Curiosity mission last year, I don’t know.It kind of feels like it’s 1998 again. But have you ever wondered how they designed the spacesuit? It’s become a pretty iconic look in its own right, in both science fiction and other cultural contexts. Thom Browne even closed his first Paris menswear show in 2010 with models walking down the runway in spacesuits.

1//Space Odyssey
The first spacesuit was designed for the Mercury missions (1958-1963). They were only meant to be worn inside the spacecraft in case of cabin pressure loss, so they are much less bulky than the spacesuits we know today. Made of aluminized nylon, which gives them a very distinct metallic sheen, the Mercury suits consisted of a helmet, lace up boots, and gloves. Stylistically speaking, they’re much more Lost in Space than Armageddon.

2//Space Chimps
The Mercury spacesuit prototypes were tested on a chimpanzee named Enos. Yes, that Space Chimps movie is entirely real.

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3//Apollo, Apollo
The Apollo space missions (1963-1972) required a different type of spacesuit than those designed for previous missions. It needed to be able to protect the wearer from the hazards of space outside the ship, which include things like radiation and extreme heat and cold, and they needed a suit that had its own life support. The Gemini spacesuit, which came before Apollo’s, could withstand a space walk, but mobility was limited because the life support was through the ship via a hose. Not very practical, and done away with entirely for the Apollo missions.

4//Intergalactic Layers
The final design features about a million layers. The first is a water-cooled nylon undergarment to regulate your body temperature. Then you put on a multilayered pressure suit with three layers – lightweight nylon, neoprene coated nylon, and regular nylon. On top of that there are 5 layers of alumized Mylar interwoven with four layers of Dacron for heat protection, two more layers of Dacron for further heat protection, and then two layers of Teflon to protect the suit from rips. This process takes about 45 minutes. The boots of the Apollo suit differ from those of past missions, because they’re designed to be able to walk on rocky terrain.

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5//EVA Suits
These suits have come to be known as EVA (Extravehicular Activity) suits, and have been used on pretty much every manned mission since Apollo, and have been made by ILC Dover since the 60s. ILC also makes NASA’s shuttle suits.

6//Colour Me Orange
The bright orange “pumpkin suits,” or Advanced Crew Escape Suits, are only meant to be worn within the shuttle during takeoff and landing. These suits are orange because it makes it easier to spot the wearers in case a search and rescue needs to be done. Underneath these are usually a g-suit, a tight fitting dark green suit filled with inflatable bladders that are designed to keep the wearer’s blood from pooling in their legs while in periods of high acceleration. When astronauts are just chilling in the shuttle, they wear Air Force issue flight suits.

7//Why White?
In a similar fashion, EVA suits are white because it reflects heat and stands out in the blackness of space.

8//Sputnik Baby
Russia and China, the only other two nations with manned space programs, have their own custom spacesuits. In Russia cosmonauts wear the Sokol suit for launch and landing, and the Orlan suit for space walks. Both are white. NASA sometimes also uses these suits. Chinese astronauts wear Feitan suits, which are modeled after the Orlan suit, and a landing suit based on the Sokol.

9//The Future
NASA has recently been testing new prototypes for deep space and Mars missions. They recently contracted ILC to make them the T-2, a prototype that is meant for deep space missions, and is more flexible and comfortable than EVA suits.

10//A Spacesuit On Its Own
There is a spacesuit that has been made into a satellite. Called the SuitSat, it was an Orlan suit that was recommissioned as a cheap satellite. It was launched into space on February 3, 2006, but has since been pulled back into our atmosphere and burned up.

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//Extra Credit Reading List

“Why are Astronauts Spacesuits Orange?” by Clara Moskowitz (LiveScience). June 2, 2010.

“NASA’s Spacesuits Through the Years: Photos.” by Irene Klotz (Discovery News). May 3, 2013.

“History of U.S. Spacesuits.” by the Man-Vehicle Laboratory, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (mit.edu). March 17, 1997.

“NASA – The History of Spacesuits.” by Unknown. (nasa.gov). September 16, 2008.

Fashion POP Finalists

The 7th Annual Fashion POP Fashion Show takes place at this year's POP Montreal, and we have a first look at the finalists

The weather has cooled, the leaves are starting to turn, and if you’re in Montreal, this only means one thing—it’s time again for POP Montreal, one of the city’s largest and coolest arts festivals. It also means it’s time for Fashion POP, the festival’s fashion design competition, now in its seventh year. This year sees six of Montreal’s hottest young design talents go head-to-head for a chance to win $1000, a pop-up exhibition in Espace POP, and a fashion editorial in the coolest fashion mag in Canada (if I do say so myself): WORN Fashion Journal. We’ve gotten an exclusive first look at the finalists. Who do you think should take home this year’s prize?

vivianne

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WHO
Viviane LaBelle
THE LOOK
Finely tailored menswear and sportswear, with a modern twist.
DESIGNER CRED
Menswear Design, Marie-Victorin College; Bachelor of Design and Fashion Styling at the École Supérieure de Mode de Montréal; Internship at Aether Apparel.

andrea

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WHO
Andrea Montle
THE LOOK
Dark and ethereal with attitude. A focus on knitwear and some slightly unpretty materials, like plastic and quilted padding. Miley Cyrus in her current incarnation would be all over these looks.
DESIGNER CRED
Fashion Design, LaSalle College; Collections shown at O.P.P Galerie et Boutique and Nowhereland in Toronto.

madeleine

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WHO
Madeleine Voizard
THE LOOK
Dark, edgy, modern rock and roll. Very cool, and very Montreal.
DESIGNER CRED
Art and Communication, Brébeuf; Fashion Design, LaSalle College; Fashion Design, UQAM.

christina

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WHO
Christina Julien
THE LOOK
Julien is inspired by mid-sixties art and films, and her clothes feature clean, uncomplicated lines, with a focus on sustainability. This translates to a lot of black and white, and clothes that wouldn’t look out of place on tuxedo-clad R&B queen Janelle Monae.
DESIGNER CRED
Fashion Design, LaSalle College; Internships with Christian L’Enfant Roi and Valérie Dumaine; Contestant in the 2013 Télio design competition.

daniel

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WHO
Daniel Quiroz
THE LOOK
Fur, feathers, lace, and tulle are this designer’s fabrics of choice. I could totally see Katy Perry and Lady Gaga duking it out over that tulle bodysuit studded with lights.
DESIGNER CRED
Fashion Design, Marie-Victorin College; 2nd Year Fashion Styling at École Supérieure de Mode de Montréal; Assistant to Maryla Sobek; Interships with José-Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Belanger of UNTTLD; Finalist in 2012 Télio design competition.

ben

Fashion Collection

WHO
Benjamin Lafaille
THE LOOK
Bright, eclectic streetwear inspired by socio-cultural issues, a love of opulence, and a desire to provoke. Korean superstar G-Dragon and Missy Elliott should wear these epic suits in their “Niliria” videos.
DESIGNER CRED
Industrial Design, Cégep du Vieux Montréal; Fashion Design, LaSalle College.

The show will be taking place next week, on Wednesday, September, 25th, at the Théâtre Rialto. The doors open at 8:00 p.m. and the show is completely FREE, so if you’re in Montreal there is literally no excuse. For more information, head to the official event listing.

portrait photography // Allison Staton

One More Week to Be a Wornette!

WORN is looking for a few good interns. Will it be you?

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The deadline is fast approaching for applications for our fall/winter internship program. We’re looking for interns for all departments—editorial, graphic design, styling, and publishing. Are you a creative, hard-working individual with a deep love of fashion and unique ideas, different from what you can find in a mainstream fashion mag?

WORN is committed to creating a more inclusive space in fashion publishing, by profiling different subcultures, races, sizes, abilities, and ages. Our internships provide a hands-on experience in all departments, since we’re a fairly small publication. You’ll have the opportunity to work directly with our editors, designers, stylists and publisher in a way that you might not be able to at a bigger magazine. Your ideas will be heard, and you’ll never be asked to fetch anyone their lunch. Plus you have the added bonus of being part of the coolest little fashion magazine in Canada.

Applications are due in one week, on September 27th. Follow the link to the application, and come work with us on our spring issue.

Seriously, come.

Mad Victorian Fantasy

Wornettes attended Toronto's annual Steam on Queen street fair, a celebration of Steampunk

This June marked the second annual Steam on Queen, one of the world’s largest outdoor Steampunk fairs, at Toronto’s historic Campbell House. It was a fitting location for the event, being the oldest surviving house in the city, and despite the weather not really cooperating, people got dressed in their Steampunkiest finest for a day of shopping, music, and art devoted to this retro-futuristic subculture.

photography // Laura Tuttle