Project Runway, indeed! The University of Tokyo recently hosted a spacewear fashion show with couture designed for weightless environments. You know how some raincoats are reversible, so you look as good in dry weather as you do in rain? So here, clothes must be directionally revsersible, and look just as good up as they do down. I've floated in microgravity a few times on Zero G flights, and it would sure be even more fun to float around in satin poufs instead of those pedestrian spacesuits.
The show was held by Rocketplane Kistler – a US company that plans to begin offering space tours in two years – and a group of Japanese fashion designers, as part of the Hyper Space Couture Design Contest. Winners of the contest, which is organized by Tokyo-based fashion designer Eri Matsui with the support of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and many others, will help design the clothes for use on Rocketplane's space tourism flights set to begin in 2008.
The 11 garments appearing in the show were selected from over 880 designs submitted by college students. The clothes incorporate a variety of features designed for zero gravity, such as ruffles that expand under weightless conditions or small air-jet propulsion systems in the sleeves to help you change direction while floating.