Spacesuit's of Alexey Leonov - 1965 - The first man to walk in space & Alan Shepard - 1961 - The first American to travel in space.
For this collection I have sourced metallic leathers from Italy including bright silver, gunmetal, light blue and copper amongst others. In contrast to these beautiful leathers I chose to use modern technical fabrics some of which have derived as a result of scientific and fashion technology break throughs in not only Spacesuits but other explorative clothing. These fabrics include PU coated, foiled and coated Nylons; Polyurethane plastic; coated cottons; Reflective fabrics and Neoprenes to name a few. These have been used not only for the linings of the bags but in parts of the collection as the main fabric for the bags.
Spacesuit Collection Parts Fabrication.
To reflect some of the Spacesuit components - mainly the anodised aluminium valve intakes, I started by looking in depth at these parts and redrawing them in 2D. Once happy with three different designs I came up with they were redrawn actual size, then scanned and redrawn again on a computer to change them to digital vector drawings. The next process was to have the parts laser cut from the vector drawings in 1.5mm unfinished sheet aluminium. Once these were back from the laser cutters I then sent them to a colour anodiser to be coloured red, blue and silver. The colours have been colour matched to special anodised Ykk Excella zips. Finally each part has been laser engraved back to the original metal finish to add the last details to the designs. It was a long process that involved four local business' - but the outcome has been truly worth it. The fabrication of these components translates the 'Spacesuit' asthetic I aimed to achieve when I originally started creating this collection back in 2015.
The below image shows a few steps in the fabrication process.
While these parts were being created, space exploration sew on patches were sourced to authenticate the overall look of each 'Space Bag'. This tied in with my idea for the bespoke pieces within the collection to celebrate certain past missions to space.
Many of the bags within the collection are complete one of a kind pieces that will never be reproduced -so they really are individual works of art as much as usable every day products.
- Edward de Lacy 2016.