Armstrong’s memorial inspires a look back at ’60s space age fashion

September 13, 2012 | By Helene Gustavsson | Archive, Entertainment, Iconic, Trends, Visual Trends

With Neil Armstrong’s being remembered today at a public memorial service, you could say another chapter of the Space Age era has come to closure.

Nothing in certain respects is truly original, as trends return over and over again, but the Space Age look seems particularly unique in hindsight in that it literally halted within fashion in 1969 with Armstrong’s foot on the surface of the moon.

The brilliant decade of the 1960s saw fashion take many new directions and one that helped define that unique time is Space Age style — mostly associated with designers Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne and André Courrèges.

Considering how much is still left to explore of the universe the sudden end of this futuristic trend is certainly an enigma in itself.

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Images include (psst! click through the slider to see more):

1. FRANCE – 1968:  Models wearing fashions designed by Pierre Cardin.  (Photo by Bill Ray/Life Magazine/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

2. On the left, a model wears a vinyl helmet with perspex earphone, called ‘Sea Diver’, and on the right is ‘Seaspray’, a red and white racing cap with a sun-protecting visor.  Both are from designer Edward Mann’s Spring Collection, being shown in London.   (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

3. FRANCE – FEBRUARY 14:  Paris. This model is showing an original ensemble created by Paco RABANNE for his spring-summer 1969 collection: a coat-of-mail dress composed of metal sequins and ostrich feathers on the arms. The hair style uses the same materials.  (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Editor’s note:  London-based Helene Gustavsson works with picture research at Getty Images and is one of the editors for the ‘Of the Moment’ blog. With a particular interest in fashion and social history she edits the weekly Getty Images e-mail feature “Style Now and Then,” looking at both contemporary trends and the inspiration from the past behind them.

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