What’s the best song ever written about space? Millions of votes could be cast for Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” Sinatra fans might bring up “Fly Me to the Moon” and millennials may lobby for “Looking for Astronauts” by The National. But we think David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” is the winner hands down. So for this week’s Listen Up let’s take five minutes to go floating in a tin can back to the song’s release date on July 11, 1969, ten days before the Apollo 11 moon landing. This psychedelic anthem became Bowie’s first number 1 single in the UK and is one of the 500 songs that changed rock’n roll history (according to Rolling Stone).
We marvel at flight – whether it’s a flock of red-winged blackbirds, a hang glider gently descending from a cliff or a commercial jet flying overhead – a sound or a flicker of movement and we look up to the sky and wonder. When flight goes beyond the earth’s atmosphere to a place that so few of us will ever experience, to an exploration of the galaxy, it becomes thrilling in a way few human endeavors can ever match. On a visit to the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles, we found the space shuttle Endeavour resting on a specially designed earthquake-proof base in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, an immense hanger that barely contains this monolithic decommissioned orbiter. From 1992 to 2011, the Endeavour flew 25 missions serving communications satellites and the Hubble Telescope, as well as docking with the International Space Station. Now the last of the five space shuttles built by NASA has a new job: to educate and inspire, to make all of us look beyond barriers and limitations. If we take up the challenge that the Endeavour presents to us, to consider and explore the great unknown fearlessly, then the sky is no longer the limit.
For more information and to make reservations to see the Endeavour at Los Angeles’ California Science Center, go to https://californiasciencecenter.org/exhibits/air-space/space-shuttle-endeavour.
2017 will be remembered for fashion’s homage to “Space…the final frontier…” Designers are showing celestial-inspired printed textiles and textural fabrics employing elements of the solar system and the lunar surface. Silver leather – both faux and real – is ever–present in coats at Prada and Moncler, skirts at Yang Li, sneakers and boots at Dior, and trend-worthy oversized backpacks at Bernhard Willhelm (these resemble astronaut oxygen packs).The glove du jour at Chanel is the metallic fingerless driving glove. Elon Musk, we’re dressed and ready to go: next stop Mars!
The most memorable show of the Fall/Winter 2017 season was Karl Lagerfeld’s epic fashion exploration which boldly went where no runway show has gone before. The show ended with a rocket lift off in the Grand Palais in Paris! (Chanel’s official video of the lift off is provided below.) Every show hopes to dazzle the fashion press corps with a signature accessory that’s sure to be the biggest money maker of the season. The Kaiser must be counting the francs he’s destined to make with his sparkling lunar go-go boot accented by a black patent leather-tipped toe and chunky heel — though I’ll bet the knockoffs will hit the streets before Chanel ships their first pair in September. And do you remember Tom Brady’s silver quilted warm-up blanket at this year’s Super Bowl? Lagerfeld featured his own cozy interpretation of the blanket in his Chanel runway extravaganza.
Many designers presented their men’s and women’s collections simultaneously this year, and the trends and fabrications spanned genders and blurred lines. There were just as many flourishes for men as women – such as the embroidered planets spinning on Coach jackets and the explosive, colorful celestial prints at Moschino — and unisex jewelry and star-studded makeup completed this year’s heavenly fashion exploration. As Buzz Lightyear and Dr. Style always say, “To infinity and beyond, trendsetters!”