Did you know the space suits Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore to walk on the moon were made by a corps of seamstresses who were normally employed making bras and girdles? I didn’t. But that factlet could soon be common knowledge, because Warner Bros. wants to make a movie about it.
According to Space.com, Warner Bros. has hired new screenwriter Richard Cordiner to write an adaptation of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, beautifully named architecture professor Nicholas de Monchaux’s cultural history of the design of the space suits and the bra makers who were “the unsung heroes of the Apollo space program.”
“Each [space suit] was completely handmade—this [was] an utterly couture garment,” de Monchaux said in an interview with NPR back when the book first came out. “Twenty-one layers of all different kinds of material hand sewn by women who came off the bra and girdle assembly lines.”
Playtex’s group of lingerie seamstresses and the team supervisors—an engineer who had been a TV repair man and an executive who was a former sewing machine salesman—were the underdogs of the space suit project. Military contractors were eager to take on the space suit job and get all the sweet money and the place in world history that came with it, and Playtex was at one point successfully edged out of the selection process. But the bra makers managed to battle their way back in, and in the end none of the military-industrial bigwigs were able to put together anything as good as the space suit designed by Playtex. Because when you need something sewn to exact specifications, with lots of fiddly bits and shaping and unconventional materials, look for a lingerie maker.
Via Space.com/Photo: NASA