High fashion often looks out of this world. WSU senior Brandon Dunbar is designing pieces to be worn on another planet.

Dunbar’s style has echoes of sci-fi and cyberpunk, with sharp lines, futuristic shapes, and bold colors. “I wanted to imagine what life would look like on Mars,” said the WSU Department Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles (AMDT) student.

After originally starting on a business and marketing degree at a community college, Dunbar decided to transfer to WSU to learn about textiles and clothing.

Rather than the more avant garde style of fashion seen on the runways which exaggerate the final look of clothes for a more theatrical debut, Dunbar said he went in a more realistic direction.

“I wanted to imagine what people would really wear on Mars, and create pieces that everyone can wear,” he said. “My overall goal is to spread awareness about Mars and space exploration. Science and technology fuel my creativity.”

Xingqiu Lou, teaching assistant professor for the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Textile and Design (AMDT) said Dunbar had a clear vision and an attention to detail.

“His collection is visually cohesive and is a reflection of tomorrow’s fashion,” Lou said. “Brandon explores humans’ ambitious goal to live on the red planet, and explores some potential design solutions,”

A face shield.
The bionic face shield used in Dunbar’s runway show.

A form-flattering spacesuit, a mini dress shaped like a space shuttle, and Martian loungewear are just a few pieces that will be part of the AMDT runway show on April 10, which people will be able to view virtually on the AMDT website.

To keep his models safe on the runway amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Dunbar purchased a bionic face shield for each model to wear.

“I don’t have the budget for a real space helmet, so to compensate, I decided to purchase these bionic face shields to protect my models from the elements on ‘Mars,” he said.

Dunbar said his goal after graduation is to work for science fiction films and TV shows, designing fashion for futuristic societies and fantasy worlds. He is also interested in potentially designing uniforms for companies interested in space travel, such as NASA and SpaceX.

“Just because something is functional, doesn’t mean it can’t be fashionable,” he said.