Nicholas de Monchaux
The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011, English
Nonfiction, Product/Industrial Design
7 x 9 inches, hardcover, 380 pages, 140 color illustrations
ISBN: 9780262015202
Suggested Retail Price: $34.95

From the Publisher. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface in July of 1969, they wore spacesuits made by Playtex: twenty-one layers of fabric, each with a distinct yet interrelated function, custom-sewn for them by seamstresses whose usual work was fashioning bras and girdles. This book is the story of those spacesuits. It is a story of the triumph over the military-industrial complex by the International Latex Corporation, best known by its consumer brand of "Playtex"—a victory of elegant softness over engineered hardness, of adaptation over cybernetics.

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Paul Makovsky

Who knew that the company that made Playtex bras and girdles was also responsible for one of the most famous outfits in history—the Apollo spacesuit that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore on the moon in 1969. Nicholas de Monchaux recounts the history and analyzes the suit, peeling back its layers—not only revealing what the astronauts wore but also providing a new interpretation of the history of space flight and the Space Race. It’s a model of design history, exploring a designed object—the spacesuit—through many different strata.

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