Design

From Movies to Space: José Fernández's Work

Learn about the work of the artist who made it in Hollywood and then designed the SpaceX astronaut suit

José Fernández is a Mexican-American designer who began working in Hollywood in the 1980s. His first costume design was for the movie Gremlins and, since then, he has been involved in the design of concepts, costumes, and accessories for major film studios and musicians.

According to Fernández, when he was first invited to design the suit for SpaceX, he thought it was for a movie. He did not know that he was about to take his work from the big screen to space. Get to know some of the work this artist as well as his creative shop, Ironhead Studio, have done in recent years:

Collaboration with Daft Punk

In the 2010s, for Daft Punk's return to the stage as well as the band's involvement in the movie Tron Legacy, José's studio took over the design of the helmets for the famous French duo.

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Daft Punk

In this video, you can see the iconic white suits and helmets that Daft Punk wore during the spectacular show for the 2014 Grammys ceremony, with Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and Neil Rodgers.

Ironhead Studio was also in charge of the Tron Legacy wardrobe, which paid tribute to the first part, from 1982, incorporating new elements.

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Tron Legacy

Post-apocalyptic worlds

Some of Ironhead's collaborations with films have been in costume design for movies that chronicle post-apocalyptic and futuristic worlds, such as Oblivion, The Planet of the Apes, Alien 3, and After Earth.

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Prototype for After Earth. Ironhead studio
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Planet of the Apes
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José Fernández modeling a face-hugger for Alien 3. Ironhead Studio

Fantastic worlds

José Fernández and Ironhead also worked on concept art and costume design for films that take place in fantastic worlds, such as Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Hunter.

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Alice in Wonderland
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Snow White and the Hunstman

Superheroes (and supervillains)

In recent decades, the costume design for many of the most successful superhero movies also come from his studio. Some of his work has been featured in Avengers, The Amazing Spiderman-Man, Daredevil, Thor: Ragnarok, Batman Vs. Superman, X-Men: Apocalypse, Black Panther, and many more.

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José Fernández modeling Batman Returns outfit. Ironhead studio
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Thor: Ragnarok
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José and Bryan Duly modeling the Loki case. Ironhead studio
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José designed Thanos' helmet, makeup, and costume for Avengers. Ironhead studio
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In Batman vs. Superman, José designed the costumes for Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot. Ironhead Studio
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Hela's helmet in Thor: Ragnarok was in charge of Ironhead Studio

SpaceX astronaut suits

On May 31, 2020, the world watched the launch of the Dragon Crew capsule that traveled to the International Space Station. It was the first trip manned by NASA astronauts aboard an aircraft from a private company, SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk.

José Fernández designed the suits that astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken wore. An engineering achievement, the suit is 40% lighter than previous ones worn by other American astronauts. Called Starman, these tailored suits are one-piece and weigh about 9 kilos. The helmets were manufactured using 3D printing. They attach to the seat of the Dragon Crew capsule, and the suit has gloves that allow the use of the ship's advanced touch screen controls.

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SpaceX
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SpaceX
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