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Feathered headdress from a costume worn by Nona Hendryx of Labelle

Catalog Data

Designed by:
Dorian Blakely  Search this
Worn by:
Nona Hendryx, American, born 1944  Search this
Subject of:
Labelle, American, founded 1962  Search this
feather, satin, wood, metal, leather, and Velcro™
H x W x D (On form): 33 × 29 × 31 in. (83.8 × 73.7 × 78.7 cm)
Place used:
Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, Manhattan County, New York, United States, North and Central America
This headdress is part of a costume worn by Nona Hendryx of Labelle. The costume consists of a headdress (.1), a cape (.2), silver studded black leather collar, breast covers, and codpiece (.3a-d), wrist cuffs (.4ab), platform boots (.5ab), prop handcuffs (.6), and a prop riding crop (.7).
The headdress (.1) consists of a fauxhawk with feathers and black leather side straps that fasten under the chin. The fauxhawk section is made of two pieces of hard material, probably wood, that is covered in black satin and decorated with convex silver rounded nail head metal studs on the exterior sides. Short black iridescent feathers, alternating with very long off-white feathers, are glued around the top edges of each hard side. The two sides are connected with a wide strip of black satin that is nailed and stapled along the bottom edge of each side. On the top area, pieces of wire connect to the inner sides of the hard pieces, allowing the sides to hinge outward slightly and to conform to the curve of the wearer's head. The top is filled with short black iridescent feathers. At the bottom outside edge of each hard side of the fauxhawk, two (2) straps of black leather are nailed. Each set of two straps is decorated with convex silver rounded nail head metal studs, and extends down the wearer's head so that one (1) strap goes in front of the ear and one (1) strap goes behind the ear. The two sets of straps fasten under the chin with a large metal snap. There are three (3) small silver grommets on the end of each strap that may have functioned as a lacing system for an additional tie closure.
This costume is very similar to a costume worn by Hendryx during a performance at the Metropolitan Opera House on October 6, 1974.
African American  Search this
Costume  Search this
Costume design  Search this
Design  Search this
Disco (Music)  Search this
Funk (Music)  Search this
Rhythm and blues (Music)  Search this
Rock and roll (Music)  Search this
Singers (Musicians)  Search this
Soul (Music)  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Nona Hendryx of Labelle
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture