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Catalog Data

Designed by:
Larry LeGaspi, American, 1950 - 2001  Search this
Worn by:
Nona Hendryx, American, born 1944  Search this
Subject of:
Labelle, American, founded 1962  Search this
Skullcap: synthetic fiber and batting
Bodysuit: synthetic fiber, metal zipper
Vest: synthetic fiber, batting, metal, and elastic
Boot Covers: synthetic fiber, batting, Velcro™, and elastic
H x W x D (Skullcap (flat)): 20 1/4 × 11 × 1 1/4 in. (51.4 × 27.9 × 3.2 cm)
H x W x D (Skullcap (on form)): 20 1/2 × 9 × 9 1/2 in. (52.1 × 22.9 × 24.1 cm)
H x W (Bodysuit (flat)): 55 1/2 × 29 in. (141 × 73.7 cm)
H x W x D (Bodysuit (on form)): 54 1/2 × 18 × 11 in. (138.4 × 45.7 × 27.9 cm)
H x W (Bodysuit (inseam)): 29 in. (73.7 cm)
H x W x D (Vest (flat)): 55 × 28 1/2 × 1/2 in. (139.7 × 72.4 × 1.3 cm)
H x W x D (Vest (on form)): 27 × 26 × 12 1/2 in. (68.6 × 66 × 31.8 cm)
H x W x D (Boot cover (.a, left, flat)): 23 × 8 × 1 in. (58.4 × 20.3 × 2.5 cm)
H x W x D (Boot cover (.b, right, flat)): 23 1/2 × 8 1/4 × 1 in. (59.7 × 21 × 2.5 cm)
H x W x D (Boot cover (.a, left, on form)): 23 1/2 × 4 1/2 × 7 1/2 in. (59.7 × 11.4 × 19.1 cm)
H x W x D (Boot cover (.b, right, on form)): 22 × 4 1/2 × 7 3/4 in. (55.9 × 11.4 × 19.7 cm)
main garments for the upper body
body stockings
This costume was worn by Nona Hendryx of Labelle during a live performance on the television show "The Midnight Special" in 1975. The costume consists of a silver skullcap (.1), a silver unitard (.2), a silver overbodice (.3), and silver boot covers (.4ab).
Skullcap, .1: The silver metallic skullcap is similar in style to an aviator's cap. It is made from two (2) layers of silver synthetic fiber that serve as the facing and the lining fabrics. The fabric is quilted in a series of parallel lines along the top of the cap from the forehead to the nape of the neck. The area covering the ears is not quilted and extends into two thinner strips, one on each side of the head, with rounded tops. The seams of the quilted sections are left exposed on the interior of the cap, but are finished with serge stitching.
Unitard, .2: The silver metallic unitard has full-length sleeves and ankle-length legs, with a collarless crew neck. It is made from a silver stretch synthetic fiber. The unitard closes at the center back with a metal zipper that reaches from the lower back to the neck. There are additional zippers at each ankle and wrist. It is fully lined with an off-white stretch synthetic fabric.
Overbodice, .3: Silver metallic overbodice garment worn over the bodysuit (.2). It is made from a silver metallic synthetic fiber used on the facing and the lining sides, quilted all over in parallel lines. The overbodice wraps around the wearer's chest and shoulders and secures with hook-and-eye fasteners in the front. When worn, the garment has a leaf-shaped front panel covering the stomach, wide shoulder wings that extend beyond the wearer's body, a v-shaped back panel that covers the spine, and a horizontal crescent-shaped panel that covers the wearer's buttocks. The bottom center of the crescent-shaped back panel is sewn to a wide band of elastic, attaching the back panel to the bottom tip of the leaf-shaped front stomach panel. The garment closes with metal hook-and-eye fasteners, one hook (1) at each side of the center front neck fastens to one (1) eye at the tip of the stomach panel, one (1) hook at each top outside edge of the back crescent-shaped panel wraps around to the front side and fastens to one (1) eye at each outside edge of the stomach panel. There is a thick metal rod, bent to form around the shoulder wing and keep it stiff, sewn inside the outermost quilted layer on the proper right side only; the proper left wing has no apparent interior support.
Leg covers, .4ab: Two lower leg covers, both alike, made from silver metallic synthetic fabric. The fabric is quilted in three (3) parallel lines that run from top to bottom down the center front, surrounded by a series of quilted parallel lines oriented at an angle. The covers are angled with a longer tip at the center front on the top and bottom edges. Both are lined with the silver facing fabric, and close at the center back of the leg with Velcro sewn at the left and right outer edges of the reverse. A length of elastic tape woven with silver metallic and white thread is sewn on the reverse exterior bottom edge of each cover, with a large metal hook at the loose end that attaches to a metal eye sewn on the reverse interior bottom edge.
African American  Search this
Clothing and dress  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
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Concourse, C 050
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture