Feathered headdress from a costume worn by Nona Hendryx of Labelle

Designed by
Blakely, Dorian
Worn by
Hendryx, Nona, American, born 1944
Subject of
Labelle, American, founded 1962
Medium
feather, satin, wood, metal, leather, and Velcro™
Dimensions
H x W x D (On form): 33 × 29 × 31 in. (83.8 × 73.7 × 78.7 cm)
Type
headdresses
Place used
Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, Manhattan County, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date
1974
Description
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.
Topic
African American
Clothing and dress
Costume
Disco (Music)
Funk (Music)
Rhythm and blues (Music)
Rock and roll (Music)
Singers (Musicians)
Soul (Music)
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Nona Hendryx of Labelle
Object number
2014.246.2.1
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Clothing-Costume
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture

NOTE: Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu.