Collar, breast covers, and codpiece from a costume worn by Nona Hendryx

Designed by
Blakely, Dorian
Worn by
Hendryx, Nona, American, born 1944
Subject of
Labelle, American, founded 1962
Medium
leather and metal
Dimensions
H x W x D ((a) On form): 7 × 20 1/2 × 8 in. (17.8 × 52.1 × 20.3 cm)
H x W x D ((b) On form): 7 × 1/2 × 3 1/2 in. (17.8 × 1.3 × 8.9 cm)
H x W x D ((c) On form): 7 × 7 × 4 in. (17.8 × 17.8 × 10.2 cm)
H x W x D ((d) On form): 5 3/16 × 3 1/2 × 2 3/8 in. (13.2 × 8.9 × 6 cm)
Type
codpieces
collars (neckwear)
Place used
Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, Manhattan County, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date
1974
Description
These four (4) black leather covers are 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 four (4) black leather covers (.3a-d) are decorated with convex silver rounded nail head metal studs. They were worn with a white long-sleeved, ankle-length unitard. The unitard is not part of the museum collection, but it is presumed that the snaps on the reverse of the covers attached to snaps that were sewn onto the unitard.
Collar, .a: The shaped collar has a rounded front center dip, and long sides with rounded ends that fully cover both shoulders. The collar is open at the back. It is made from a single layer of four (4) pieces of black leather seamed at the center front and on each shoulder, and left raw on the outside edges except at the front neck area where it is turned to the back and hemmed. The collar is decorated all over with convex silver rounded nail head metal studs. There are three (3) large metal snaps on the back of the collar, one male snap at the center front and one female snap at each back side. A silver safety pin is stuck through the fabric at the tip of the proper right back side of the collar.
Breast covers, b, c: Both the breast covers are alike, roughly circular in shape with a slight roundness to them achieved by a seam near the middle. They are made from a single layer of black leather turned around the edges and hemmed on the reverse. The breast covers are decorated all over with convex silver rounded nail head metal studs. There are four (4) large metal female snaps on the reverse of each cover spaced evenly around the outer edge. A silver safety pin is stuck through near the edge on each of the breast covers.
Codpiece-style cover, d: The codpiece-like cover is shaped like an upside-down teardrop when attached to the unitard. It is made from a single layer of black leather turned around the edges and hemmed on the reverse. The cover is decorated all over with convex silver rounded nail head metal studs. There is one large silver hook sewn on the front of the pointed end. There are two (2) large metal male snaps on the reverse at each corner of the wider rounded end.
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
2014.246.2.3a-d
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.