Hair Styles From Outer Space: The Return of Starship LaBelle Coiffure
Futuristic Fashions and Hair Styles
When Pattie Labelle and her group LaBelle donned futuristic space-age costumes and hair styles in the 1970s, they were a hit on TV's innovative The Midnight Special and various variety shows and in-person performances around the world. The appearance of these singers reflected the American fascination with outer space, UFOs, and the US Space Program of the era: Apollo -- followed by the US Space Shuttle Program.
The US had been first on the Moon in 1969 and the public was ready to encounter space aliens and new worlds. Space 1999 , the Star Wars saga, and plenty of other TV and film series filled the airwaves with futuristic imaginings.
Since science fiction conventions began in the 1930s, the 1970s movement was not the first or the last that included futuristic fashion and hairdos. Moreover, these movements continue to cycle and have always been a lot of fun!
Things to Come 1936: Future Fashion and Beauty
LaBelle Futuristic Wardrobes
Ectoplasmosis Avant Garde Coiffure Awards
"Gisli Ari Hafsteinsson is the winner of 2008 Coiffure Awards, an event held in the Netherlands for the last six years which has somehow escaped my notice until now. The galleries from prior years are well worth navigating the inscrutable moonspace."
Visit the new Ectoplasmosis for completely uneartthly fashion and beauty trends. Odd by often fun. Yearly Coiffure Awards add to the drama.
1960s Space Age Fashion
Space Patrol (1950s) with Tonga
Space Age Hairdos
For my 600th Hub, I write about something enjoyable - Outer Space - along with how spacefaring hairstyles have been portrayed in literature and entertainment since the late 1800s.
Space Age hairdos have been briefly mentioned in futurist literature since the 1880s, but perhaps the first time they generated gossip and excitement was in silents films at a time that information began to spread around the globe more quickly.
The labor saving robot had no hair at all. The mad scientist has the hair of Christopher Lloyd in the Back to the Future series. Perhaps Metropolis is where it originated.
This is a little-known science fiction silent film. Atlantilda was the goddess/ruler of Atlantis on the silent screen. Her hairdo in the accompanying shot looks a bit like Martha Washington and more like George!
These B & W ("talkie") serials about Buzz Cory's space adventures were first shown between feature films at the movie houses long ago. In the 1950s, longer versions came to TV. Space Patrol showed an alien woman, Tonga, with a hairdo like that of American and European women of the times.
HG WELLS - THINGS TO COME
This B&W movie was filmed in 1936 to portray the year 2036, 100 years later. While attire was a bit different for 2036 as compared with 1936, coiffures were not different at all. Women seemed to wear tiaras all the time, though.
Space Age hairdos were more evident in cartoonland TV shows, beginning right with the 1950s in animated shows like Tom Terrific and later in The Jetsons , Grey Skull , and the dozens of sci-fi cartoons of today.
These sci-fi hairdos include all the colors of the spectrum. all manner of shapes and sizes, and even hair that floats above the head.
Anything is possible in the 2000s.
Patti LaBelle at Extensions Plus
From a 60s girl group called The Bluebelles to a 1970s Rhythm and Blues trio, LaBelle was one of the first to feature Space Age costumes and futurist hairstyles along with the songs. Chaka Khan and her group Undisputed Truth used futurist hair and clothing on Soul Train about the same time.
In 1974 when LaBelle's hit single Lady Marmalade was Number 1 on the Top 100 Hit List for 5 weeks, it had been just 6 years since the American moon landing. Imaginations were expanding into Outer Space and "What To Wear" on the journey.
While much of the hairstyling of Labelle in the 1970s revolved around space age glitter & glam and Las Vegas style headgear, Patti Labelle took it one step further with spiked sheets of hair held in place with hair preparations and sprays and some of it must have been hair extensions. Patti's hair has been very thick, so perhaps not -- It would be fun to watch her hairstylist at work!
In June 2008, Patti Labelle, Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash, otherwise known as Labelle, reunited for an album of all new songs. It was produced by Lenny Kravitz and Gamble & Huff. What fashion, shoe, and hair styles will they be wearing on tour in the 2000s as we approach the Space Tourist Age?
Patti LaBelle has solved the dilemma with her own line of wigs:
Back To the 1960s
In the Year 2525
I think the best hairdo for outer space travel as we know it is the shaved head -- Hair would just get in the way, and perhaps take too much time to maintain in a crowded space capsule. One needs more room to brush out one's hair than is available, in my opinion. In addition, current sanitary operations are tedious enough without carrying several pounds of hair - or even several ounces - around in a closed atmosphere. The thought makes me shudder.
I can't stand the thought of putting on a tightly knit combo shirt and head-hugging cowl that astrounauts don and then top it off with an airtight helmet and have HAIR underneath that cowl - especially long hair, but any hair. What a sweaty, gunky mess! I'd want a shaved head covered with baby power! Easy, smooth, fresh, and clean.
Star Trek's Lt. Ilia, played by Persis Khambatta, got it right for people annoyed by hair. And very attractive, too!
Experimental Hairstyles in Space Tourism
The styles presented here probably are not good for shielding one's eyes from the harmful rays of Sol in space or on the daylight side of Luna. However, people will love them!
This is just the perfect look for visiting the Martian Colonies. It recalls the wistful descriptions vividly portrayed in Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles: a certain fiery wispiness.
Best For Travel
Still, this is my favorite hairstyle for space travel - unisex and useful, as well as attractive.
LaBelle coiffure in the comeback of the once futuristically dressed and coiffed group may prove to be futurist, conservative, or alternate between the two, but I find bald the best for early space tourism.
In the 1960s, French stylists shaved their patron's heads and added headbands of fur or feathers.
Outer Space: Bad Hair, Bad Acting
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2008 Patty Inglish MS