While the original version certainly had some of the most fantastically sexy costumes yet seen in the genre, there wasn’t much latex (if any) seen in the original Barbarella. One can only hope, that in the upcoming remake of this movie, announced this week with Sydney Sweeney attached, we might get some interesting updates on the costumes of the titular “space babe.”
The original 1968 film, starring Jane Fonda in the title role, reveals a fashion tsunami of sci-fi bending couture. With costumes designed by Jacques Fonteray, Fonda slips in and out of a gambit of textiles, designs, and a sure predominant use of clear plastic cutouts.
In what has now become a classic opening over a swinging 60’s theme song from The Bob Crewe Generation, Fonda floats weightless center screen, slowly stripping from a silvery spacesuit, sporting green fabric at its joints, milky white membrane tubes floating off its back and a big blacked-out bulbous helmet. By the opening credits end, the star is floating naked in her spaceship chamber.
Realizing one can’t romp through space without clothes, Barbarella is all too soon in a small silvery top and cape, bodystocking, and silver boots.
Later, when rescued by the character Catchman, the leading lady loses her stockings, boots, and space suits for white and black furs that form a one-piece dress. Still revealing her legs and arms, this dress sports a tail, which is used to high comic effect.
She wears a more conventional space suit as the film progresses, sporting a silver top with black straps and thigh-high silver boots. with black suspenders reaching down to the tip of these boots. Barbarella sports another mostly fabric outfit with a metal section over her chest in another short silvery cape worn with red boots. Of course, the fabric parts here get torn in quite a few provocative spots to show off Fonda’s thighs.
The most risqué outfit worn by Fonda is a black top sporting a plastic section showing her tummy and plastic see-thru cups at her breasts.
Barbarella wears a shimmering green dress with the same color ceramic pieces around the collar, sides, and waist, with green boots, as her last costume. This outfit caused an erroneous credit to Paco Rabanne on the film since it was said Rabanne’s designs inspired the dress. But all costumes were clearly and solely created by Fontenay.
Other characters in the movie wear leather, vinyl, and more of that clear plastic.
With how in demand Sydney Sweeney is presently, and seeing that no writer, producer or director is attached to this recently announced remake of Barbarella we won’t probably see the film anytime soon. Still, one can dream of Jacques Fonteray…and beyond