July 19, 2011


It's reader appreciation time and we're giving away prizes! Prize #1: Barbarella poster style B, 11x17 poster originally purchased from Movie Goods. To enter, just send an e-mail to Spy Vibe (jason[at]spyvibe.com) with "Barbarella" in the subject line and your mailing address. The winner will be chosen from a random drawing on August 9th.

Why we like Barbarella (1968): Although Vadim's film has more camp and static composition than the original comic by Jean-Claude Forest, the film still delivers as a sexy sci-fi time capsule. The opening credits (which feature a space-age strip tease) and the promotional graphics are all fantastic! But the star of the film is really the fashion designer who inspired the costumes, Paco Rabanne. Rabanne was one of the inventive culprits chopping paper-dress patterns in the 1960s. Similar in construction to using plastics, the paper clothes could be cut in-form out of Vilbond and color cellophane tape without stitching. The dresses really took off in 1967, a year in which Rabanne also designed a line of Pacojamas (paper PJs) for Hilton hotels. Rabanne was celebrated for his experiments with creating clothing from sculptural components. The advantage of these NASA-inspired materials was that clothes held their shape, rather than being draped over the body. Synthetics, bright colors, black and white, and silver with geometric and zipper-accents created an architectural silhouette of angular lines- a sculpted form for a new generation focused on the Twiggy-thin youth market. Rabanne is credited along with Jacques Fonteray for designing the costumes for Barbarella. You can see similar costumes based on Rabanne's futuristic, gladiatorial armor in Casino Royale (1966) and The 10th Victim (1965). Spy Vibe was quoted in an article that offers further info about Rabanne here.

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