Fashion and science fiction capture my imagination because of their projections of the future. The fashion world depends on it, with designers displaying tomorrow’s looks on runways before the designs are mass-produced. Likewise, science fiction offers a peek at fantastical worlds of the future, and tantalizing marketing campaigns for sci-fi movies often get me hooked — especially to check out the fashions!
Case in point: This spring's blockbuster The Hunger Games (like Twilight, based on a series of popular YA novels) — I went just to see teen protagonist Katniss Everdeen in costumes that generate fire! The film is in sync with today's idea of a dystopian society, but it's a far cry from some of my favorite sci-fi classics featuring heroines in cutting-edge styles.
My all-time fave is Logan's Run (1976). Farrah Fawcett plays Holly, wearing her hair in that iconic feathered cut that became the hairstyle of the decade! The titular vixen from the cult classic Barbarella (1968) also comes to mind, cavorting in foil, vinyl and plastic outfits that mirror 1960s Mod-inspired fashions — the same looks that influenced Barbie® and Francie® dolls’ wardrobes during the period. A Barbie outfit that still packs a psychedelic punch is Zokko!™ (1968), a blue and silver foil mini-dress that was reproduced for a giftset in 2009.
Always the pioneer, Barbie doll took a huge leap forward as the majestic Goddess of the Galaxy™ (2011), a merger of sci-fi and fashion that blew me away with its cosmic brilliance! This year, Barbie is appointed Empress of the Aliens™, a tricked-out, magenta-haired siren wearing space-age couture that’s both feminine and extraterrestrial! In true sci-fi fashion (so to speak), her otherworldly appearance delivers on the promise of showing me something I’ve never seen before, and with a beauty like this ruling the universe, the future looks outta sight!
I’ve mentioned a few of my favorite sci-fi fashion queens. Who are some of yours?
Chris Varaste started out at ABC-TV, producing segments for the Emmys, Tonys & Grammys. A fascination with fashion and pop culture led to his first published book, Barbie: Face of the American Dream – and an appreciation for all things Barbie! His insights on collectibles/brand success have been published in the New York Times, The Economist, and VenueToday.com, where he served as fashion/style host.
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