Barbarella testifies to a time in which a profound fascination with technological possibilities of the future had permeated mass culture. Based on Jean-Claude Forest’s racy comic serial, Vadim’s film details the adventures of a beautiful, kinky ‘cosmic queen’ in the distant future of the year 40,000. Barbarella’s camp, liberated sexuality and her penchant for flaunting her body in skimpy leotards, tight suits and titillating plastic bodices, is surely one reason the film has secured cult status. The costumes, designed by Jacques Fonteray, with inspiration from Paco Rabanne, are comic-book gear through and through while also being remarkably in line with the ‘space age’ fashion of the time.

USA 1968. Dir. Roger Vadim. With Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg. Costumes Jacques Fonteray, inspired by Paco Rabanne.