I’m a big fan of Legs & Co videos which feature a troupe of lovely ladies dancing to the hits from the TV show, Top of The Pops. However, a lot of times their costumes fall short of fabulous, but not in today’s Sparkle Video! Someone was channeling Flash Gordon or Larry LeGaspi or both when they designed these dazzling gold metallic numbers complete coordinating hat, gloves, booties and most importantly – cape! They look like heavenly golden stewardesses who have landed their spaceship on earth, ready to bring close encounters to a dance floor near you. Their performance of Earth, Wind & Fire‘s “Star” is nothing short of magical, complete with dreamy “rainbow” light effects. But it was 1979 after all, the year of disco, so they had to deliver. I’m just hoping that Sir Richard Branson sees this and takes the hint, because this is the only outfit that will do for a cabin crew if I’m ever getting on a ride to space.
Today’s Sparkle Video is a gem beyond sparkling gems, featuring the gorgeous Asha Puthli who’s making an appearance on Stryx (that other-worldly, space-tastic Italian television show from the 70’s). She’s a magical vision to behold as she slinks into view wearing head-to-toe metallic gold. Making it even more fabulous is the sultry disco beat of “Mister Moonlight” which dramatizes her flowing wings adorned by glorious space cuffs. Yes Soldiers, what you are seeing is bonafide LeGaspi couture complete with his trademark trapunto quilting! The combination of her flawless beauty and his dazzling outfit design makes this video so dazzling, it’s- as they say- “everything“.
You are looking at one of the most amazing things ever. The “Fashion Preview 1980’s” you see above is from an issue of US magazine dated January 8,1980 and features an interview with our hero, designer Larry LeGaspi, pictured here flanked with models wearing his glorious space-age creations. I’m gagging about discovering that he also made wedding gowns and I imagine that any bride wearing a LeGaspi down the aisle was the most gorgeously galactic woman on the planet. I also love that he “called it” back in then, saying that the children of that time would someday be living in outer space– and as we know, it’s not that far away Soldiers!
A big glittering “thank you'” goes out to Jane, a very special Sparkle Soldier, who knew that this would be a dazzling addition to my archives- THANK YOU SO MUCH JANE!
This should also serve as a reminder of how important it is for the Sparkle Army to look out for one another. And by “look out for one another”, I mean that any information, photos or other material having to do with Larry LeGaspi (especially any of his priceless vintage creations!) be sent my way immediately.
Today’s Sparkle Video is not only a piece of music history, but also a great moment in disco fashion history as well. In this clip, The Midnight Special is featuring an epic live performance from LaBelle singing “Lady Marmalade” and looking like gorgeous Space Queens from beyond the galaxy. Its no wonder because they’re dressed from head to toe in silver metallic La.. La.. LaGaspi! That’s right Soldiers, in addition to being deliciously gorgeous and having supernatural voices, these ladies had excellent taste in choosing Larry LeGaspi to create their otherworldy outfits (and a special shout-out to Nona’s bedazzled makeup!). It makes complete sense to us “More is More” types though, because what becomes a legend most? A whole ‘nother legend. And that’s what we call a KABLAM!
All Soldiers anywhere near London on Saturday should be attending “Space Children: From Dr. Funkenstein to the ArcAndroid” at the British Library. Part of this multimedia event features superstars George Clinton and Nona Hendryx who will discuss the dazzling science fiction inspired live shows of Parliament and Labelle which, among wonderous stage sets and lighting, included costumes by Sparkle Army Hero, Larry LeGaspi. I’m overcome with sparkle excitement that the subject of Mr. LeGaspi will be part of the lecture, but at the same time my heart breaks that I won’t be there (bloody private jet!), but I’m happy to know my London Soldiers will report back with all the glittering details.
There are so many other sparkling elements to this presentation, it is not to be missed, but I do hope you have a ticket already because it’s SOLD OUT and you know what that means- you might have to resort to your “old school groupie ways” of getting in!
For more information go to: http://www.bl.uk/whatson/events/event121922.html
(image of ad copy from British Library: What’s On)
Okay, you got me- this really isn’t from back in the day! It’s the Join The Sparkle Army Coloring Activity Book, a fabulous collector’s item from one of our parties back in August 2009. It all started when Ronson and I decided to make jumbo coloring walls for the party and I was searching tirelessly, Googling “space disco coloring book” day and night to no avail. I was so shocked and saddened to find out that no one had ever thought to make something like this. I thought, “how on earth did parents expect their children to learn about all of the important stuff in life like disco balls, sparkly cocktails and Spaced-Out Sparkle Outfits?”. It was then that I decided to create my own images for the party and they turned out so fantastic, Ronson suggested we print up a souvenir book for our Sparkle Soldiers to take home. Yes, thanks to us, some lucky children out there now have a coloring book filled with funny drunk robots partying on the dancefloor mixed with vintage illustrations of futuristic fashion from designers like Kenzo, France Andrevie, and the king himself- Larry LeGaspi. (Your welcome parents!)
This glorious souvenir from our legendary party is long out of print, but if you’re gagging to have one, there may still be a copy or two available in the archives at Monster Ronson’s. However, if you’re lucky enough to already own a copy, definitely hang on to it because word on the street is that someday, it may be worth a bajillion dollars!
As September 11th approaches and we are busy getting our outfits together for “Join The Sparkle Army” in Berlin- I want to share the inspiration for many of my own outfits: Larry LeGaspi.
Larry LeGaspi was an American clothing designer who was light years ahead of his time- so much so, that his first store in NYC was not a success at all. It was called Moonstone and back in 1973, people were not ready for his futuristic concept. According to “Disco Chic: All the Styles,Steps and Places to Go”, the store was “decorated like the surface of the moon, with a silvery moonscaped floor and twinkling stars overhead”. While it sounds like a dream to you and I, at this point in time, Star Wars had not come out yet and people basically didn’t get it. After the store closed, he had DAZZLING SUCCESS designing costumes for legendaries such as KISS, LaBelle, Divine, Funkadelic and disco lovely Asha Puthli. Thankfully, by 1978, both the disco scene and LeGaspi’s business as a designer took off, as people were finally ready to wear gold lame, winged shoulders and metallic spandex.
Larry LeGaspi: Fashion Visionary and Sparkle Army Hero!
B/W photos from “Disco Dressing” by Leonard McGill
color photos & quote from “Disco Chic: All the Styles,Steps and Places to Go” by Brian Sherratt and Nalani M. Leong