When the punk scene was in its infancy there were a variety of never before seen styles and fashions suddenly appearing on the streets of London, but the stand out was by far "Catwoman" who's real name is Soo Lucas. Soo's face, with the trademark buzzed blond head and black wings mimicking cats ears was widely photographed, and is still imitated today. Long before Lady Gaga there was Catwoman.
Soo had always had a sense of daring when it came to hairstyles and clothes. As early as 1972 she was sporting buzzed haircuts with pink stripes. She always went to barbers rather than hairdressers because they were experts in the perfect and flawless buzz. Soo's famous Catwoman look was stumbled upon in 1977 when she had been combing her hair straight up and applying gel, and decided that it was taking her too long to get ready in the morning. Soo decided to have the middle part buzzed so that only the sides were long. It turned out to be the style that made her a fashion icon of the 70s punk scene. Soo was so inspired by her new haircut that she created a makeup style that was all her own, and continued to explore more daring looks from that point on.
It just wasn't a party in the 1977 punk rock scene without the appearance of Catwoman dressed to the hilt in one of her latest costumes. Soo was a beautiful young woman of 22 when she made her splash as a punk rock model. Whether you remember Soo or not,chances are you have seen celebrities, and models wearing some variation of her makeup style. She is truly a fashion icon with her own unique style. With perfect, feminine features to start with, Soo created such a daring, and unusual makeup style, with shaved off eyebrows, and cat-like markings, yet somehow still managed to remain a very pretty girl.
She was closely associated to the Bromley Contingent, a group of early Sex Pistols fans in which Siouxie Sioux was also a member before creating Siouxie and the Banshees.
The Great Rock N Roll Swindle
In the mid 70s the Sex Pistols made a movie called The Great Rock N Roll Swindle and had a "Catwoman" impersonator crudely imitating Soo's style. In the photo to the left you can see that the impeccable polish that was Soo Catwoman is not to be found. It is unclear as to why they did not have the real Catwoman play the part, other than there were degrading nude scenes required that could have kept the real Catwoman from wanting anything to do with it.
There were numerous bands and fans of the early punk scene sporting wild hairstyles and makeup creations, but as you can see from her photos, Soo had polish and looked well groomed, while the other punks looked disheveled and more like they had given themselves a makeover without much effort.
Catwoman With Blue Hair
Soo Fashion Icon
Although Soo is best remembered for her black and blond cat ears hair, she was a true lover of fashion and refused to be stuck in any one particular look for long. No one really knew what to expect with Soo Lucas. The one constant was that she always groomed herself to perfection. She was never seen with a haphazard makeup job or haircut. She looked like she had just stepped out of the beauty salon and was headed for the runway.
Nina Hagen 1976
Fresh Faced Nina Hagen
Many are familiar with Nina Hagen and either love or hate her looks. She was once a fresh faced entertainer, until the punk scene took off.
Nina was from East Germany and had a very modern look and style in the early 70s, but shortly after the punk scene took off in London, Nina's style changed drastically. It also appears that she was very much influenced by Soo Catwoman.
Yes, Nina's make up looks suspiciously like Catwoman's. Nina Hagen became a sensation for her strange music and her outrageous looks. When Catwoman was practically forgotten, Nina was wearing her style throughout the 80's and almost making it into mainstream success.
Soo Catwoman in London Mid 70s
Rare Photo of Soo smiling
Although Soo was a happy girl, and smiled often, photos of Soo Lukas smiling are not seen very often. Her image has become so iconic that there is an air of mystery about her as a person. The girl who changed fashion and represents early punk carries the mystique of a hard core angry girl with thoughts of anarchy. The reality is far from that.
Soo was not by any means the hard boiled girl that most modern female youths are. She was feminine, happy, and cheerful. The above photo reveals Soo in a natural and un posed image. She looks like an attractive, fresh faced girl with a very unique style standing out dramatically amongst the 1970s casual women who surround her. Probably all Soo really intended to do.
Soo (Catwoman) with her daughter, Dion.
Soo Catwoman lives in London with her son and daughter these days. She is by all accounts a happy and well respected mother who has used her talents and style to inspire her children.
My Skunk Halloween Costume
Soo Catwomn Makeup
Yes one of my favorite Halloween costumes was my skunk costume in which I was definitely inspired by catwoman's makeup. As you can see I used white in the eyelid area, extending way up to the temple. The white makeup was caked on top of the tail portion of my eyebrows to try to conceal them because I did not want to shave them off. The eyeliner is drawn sharply upward, following the line of the eyebrow and the corner where the tear ducts are, is drawn low toward the nose. The overall effect is that the eyes look tilted upward in the same way that cats, and exotic animals eyes do. The makeup was admired by all who saw me on this day, and it is still remembered as one of my greatest costumes with the best makeup job.
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More Vintage Punk
Ausseye on October 15, 2012:
Hi Skarpunk: Style is like any sweet fizz, gone before you know its taste. The now is never certain, and the future a picture yet to repainted just like street art. May we appreciate its moment and question it’s purpose!!
Being silly so just ignore it!!
Angela Blair from Central Texas on September 18, 2012:
Too old to ever be into the Punk scene personally but I surely enjoyed keeping up with the players -- Soo was marvelous -- glad to know she's had a successful and happy life. Best/Sis
Sheila from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State on September 17, 2012:
I was never into the Punk scene but I do recognize Soo as Catwoman. Interesting read.
CJ Baker from Parts Unknown on September 17, 2012:
Interesting overview of a fascinating lady who was a key participant in the UK punk scene. Definitely enjoyed the hub, thanks for sharing!