Monday, June 9, 2008

SUPER HEROES: Fashion & Fantasy

This year's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala brought out some of the fashion world's luminaries like Armani, Tom Ford, Zac Posen,& Nicolas Ghesquiere all in attendance to celebrate the original purveyors of Fashion & Fantasy- The "Superheroe"
Harold Koda & Andrew Bolton concocted this magnum opus that looks into how fashion & fantasy are one in the same.

From Wonder Woman’s satin stars & golden bracelets to Batman’s brooding cape & mask, the style of Superheroes’ dress has influenced both street wear and high fashion. This richly illustrated book explores how radical couture, avant-garde sportswear, and state-of-the-art military garments—as seen through the lens of the superhero—can be metaphors for sex, power, & politics. Beginning with the origins of the superhero costume, this volume looks at how designers have been influenced by iconographic components such as the cape, mask, boots, & unitard (all key factors in achieving a perfect look!). Costumes, such as those worn by Batman and Catwoman, are examined as reflections of sexual and physical prowess, while others, most notably those of Superman and Captain America, are analyzed as political propaganda.

Superheroes also explores superpowers and their manifestations––literal, symbolic, or metaphorical: Flash’s speed, Iron Man’s invulnerability, Hulk’s strength, & Spiderman’s agility are presented in their fantastical evocations. Featured designers include Pierre Cardin, John Galliano, Azzedine Alaia, Giorgio Armani, Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Jean Paul Gaultier, Comme des Garçons, and Walter van Beirendonck.

If reading isn't your forte you can check out "Superheroes," through Sept. 1 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 212-535-7710, or

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