Through September, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art is offering the “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” exhibit, taking a look at the influence of comic book costumes upon high fashion and sportswear.
The symbolic and metaphorical associations between fashion and the superhero are explored in this compelling exhibition. Featuring movie costumes, avant-garde haute couture, and high-performance sportswear, it reveals how the superhero serves as the ultimate metaphor for fashion and its ability to empower and transform the human body.
How very enlightened of the New York MET to look upon superhero costumes with such respect and insight. I’m sure I’ll be all the rage when I wear my Batman cowl and matching codpiece on my next trip to Paris or Milan.
But somehow I bet the MET neglected these five gems.
5) Sunfire’s Mask
Not only does Sunfire’s mask conceal his secret identity, but it also allows him to crash an old-fashioned New Orleans masquerade party whenever the mood strikes him.
Side note to aspiring superheroes: when your mask looks like a prehistoric butterfly trying to hump your face, it’s time to head back to the drawing board.
4) Anything Marvel Created in the 1970s
Marvel had a very simple formula for outfitting its heroes during the 1970s: skin-tight unitards with v-necklines more deeply plunging than Deep Throat and popped collars more towering than John Travolta’s hairdo in Saturday Night Fever.
Not that I have anything at all against some hearty side-cleavage, but I haven’t seen a look this dated since John McCain got dressed up for President Lincoln’s wedding. (Get it? He’s totally old. I’m here all week, folks.)
3) Ghost Rider’s Leather Ensemble
This is what a night with Ghost Rider looks like: he dons his tight leather jacket and pants, wraps himself in chains and spikes, and cruises around on his motorcycle looking for naughty boys to torment.
If that doesn’t scream “S&M,” then I’m a super-brilliant actor named Nicolas Cage. Who likes to eat baby penguins. And koala bears.
2) Nova’a Non-Costume
Street festivals here in San Francisco had the market cornered on “naked and flaming” long before Frankie “Nova” Raye came along.
1) Anything Designed by ‘Artist’ Rob Liefeld
In reality, it would take a steroidal weight-lifter with short, gimpy mutant arms carrying a camping backpack filled with smooth boulders on his chest to fill out the Captain America costume that Liefeld has designed here.
Liefeld’s other abuses of the human form have been extensively and hilariously documented.
Thanks to Nima of Equinox of Insanity for contributing to this post.