May 7th thru September 1, 2008 – Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art ( Special Exhibition Galleries, 1st floor ).

by Lucy Foster

   The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute presents the special exhibit Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, in which the relationship between fashion and various superheroes are explored. This exhibit is being held on the 1st floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Special Exhibition Galleries.
  “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. Objects are organized thematically around particular superheroes, whose movie costumes and superpowers are catalysts for the discussion of key concepts of superheroism and their expression in fashion” according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
   This fun fashion exhibit turned movies features over 60 costumes that most of us are familiar with, displayed on posed mannequins in mirrored surroundings. The exhibit is categorized by eight different themes of fashion “bodies”, such as The Patriotic Body which includes Wonder Woman and Captain America or the The Graphic Body featuring Superman (1978 Christopher Reeve’s costumes) and Spider-Man 3. The Spider-Man 3 display was quite a fashion eyeful with several unique fashion/costumes surrounding the Spider-Man 3 red webbed costume that Tobey Maguire wore and is set against a city skyline backdrop. Several children were fascinated with this display.   
   The colorful and unique costumes gathered for the Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibit are a very interesting collection to view and includes a nice variety of fashion statements. The exhibit reflects several themes ranging from our cultural history to fitness fantasy. Some of the designers that are featured in this fantastic fashion exhibit are Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Pierre Cardin, Gareth Pugh, Atair, and Versace. Some other super heroes that are on display are Iron Man, X-Men, Ghost Rider, Batman, The Flash, The Punisher, and Catwoman. This exhibit also has a wonderful accompanying book that fills in all the details of the exhibit. The cost for the Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy book is $50 hardcover and $30 paperback.    
   The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street. The museum is closed on Mondays.