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Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

Item# 05-001714 

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Member Price: $45.00 $18.00


  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Pages: 160
  • Illustrations: 277 (270 in full color)
  • Dimensions: 8 1/4'' x 10''
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Author:
  • ISBN: 9780300136708



By Andrew Bolton, with an essay by Michael Chabon

Fashion designers have always been fascinated by the idea of how clothing can transform the body, and even the perceived character of the wearer. In fiction this metamorphosis is the province of the superhero, a character who symbolizes mans desire to go beyond the boundaries of mortal limitations. This volume explores the symbolic and metaphorical associations between fashion and the superhero. The power of fashion, like the power of the superhero, lies in its ability to transcend the humdrum and commonplace. This volume examines the influence on fashion of the costumes of superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Captain America, and Spider-Man, as represented in comic books, film, and television. The suits and capes of these superheroes not only proclaim their amazing powers, but also provoked new designs in avant-garde haute couture, ready-to-wear, and high- performance sportswear. Included are movie costumes as well as radical fashions in which designers go beyond iconography to explore issues of identity, sexuality, and patriotism. The introductory text features an essay entitled Secret Skin: An Essay in Unitard Theory by Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

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