We've gotten our hands on the genuinely cool book for the Costume Institute's upcoming "Superheroes" exhibit, and, for all the jokes one can make about the gala's red carpet being graced with celebrities awkwardly decked out in Catwoman leather or Captain America capes (per hostess Anna Wintour's request that attendees take the theme seriously), a look at what's actually being shown at the exhibit is rather illuminating. Just to get all heady on you, we'll quote the book's preface:
Fashion mirrors the superhero's obsessive preoccupation with the ideal body, signaling changes, both subtle and obvious, in prevailing standards of perfection. [...] Fashion, like the superhero, celebrates metamorphosis, providing unlimited opportunities to remake and reshape the flesh and the self.
The looks in the exhibit are organized by various superhero "bodies," such as the graphic (think Superman or Spider-Man; those that incorporate iconography), patriotic (like Wonder Woman and Captain America), or armored (Batman), amongst others. Above, Bernhard Willhelm and Jean Paul Gaultier's looks are inspired by graphic bodies; Dior's, the patriotic body.
After the jump, a sampler of the exhibit's looks from Thierry Mugler, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and more, plus a brief explanation of the superhero inspirations behind them — just in case you need to impress a random dude (or your little brother). —Jessica Coen
For those of you keeping track, McQueen's and Mugler's designs are considered inspired by the mutant body (superheroes like the X-Men), while Giorgio Armani's is another graphic-body-inspired look.
Superhero translation: The Mugler at left is a paradoxical body, which is inspired by Catwoman — a superhero who was both a "good" and a "bad" girl. Dolce is an armored body. At right, Mugler is a postmodern body, inspired by superheroes more typical of graphic novels than of traditional comic books.
And your final superhero scorecard: Both Mugler's and Gareth Pugh's looks are considered armored bodies, while Van Beirendonck's is a virile body, inspired by a superhero who was the "embodiment of hegemonic masculinity" — the Hulk.
Most Viewed Stories
Elizabeth Warren Just Said What Most Women Wish They Could to Donald Trump
Blake Lively Reportedly Just Gave Birth, and You’ll Never Guess Who’s Running to the Hospital
I Tried Hillary Clinton’s Diet and Now I Sympathize With Her
Brad Pitt Fights Back Against Angelina Jolie and Her Plot to ‘Destroy’ Him
What It’s Like to Be a Female Reporter Covering Donald Trump
The Mysterious Deaths of Two Sisters in a Luxury Hotel
Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
It’s Time to Stop Writing ‘I Hope You’re Well’ in Emails
Megyn Kelly Roasts Trump’s Campaign Manager for Claiming He Doesn’t Make Sexist Comments
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.