NY Times critic Cathy Horyn reviews the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute's latest exhibit, "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" in today's paper. Her take? Speed of lightning, roar of thunder — it's a hit: "The ideas that dominate fashion — identity, performance, gender, body shapes, sexuality, logos and the quest for state-of-the-art materials — pretty well describe the world of the superhero...The magnified, supercharged body runs through fashion, from the hyper-athlete (cleverly evoked by Alexander McQueen in a 2005 silk ensemble with pretty football pads) to the sexy pinup, and is well represented in the exhibition... Dolce & Gabbana's corseted minidress from 2007 looks as if it were molded from Tiffany silver. It is actually made of leather...it would have been nice to see more clothing examples from the 1960s and '70s, and more abstract takes on transformation — where is Comme des Garçons, the avant-garde label of Rei Kawakubo?" [NY Times]
I always liked Mugler's wilder stuff: while the article points out that he left exposed "the most vulnerable parts of the woman's body" (breasts and belly, in some of his armor-looking pieces) - - I think they're also the strongest/most powerful parts we've got, and I always interpreted that as a statement about female power and its centeredness in those regions, beautifully unfettered by anything. I know others take a 180* for the same reason, but that's democracy 4 yehs!