lunedì 14 luglio 2008

The Superlative Body

Like almost every little girl, when I was a child I was fascinated by the Superheroines like Wonder Woman. Like Carrie of SATC said in one episode, I think it was because of her costume and accessories...those cuffs, the tiara...I always loved the details! Still fascinated by the "superpowers of fashion", several years later, during a class of Semiotics of Cinema, I "met" again the Superheroes studying their aesthetic and linguistic power this time.

It's always interesting to think how much comics characters and Superheroes - despite their popular origins wich caused them to be considered as a low art form for so long - influence not only the artistic expression, but our society at all levels (they are a classic metaphor of reality, indeed). At the same time we must remember these characters are greatly influenced and redesigned around world's changes.
The inner feelings, the acts and above all the physical appearance of the Superheroes change according to what's happening around. The main body of these characters is a mutant body that change with decades and contemporary standards of beauty.


Thanks to the "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" exhibition
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York (from May 7 to September 1), during the last months the hundreds connections between Superheroes and fashion were investigate.
According to the runways and what's in the stores now, the current season and the upcoming ones will be a lot about comics characters inspiration:

Luella, Spring 2008


Gareth Pough, Fall 2008


Alexander McQueen, Resort 2009


Giles, Fall 2008


Proenza Schouler, Resort 2009


All from Style.com

From Elle USA, July 2008:



Not all of the classic Superheroes have superpowers (think of Iron Man and Batman) but they can built their body, filling the gap between human body and machine with specific elements: the clothes. Along with his inner nature, the cape, the unitard and all the fashionable paraphernalia Batman wears, make him stronger than his enemies. And must be noticed, protect him and his real identity from the world...

Fashion work in a very similar manner. Designers have always created clothes that can alterate the perception of the body, often in a flattering way but not always. Along with Postmodernism and Post-Postmodernism (abused terms, I know, sorry!), fashion shows started looking like art performances, transcending canons of beauty and limits in a radical and controversial way.








(The editorial above is from Vogue USA, May 2008.)

In an era where you can build your own body, don't forget Spiderman's warning: big powers brings big responsibilities.

12 commenti:

Vain and Vapid ha detto...

The body con trend can definitely fall into this category....

Siljesfashion ha detto...

How cool. Not sure I would go for it, but its fun!

The Clothes Horse ha detto...

I love these. Maybe women like them so much because they are mix of fantasy and empowerment. I always loved the female superheros because they gave me encouragement!

MHBass ha detto...

this is such an interesting, thoughtful and well written post. i really like the way you've tied together media from completely different areas. i'd love to see this post all set out in a magazine or newspaper, actually! keep up the good work.

Times of Glory ha detto...

The post is superb! I love Proenza Schouler, Resort 2009! I was thinking about wonder women when I saw the show... how strange! You are simply inspirational xxxxxxx

Thu ha detto...

the blue dress in the first picture from vogue is great, but i don't think i'll be seeing people rocking the superhero style anytime soon. pretty interesting though. link me back if possible? thanks!

Sharon Rose ha detto...

What a great post-I think accessories are a great way to get this trend!!

fash ha detto...

catwoman all the way, my favourite.
and thank you, i had a lovely time! i love europe, hopefully i'll be going back to visit italy again next year.

kater ha detto...

Oh, I want a cape!

You have an award from me :D

jayne ha detto...

Just found your blog after All this Happiness tagged you and I can see why she adores it! you're very informative, this post for example had a nice compilation of all comic fashion recently. since you're interested in comics you might like, "the amazing adventures of kavalier & clay" by michael chabon, its essentially about the golden age of comic books starting up- it follows the two protagonists, sam clay (a lonely uncool brooklynite with a talent for writing) and his czech cousin, Joe Kavalier (the only member of his family to escape the nazi) who happens to be a great artists, together the two create the ultimate hero, but obviously deal with issues of the impending war and like you said, the fact comics aren't respected. i loved it, it's fast paced, fascinating, and very well researched (chabon actually talked to will eisner, jack kirby, and stan lee for the book). also i'd love to trade links?

AlicePleasance ha detto...

@ mhbass: I'm blushing!!! Thank you so much, is so nice and flattering to heard such an excellent feedback, expecially regarding a "well written" post. My English is so far than perfect that I'm always a bit scared of being ridiculous!

@ thu: linked back :-)

@ kater: thank you so much!

@ jayne: oh, thanks for the compliments! Thank you too for mentioning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, I read the book several years ago and I loved it (I also loved The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist volumes of course). Michael Chabon is a marvellous writer indeed. Wonder Boys and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh are excellent books as well :-)

angelgrotton ha detto...

Great choices dear ))) Love your site