Superheroes and fashion come together

May 4, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
A new exhibit opens at the MET this week that has something for everyone: men, women, boys and girls.It combines superheroes and fashion.

Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg got a preview and has more.

Typically, you'll find sculptures of Hercules or other mythical greats at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But now, there's a twist - an exhibit of modern day superheroes. And you don't have to fight crime or wear a cape or even spandex, for that matter, to enjoy the exhibit and its look at fashion.

"I think it's one of our most democratic shows we've put on, in terms of its appeal to the general audience," curator Andrew Bolton said.

And he knows kids will enjoy the exhibit, seeing Superman and Ironman up close. For adults, it is a chance to examine the connection between those characters and what we wear.

Take one Giorgio Armani's dress we saw, clearly inspired by Spiderman. Armani is the show's sponsor. In all, there are about 80 ensembles, some costumes, some clothes and some too difficult to describe, like one piece from Thierry Mugler from 1992.

"It's not meant to be worn," Bolton said. "It is acutally just to show what he can come with his genius in creating it."

When you think about it, superheroes have super costumes to go along with their super powers. It allows us to buy into their transformation, much like new clothing allows us to feel different, better, or somehow empowered.

And there are the extremes. Certainly by stepping into an outfit like Catwoman's might help you to be able to channel an inner feline, uber sexy, desired and desirous.

Wonder Woman, on the other hand, calls on patriotism, inspiring stars and stripes.

Batman encases his mortal body with armor. But certainly, the Nike swift suit was designed for running, and the speedo racer for swimming, like the super fast Flash.

It's incredible to think the figures of comic book pages may really impact what we wear.

"Throughout the show, it's really focusing on designers who use the body as a tool for transporting you into something else."

The exhibit opens Wednesday, May 7, and runs through September 1.

For more information about the exhibit, visit