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"What to wear, what to wear?" thinks Superman. "Red jocks with blue bodysuit or red briefs with blue body stocking," he sighs. It must be tough at the top of the food chain - where exactly does one turn for fashion advice after the whole of humanity has seen you save the world from ultimate destruction?
Well, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where the recent Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibition explored the symbolic and metaphysical associations between fictional comic book characters and fashion. Superman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Wonder Woman, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaultier headlined.
And, to take home, for a lifetime's worth of superhero fashion tips, was Abbott Miller's exhibition catalogue, which juxtaposed fashion imagery, comic book details, film and TV stills, and other representations of superheroes in a comic frame format. By closely cropping images and allowing them to break the frames, the book has a suitably heightened sense of drama and interconnection. "Comics pioneered the fragmentation of time and space with multiple-frame compositions," explained Miller.
The catalogue also featured a pressed tin front and back cover that added a tactile, three-dimensional element to the design, and of course ensures that when Superman jumps through walls of fire, he doesn't singe his shopping bible.