We’ve got a serious case of ants in the pants as the Costume Institute’s annual gala — and, just as important, its accompanying parade of really famous people in rather fantastic outfits — rapidly approaches. But we got so caught up thinking about the clothes and the party and the clothes and Anna Wintour and then the clothes again, we almost forgot the event is actually about a new art exhibit. Yes, after all the empty Champagne bottles, uneaten foie gras, and scraps of torn chiffon are carried to the curb in Hefty bags, the party’s stomping grounds will open to the public with a brand-new exhibit all about the “interplay of comic-book costumes and fashion.” That means they’ll have superhero-inspired clothes and some superhero costumes from movies — which means, we think, that you’ve even got a shot at dragging a straight male or two with you this year. How exciting! In an article about the exhibit in the Independent, we learned some things about superheroes that actually interested us, like how their roles as damaged outcasts inspire designers like Thierry Mugler and Alexander McQueen, who sometimes uses an amputee in his shows to illustrate the point.
Mugler’s Chimera dress is a fantastic representation of a body mutating, and proposes an unorthodox version of glamour that’s about as far from the little black dress as the planet Krypton is from Earth. [Curator Andrew] Bolton describes it thus: “It is like the missing link, blending fish scales, amphibious scales, feathers and horsehair. It’s like an ontological mystery fusing man and beast into new phenomena.”
Like we said: If you use language like “man and beast” as your selling point, you just might get a straight guy to go with you to this. Your little brother may even be into it. Everyone wins! It may be a fashion first.