Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Paradoxical Body

DSCF2797.jpg picture by Sarima2

I took a little trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art the other day to revisit the Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibit and, luckily, I was able to sneak a picture of one of my many muses, namely a mannequin decked out in (one of) the original costume Michelle Pfeiffer wore in Batman Returns when she played Catwoman. Every since I was a little gayby, I adored that costume in particular, and I found it as a major source of inspiration later in life. 

The patchwork construction of the black vinyl and white thread that conforms to the body perfectly, I feel, makes this garment almost a living, breathing being. That sounds a little strange, but really look at it; the tension and frenzy is oozing out of every seam. With the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I find it to be one of the most successful costumes in film. It hearkens back to the original source (that of the comics) while being something completely new, unique, and appropriate. It really is a testament to how a costume truly defines a character. Despite the talent Ms. Pfeiffer undoubtedly has, if she had been in a different costume (especially one that didn't pinch her face nor required massive amounts of talcum powder to squish into) her performance would not have been as good.

Unfortunately, the exhibit closes in September, and I will have no time to skillfully map out the security system of the museum well enough to plan any sort of burglary of this work of art. Sigh... 

On a related tack, I recommend this exhibition very much, if for nothing but because you can see real costumes and haute couture looks up close. And, if you're daring enough, touch them.

1 comment:

.kate said...


Sad we don't have class together.

Happy we are alive and well on the blogosphere.

Thank you for bringing light to the exhibit at the Met. I am going to take my man there this very weekend.

Hope your semester is getting started well.