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In times past, a fashionista who contemplated attending a comicon would be tempted to duck into a phone both to change, lest her fellow style mavens suspect her secret identity as an associate of comic book geeks, science fiction fans, and other permanently adolescent males.  However unfair the stereotype -- most avid graphic novel readers have met a girl, and a growing number actually are girls -- hanging out with the comic crowd wasn't exactly a recipe for social success.

This season, however, none other than Vogue's Anna Wintour has declared the arrival of superhero chic.  The Met's Costume Institute Gala, co-chaired by Anna herself along with Giorgio Armani, George Clooney, and Julia Roberts, will take place among displays of high fashion influenced by comic book characters.  Mere mortals will no doubt flock to the exhibit for months afterward. 

The Met has, naturally, taken the opportunity to encourage donations by sending out preview literature from the exhibit, including this photo of a Bernhard Willhelm look from Spring 2006.  It's not clear exactly which nefarious ubervillain might have found a way to melt Superman's shield, but judging from the choice of trim underscoring the trademark, Counterfeit Chic suspects the Infringer, whose choice of weapon is the deadly pun ray.  Pugnacious parodies, Batman! 

Bernhard Willhelm Spring 2006

Of course, we need not worry about the Man of Steel.  He's more than capable of defending against crimes of fashion if necessary -- a good thing, since D.C. Comics' lawyers have had their hands full with other matters lately.

As for me, I'm off to the New York Comic Con's panel on "Comics, Concepts, and Copyrights" this afternoon at 2pm.  See you there!