Working on the article about superheroes’ influence on fashion, I defined that a number of world-famous designers literally got inspired by various imaginary heroes from comics. And then I realized I was missing something that the couturiers didn’t miss.
When we open a comics book, do we only worship superheroes? When we turn on «The Dark Knight», is it only Batman who interests us? Actually no. I only focused on one part before, but without another one there is no «whole». No Batman without Joker, no X-men without Mistique, no good without evil.
And «evil» is sometimes not bad, at least not in terms of style. Today on lustinfashion we will be reinventing the villains, because they are worth it!
Joker: Lander Urquijo, A/W 2015-2016
One of the characters is already revealed, and as he is one of the most famous, why not start with him: meet Joker! In his 2015-2016 A/W collection Lander Urquijo does not limit himself to just borrowing a part of the villain’s look: together with the checked suit goes the Chelsea smile, white greasepaint and messy hairstyle. The designer expands the image, adding a female Joker, and makes it clear we are in the Gotham of the XXI century: the models on the runway smoke modern cigarettes and take selfies.
Bane: John Galliano, S/S 2008
Going on with Batman’s foes and moving from the first to the second part of the Dark Knight Marvel movies, we come to Bane. The character, as he is depicted in the comics, is hard to call attractive, handsome or sexy, which makes the chances for him to inspire couturiers stay somewhere close to zero. But don’t forget that not all the designers go for classy and glossy! In 2008 provocative John Galliano showed belts, helmets and khaki in his totally military-inspired looks: even if Bane is not at the core, the association is him.
Catwoman: Dolce&Gabbana for Vogue, 2008
Another Batman’s opponent: astonishing Catwoman. The shot is taken from the Vogue May 2008 edition: relating to the Metropolitan Museum of Art superhero exhibition, the magazine cooperated with couturiers to produce comics-inspired looks (all of the collaboration outcomes are worth taking a look at, see here). In the case of Catwoman, Dolce&Gabbana were really loyal to the character: her image is almost left untouched, only made even more glamourous.
Riddler: Burberry Prorsum, S/S 2015
While sometimes designers «borrow» some elements intentionally, in other cases there’s just coincidence. Take this Burberry Prorsum S/S 2015 look: Christopher Bailey says he got inspired by the writer Bruce Chatwin and the colors of old books’ covers, which has nothing to do with comics; still, the emerald green of the hat and the lacket as well as the print (actually the prints in the collection are the covers of vintage volumes) may remind any comics fan of a very modern, trendy and metrosexual Riddler.
Ghostrider: Thierry Mugler, S/S 1992
Quite aligned with the concept of the evil Ghostrider is the legendary motorcycle corset by Thierry Mugler. The outfit’s history is more than interesting: it became world-famous after appearing in George Michael’s video «Too Funky» (1992), directed by Mugler himself, and was recreated later for Beyonce’s album «I am.. Sasha Fierce».
Mistique: Thierry Mugler, S/S 1997
Something more by Thierry Mugler: this time closer to the X-men. Mugler’s haute couture is phenomenal, and this look is a perfect example: an excuisite, impressive, out-of-this-world creation! It seems like the scales will soon turn to something different, making the model become anyone else, and at the same time she totally looks like it’s some minutes since she’s landed on Earth.. One hundred percent hit for the Marvel movies’ Mistique!
Freddy Krueger: Undercover S/S 2014
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you, but little girls are no more afraid. Jun Takahashi’s Freddy is not a flesh-faced maniac, but a trendy rebellious teen in black leather pants and gloves, seeing him in your house after midnight, most probably you wouldn’t yell with fear (but you may cry “thanks god”).
All in all, examples show that comics have more to offer in terms of inspiration, than just superheroes. When good guys are not enough, that’s the perfect place for using villains’ images and giving the bad guys their deserved second chance (personally, I would always prefer Joker over Batman)
One step closer to the dark side,