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Cosplay, Superheroes and the Democratization of Fashion

digital Cosplay, Superheroes and the Democratization of Fashion
fascicolo COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2017 - 1. FASHIONATING IMAGES Audiovisual Media Studies Meet Fashion
titolo Cosplay, Superheroes and the Democratization of Fashion
editore Vita e Pensiero
formato Articolo | Pdf
online da 05-2017
issn 03928667 (stampa) | 18277969 (digitale)
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In contemporary society, where information and the use of branded fashion content and material has increased enormously, enhanced viewer agency and influence have enabled a variety of forms of operational and participatory connection to media texts. Cosplay is a significant example of this: a widespread phenomenon of costume and role-playing inspired by characters taken from science fiction, manga, and the world of superheroes. Cosplay’s use of superhero equipment highlights the pleasures related to constructing and exhibiting costumes in a culture of individual adaptability, nurtured by fantasies of transformation involving the body. This process is assisted by an increasing ‘democratization’ of fashion, introduced by the globalization of fashion industry and an evolving fashion economy that has flooded the market with reproductions and fakes. The Superman cosplay is an emblematic case study of how ‘the ordinary’ comes into play in the transformative fantasies of costumed conventioneers, a spectacle that meaningfully and increasingly intersects fashion photography. The article draws on the concept of the costume as a brand, analysing its shape, colour, and symbolism to explain the consumers’ need to self-position in the context of the tremendous expansion of fashion’s global middle-market.

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Anno: 2018 - n. 2

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