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Dispatches

Super Bowl economics; sampling sweet nothings in Massachusetts; Chinese craft beer with a local kick; St. Moritz’s seriously slick horse race; superhero fashions in Manhattan

NEW YORK CITY

STRENGTH OF CHARACTERS
Fashion designers show their heroic side

On a recent Monday night at Manhattan’s Ace Hotel, emcee Jason Jones — best known as a “Daily Show” correspondent — is standing next to a mannequin in a hooded sweatshirt with floppy pink ears. It’s the costume for a supervillain named “Black Sheep,” Jones tells the crowd, as the silent auction quietly rages. In the end, the piece, created by menswear designer Matt Singer, goes for $200. Jones describes the future owner as “a baah, baah man,” eliciting groans from the audience. “I didn’t write these jokes,” he says.

“Black Sheep” is just one of the many costumes created for superheroes and archenemies by some of today’s hippest fashion designers to benefit 826NYC, the writing and tutoring center founded by literary juggernaut Dave Eggers. There’s “Semiprecious,” a gold sequined bodysuit and matching mask by Renata Morales; Complex Geometries’ “Kryptonian Casual,” a silver crepe dress with a billowing cape; and “Lovelorn,” which appears to be a cross between a suit and a kimono, by Opening Ceremony.

Christiane Hultquist of Christian Joy shows off “Magnitita,” a sparkly red leotard combined with a leopard cape and magnetic claws, while her husband, a member of the band Bubbles, performs onstage. Hultquist, for her part, says she’d like to have the powers of Aquaman, though she isn’t sure what she would do with them. “I don’t know how it would help anybody,” she muses.

Jack Spade’s “Anonymous, the Blog Goon,” meanwhile, is not designed for a do-gooder. The antihero getup includes a bathrobe, a trucker-hat wig and a “Your Blog Stinks” T-shirt. Though Jones seems underwhelmed (“So it’s just a shirt, a robe and a wig?”), New York University student Amy Griffis isn’t. Her $200 bid wins the ensemble, which comes with a duffel bag of Spam. “Breakfast for a month!” exclaims her date. The day is saved. — MICHELLE BANGERT

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