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Biedermeier trumpet-shaped, tilt-top pedestal table, walnut veneer with maple inlays, Vienna, ca. 1825, at Iliad Antik in Manhattan
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by Brook S. Mason

Forget Chippendale and Chelsea porcelain, the extravagant creations of the fashion world are spiking on the Richter scale of museum attendance. The Art Newspaper has compiled its extensive annual list of visitor numbers for 2008 museum exhibitions, and among the top ten shows in the decorative arts category, a stunning five are devoted to, well, luxury brand togs. Top of the heap is the Metropolitan Museum Costume Instituteís "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy," last fallís extravaganza of costumes from Hollywood films as well as from Paris couturiers like Thierry Mugler, notable for his penchant for animalier-like creativity.