I don't know that I agree with VOGUE that this fall season is any different in featuring cloaks and capes; in cold weather, we tend to turn to those pieces of our wardrobe. However, it is nice they claim to be seeing the influence of comic books in modern haute couture, real or imaginary.
You may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (maybe you never wanted to) or crawl around on all fours like a feline femme fatale (marginally more appealing), but that is no reason to cast a cold eye on the superhero-infused styles set to alight in stores this fall. (Which means, in the alternative-reality universe we actually inhabit, that they are arriving on racks right now.)
Animal prints come and go so any given season one can say Catwoman is an influence. Red is always a popular fall and winter color. As I said, even my off-the-rack shopping mother wears different capes in our New Jersey winters; capes and cloaks are a staple. Tall boots to the knee or over them are always a fall/winter feature on the fashion landscape as well.
Could you say X-MEN movies made it acceptable for non-bikers to wear full leather? Hmmm, maybe. But I don't see people running around in cowls. Did emo-ridden Bella from TWILIGHT make wearing flannel acceptable? I hope people don't believe that. I've been surrounded by flannel and denim since I was born.
Let's not forget the power of spandex/lycra leggings! They come and go in popularity and are best when worn under tunics. They can be worn with high heels, boots or sandals. Maybe we owe the popularity of leggings to Superman and his blue tights; but I don't think it's anything "new" for 2011's Fall lineup.