Paris Fashion Week Men's erupts with Palomo Spain
Palomo Spain didn’t so much kick off the mammoth 60-show-plus Paris menswear season on a sunny Tuesday morning as explode into it.
Inspired by the ancient city of Pompeii, the collection riffed on exotic frescoes, centurion chic, glam gladiators and transgressive senators.
Ironic that the opening show of the Paris season should be staged in the Spanish Embassy, beneath some superb dark Goya portraits by a designer from Andalucía inspired by the Bay of Naples. One reason Europe still dominates menswear – the level of inspiration and raw material imagery is endlessly powerful.
It was a study in contrasts from the stern Guardia Civil lady policewoman at the entrance to the dozens of cross-dressing young men sitting front row.
The Emperor Tiberius, who ruled Rome from Capri across the Bay of Naples from Pompeii, and his cruel and perverse nephew Caligula would have loved this collection. In effect, Palomo figuratively excavated the ruins and mingled his discoveries into the collection – happily, none of the results were too literal.
Hence, Roman body armor and breastplates morphed into men’s corsets; pleated military skirts came in summery linen; and a plenipotentiary’s toga found new life as a teal colored ruffled chiffon dress – for men that is. Each model wearing garlands or masks. All anchored by centurion’s sandals, reimagined as faux sneakers in jute; while totes and bags came with House of Faun statuettes and erotic 'secret cabinet' images.
Palomo has also created his own quirky community, an androgynous army that gave him an enormous cheer at the finale.
If this all sounds quite delirious that is because it was. One third of the cast emoting like teenage ballet dancers as they marched past the giant 17th century tapestries, to the soaring guitars and gurgling synthesizers of Pink Floyd.
“Actually, it was Pink Floyd’s concert at Pompeii that first got me thinking about all the possibilities, unearthing these ideas to build for a Palomo Empire,” joked designer Alejandro Gómez Palomo backstage as he received a wave of compliments.
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