In contradistinction to the fashion reviewer at WWD, who opines that Palomo is tapping into the current gender fluid vibe, I have to say that I don’t see it that way at all. Most of the transgender and gender non-binary folks I know are NOT trying to look like a spectacle, but to look on the outside like they feel on the inside. (Here I don't mean to downplay the importance of social critique. I know that many also want to shine a light on gender in relation to cultural expectations.) If this fashion line is a nod to gender fluidity, then it feels like an insult to me...like Palomo is making a joke out of a serious set of ideas that people are wrestling with.
The fact is, we have seen these fashion monstrosities on women for years. --the overly puffed sleeves, ruffles and feathers and netting, exposed shoulders and chests, transparent body-suits, etc. This is the same old shit, just cut for men.
But also interesting: this line of clothing is showcased on models who have been made up to look ill, so if you weren’t sick enough of seeing women painted to look like heroin addicts, here’s your chance to revisit that again...only for dudes.
I would be interested in knowing what the artist’s intentions are. Perhaps in the same way that painters create paintings about painting for other painters, maybe Palomo is creating fashions for other fashion designers about fashion. Or maybe this work is intended as a critique of the objectifying impracticality of women’s fashion designs...something we, the viewing audience, are blind to because we all look at fashion (among other things) with the same distorted perspective that our cultural lens affords us --a lens that warps women into sexual objects. Or maybe this stuff is simply meant to show the ridiculousness of the fashion industry. Or maybe it's supposed to show the double standards we have for men and women? Or is it, as many commenters on the WWD website seem to believe, just an attention-grab?
Regardless of the intent, though, the most interesting about this line of clothing isn’t the clothing but the fact that the designer’s intentions are so unclear. And with images like the ones above, I'm having a hard time as seeing them as anything more than satire.
...And I keep hoping that if I click long enough and hard enough, Tim Curry will appear in his corset and fishnets.