22-Sep, 19:24

12:03, January 17 488 0

2018-01-17 12:03:04
From No Clothes to Almost No Clothes at Palomo Spain

PARIS — “Nude is my work look,” Casey Spooner (Instagram @caseyspooner) said on a rainy evening, as he was ushered out of the chill and up the stairs of an 18th-century building on the elegant Place des Vosges.

Mr. Spooner was on hand to see the Palomo Spain show, which opens men’s fashion week here, and he was dressed head-to-toe for the occasion in one of the more subdued creations of its designer, Alejandro Gómez Palomo.

“Tonight, I’m going for Giorgio Sant’Angelo,” the frontman of the performance troupe Fischerspooner added, referring to the flamboyant and award-winning Italian-Argentinian designer who died in 1989 of AIDS. And, in fact, his brashly patterned jumpsuit with its Cossack collar and matching kerchief headwrap was just the sort of thing Mr. Sant’Angelo might have worn for a coked-out revel at Studio 54.

“Her look was originally supposed to be mine,” Mr. Spooner said, referring to his friend Jason Dardo, better known as Violet Chachki (Instagram @violetchachki), the drag burlesque performer who vanquished the competition in the seventh season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Mr. Spooner meant the one-shouldered psychedelic pantsuit Ms. Chachki was wearing, an outfit that, as it turned out, didn’t fit him.

“I’m a big girl,” said the muscular Mr. Spooner, who has transformed himself for his coming tour into a contemporary version of the ’70s gay porn star Peter Berlin.

And he was not kidding about his work look. For a performance at Brooklyn Steel last fall and in various videos associated with “SIR,” the new Fischerspooner release, the performance artist, singer and all-around provocateur disported himself in every conceivable manner of shredded, studded, body-revealing raunch-wear that the Tony-award winning designer Jeff Mahshie could devise. When, that is, Mr. Spooner was wearing any clothes at all.

Mr. Spooner had been at the men’s shows in Milan and returned on Tuesday to Paris, where he has taken up residence. Here on a visit a month ago, he missed his flight home to New York and impulsively decided to remain. “It’s time to be an expat and set up the next bohemian paradise compound where we can gather and conspire,” he informed his followers on Instagram, where he is often pictured wearing little besides a huge fur coat that looks like Chewbacca’s pelt.

“I had no clothes when I arrived” in Europe, Mr. Spooner added plaintively on Tuesday, though Ms. Chachki was having none of it. “She says that to everyone,” the drag performer said, lowering the frames of her pink retro-Futurist sunglasses to throw Mr. Spooner some shade. “Now everyone gives her looks. She’s a total looks-whore.”

If Mr. Gómez Palomo was among those designers who quickly came to Mr. Spooner’s sartorial assistance, he was in good company. Miuccia Prada and others in Milan generously sent clothes to keep the performer from going naked to assorted fashion-show front rows.

Yet Palomo Spain may be the best fit of all, since the label designed by Mr. Gomez has, in less than two years, made a singular mark on the industry with designs that don’t test gender binaries so much as flout their existence.

True to form, in a presentation titled “Hunting” and shown under black lights in a friend’s apartment hung with a huge Gilbert & George work and decorated to look like a forest, the Spanish designer sent out a giddy assortment of his frilly, sometimes feminine, often historicist, always ornamented and minimally concealing designs for brocade chaps, opera cloaks, sleeveless jerkins with shoulder ruffles, peekaboo lace surplices, trailing gowns (yes, for men), velvet lounge suits, tunics resembling chain mail, marabou-trimmed tabarro capes and ruched velvet bloomers from which the models’ skinny hairy legs protruded obscenely.

“My father hunts every weekend and I grew up surrounded by trophies and horns,” said the designer, who also produced some commercial garments, if you can call a brocade jumpsuit with a buttoned fanny-flap commercial.

“I wanted to balance pieces you can wear with pieces that are fantasy and that make you smile,” said Mr. Gómez Palomo, whose show was greeted with enthusiastic hoots by his fan claque, the models and those who always look to Paris for relief from dreary conventional fashion.

“You made everyone so happy!” Filep Motwary, fashion features editor of the cult fashion journal Dapper Dan, said to Mr. Gómez Palomo just after the show. “Without this, everything in fashion would just be a lot of sportswear.”

“That’s so good you’re happy,” said the designer, dragging hard on a Marlboro Red. “That’s the entire point!”