The Gender-Defying Collective Bringing Glamour to Menswear

  • TextTed Stansfield
  • PhotographyLouie Banks
  • StylingBen Schofield

Ahead of the men’s shows, Another Man travels to Madrid to meet Palomo Spain – a brotherhood of artists and designers with a fantastical, flamboyant approach to fashion

Taken from the A/W17 issue of Another Man:

Madrid, mid-July. Alejandro Palomo cuts a mysterious figure as he enters the grand gardens of the Royal Palace. Dressed in a printed silk shirt, floral flare jeans and a pair of wooden mules, his neck draped in a nest of gold talismans and charms, he could be the leader of a secret sect. That’s not too far from the truth: the 25-year-old designer sits at the helm of Palomo Spain, a brotherhood of young, largely Andalusian designers, artists and kindred spirits. The accolytes of this creative collective – all intriguing characters in their own right, each bringing their different skills to the table – are united in their desire to bring Spain to the forefront of fashion. Fantastical, flamboyant and showing a flagrant disregard for gender codes, the group draw from traditional Spanish dress with a haute couture approach to design; a unique vision that saw them shortlisted for the 2017 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. Here, we meet the members of this modern-day order...

Alejandro Gómez Palomo, Designer

Birthdate: April 3, 1992. Personal data: Height, 5’9”; Hair, brown; Eyes, brown. Hometown: Posadas, Spain. University: London College of Fashion. The Palomo Spain Collective is: A very free and relaxed group of humble people who feel the same way about life. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: It’s waking up. Before it was old and dusty but now it’s fresh and global. Instagram has allowed us to show the world what’s going on here. Favourite designer: John Galliano, because he understands what fashion and grandeur is. He creates beautiful, crafted clothes. Sunday best look: A red pinstripe suit. Classic but bright. With men’s heels. Fashion is: A tool to express how you feel. Gender is: Over. Do you believe in magic? Yes. It’s that thing you feel but don’t know how to explain.

Adrian Bernal, Brand/Production Manager

Birthdate: March 26, 1991. Personal data: Height, 6’1”; Hair, auburn; Eyes, hazel. Hometown: Seville, Spain. University: Universidad de Sevilla. The Palomo Spain Collective is: A group of friends who share the same vision. We’re open-minded and very dramatic. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: It’s powerful. We really support each other and believe in each other’s talent. Favourite designer: Alejandro – I love what he’s doing. And Dilara Findikoglu too, and John Galliano. With them fashion is more than clothes, it’s a story. Sunday best look: I love tailoring, so a pinstripe three-piece suit. Fashion is: Too fast. It’s unsustainable. Gender is: Irrelevant. We don’t think about it, we just create things we want to wear. We’re not trying to make a statement. Do you believe in magic? Yes, but I think it’s more about energy.

Left: Curro Verdugo Alvarez, Model

Birthdate: November 21, 1995. Personal data: Height, 5’9”; Hair, brown; Eyes, brown. Hometown: Seville, Spain. The Palomo Spain Collective is: A group of friends who are all creative and all Andalusian. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: Fresh and free. Favourite designer: Alessandro Michele is doing really well at Gucci. For me it is a new aesthetic, I love it. Sunday best look: A nice pink blouse and some nice clean shoes. And some glitter. Fashion is: A game. Gender is: Boring. Do you believe in magic? No.

Right: Daniel Del Valle Vernandez, Collaborator

Birthdate: June 28, 1995. Personal data: Height, 5’9”; Hair, brown; Eyes, blue. Hometown: Seville, Spain. Job: I’m an artist and part of the Palomo Spain creative team. I did the flowers on the models for the last two shows and have other projects coming soon! The Palomo Spain Collective is: Like a family, we each help Palomo in our different ways. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: It’s growing. Madrid used to be closed-minded, but now there are loads of creative, artistic people. Favourite designer: Palomo Spain because it’s totally my aesthetic. We are both obsessed with beautiful things. We love our country, we love beautiful fashion, haute couture not sportswear. Sunday best look: A jumpsuit in a really special print and a really nice heel. Fashion is: Fun. Gender is: Nothing. Do you believe in magic? I really do. It’s in the relationships between people, animals, plants and flowers.

Left: Kito Muñoz Guerrero, Photographer

Birthdate: November 9, 1997. Personal data: Height, 5’9”; Hair, brown; Eyes, brown. Hometown: Cádiz, Spain. The Palomo Spain Collective is: Something that came together in a very natural way. I’m very inspired by their work and what they’re doing in Madrid. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: Before social media no one was really paying attention to us, but now people are taking us seriously on the global stage. Favourite designers: Raf Simons, Ann Demeulemeester and Y-Project. Sunday best look: Some wide trousers, a tight top and a big belt. Fashion is: What makes you feel sexy. Gender is: How you feel about yourself. Do you believe in magic? Yes, I believe in the magic that my mum tells me about, like Tarot and Psychomagic.

Right: Christopher Gerard McCrory, Collaborator

Birthdate: January 1, 1993. Personal data: Height, 5’11”; Hair, brown; Eyes, blue. Hometown: Madrid, Spain – but born in Manchester, England. University: London College of Fashion. Job: I do marketing and I’m creative director of content for Loewe. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: Alive and ready to go. It’s such a little scene here it’s like a family. There’s so much love. Favourite designer: Donatella Versace because of her. Sunday best look: Nothing. Fashion is: A tool. It’s something that you can use to express yourself or to get what you want. Like if you wear a suit, people will take you seriously. Gender is: Silly. Do you believe in magic? Yes, I love Tarot cards and have my reading done at the end of every year.

Left: Kai Landre Strauss, Model

Birthdate: March 11, 2000. Personal data: Height, 5’9”; Hair, brown; Eyes, brown. Hometown: Barcelona, Spain. University: Taller de Músics – I play the piano, guitar and ukulele, and sing. The Palomo Spain Collective is: Special, everyone is different, everyone has their personal identity and everyone has a passion for fashion. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: Special, too. Lots of creative people come here and find other creative people. Favourite designer: Martin Margiela because he created a kind of fashion that everyone is still trying to replicate. Sunday best look: This dress I bought from a charity shop. The fabric is like a red planet. And these shoes because they’re the ones my dad wore to his wedding. Fashion is: Funny. Gender is: Not real. Do you believe in magic? I do, obviously. I think there’s magic in everybody. It’s something you can see though, you have to feel it.

Centre: Jorge Garcia Valero, Model

Birthdate: July 4, 1996. Personal data: Height, 6’2”; Hair, brown; Eyes, blue/green. Hometown: Albacete, Spain. University: Escuela Superior de Diseño de Madrid. The Palomo Spain Collective is: A fashion family. We connect because we come from the same culture and have the same passion for fashion. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: We have a lot of passion and want to do things that say, ‘Hello, we are here too.’ We want to put Madrid on the creative world map, like London, Paris and New York. Favourite designers: Walter Van Beirendonck because of his colourful designs and Ann Demeulemeester because of the silhouette. Sunday best look: A Dior suit with navy Prada shoes and a colourful vintage Versace t-shirt. Fashion is: A way to express yourself. Gender is: Death. Do you believe in magic? Yes. I love magic shows. They’re such a great way to disconnect from the real world.

Right: Pol Roig Valldosera, Model

Birthdate: February 19, 2000. Personal data: Height, 6’1”; Hair, brown; Eyes, blue. Hometown: Barcelona, Spain. The Palomo Spain Collective is: A group of peculiar people who love fashion and beautiful things. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: It’s very cool and very friendly. Favourite designer: Galliano. But 90s Galliano. His fashion shows at that time had everything. They were perfection: the models, the attitude, the make-up – everything was perfect. Sunday best look: An Armani suit with a Versace belt, a Palomo sheer shirt, some borrowed shoes and crazy hair. And a lot of studded bracelets and chains. Fashion is: Nothing. Gender is: Nothing. Do you believe in magic? No. I don’t believe in things I can’t prove.

Filip Custic Braut, Photographer and Model

Birthdate: March 31, 1993. Personal data: Height, 6’3”; Hair, brown; Eyes, brown. Hometown: Madrid, Spain – but born in the Canary Islands. University: Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The Palomo Spain Collective is: We are all creative and do what makes us happy – we want to enjoy life. Describe the spirit of Madrid’s creative scene: We believe in ourselves and each other. We motivate, admire and inspire each other. Favourite designer: I admire designers who create their own worlds. Alejandro does that. So does Simon Porte at Jacquemus. Sunday best look: When I moved to New York I felt like I needed to dress like someone who works in an office so I wore a suit and tie inspired by Ally McBeal. Fashion is: Limited. Gender is: Irrelevant. Do you believe in magic? Of course. We are more powerful than we think. We can do things like telepathy and telekinesis, though society teaches us that we can’t.

Grooming Javier Sevillano Jimenez; Photographic assistant Emmanuel O’Brien.