Consider his fall 2020 menswear collection. Referencing both El Greco and rave culture, Palomo played with two notions of ecstasy—one religious, the other pharmaceutical. The looks that went down the runway included ecclesiastical-inspired gear and pearl-embellished pants of enormous proportions, and one very singular accessory. “I thought the element that a Palomo boy would carry to a rave would be a fabulous fan,” the designer told Vogue. One of the visuals Gómez Palomo conjured while designing the collection was “that moment on Sunday mornings when church goers and rave goers would cross on the street and their fans were the only element” they had in common.
The fans the “Palomo boys” carried were made in collaboration with Kausi, a one-year-old Spanish brand. Observing fans being made in Spain for international brands, Kausi co-founders Alejandra Arias and Laura Corces saw a business opportunity. “We were clear from the beginning that we wanted to support Spanish artisan creation,” notes the former. Valencia “has more than 300 years of [fan-making] history and is the only region in Europe where this tradition is preserved by an artisan community.”
Since El Greco’s days, fans have traditionally been depicted as feminine accessories. Regardless of who was using them, fans, until recently, had felt rather recherche and “period.” Fashion’s iconic fan bearer, as Arias notes, was Karl Lagerfeld, whose éventails seemed to be an extension of his 18th-century obsession. That “men would almost feel ashamed to use fans” in 2020, says Gómez Palomo, is representative of “an old-fashioned mentality. This was my chance to offer a more updated way of wearing [one]. I wanted to make the fan something much easier to carry and in a younger and masculine way.”
Gómez Palomo created two series of fans for Kausi. The Feather Rave range features ostrich plumes; the Ecstasy collection is print-focused. “I thought, how would a Palomo boy (or even myself), calm the heat and the sweat in their bodies without losing their glamour?” says the designer. Here’s his answer.