An anomaly in today’s fashion world, AleXsandro Palombo is one brilliant rascal.
Since founding his own label in 1998, the young Italian designer has raised eyebrows everywhere from Vogue to The Vatican with innovative designs, vibrant use of color and highly charged political and religious imagery.
Palombo’s scandalous styling first ruffled feathers in 1999 when he was chastised by Muslim leaders and the Italian media for featuring the Keffiyeh scarf in his cutting edge collection. In 2004, WWD turned up its nose at his Pinocchio-Stigmata show invitations. Blazers embroidered with an image of Mother Theresa certainly turned a few heads and his choice to place Anne Frank’s face above FUCKING on a t-shirt dress was seen as…questionable.
So why does he do it? Why does such a talented designer feel the need craft his collections to border on the offensive?
“Because we live in a world that is actually ready to regulate breathing and which rejects the different, instead of educating us to accept the new and recover a free imagination. Religious themes appear in my creations through a new artistic vision that seeks to transform them by their symbolism and make them a new part of everyday life.”
And if you count the number of hipsters proudly donning their checkered Keffiyeh scarves while gallivanting about Soho, you’ll realize he’s absolutely right.
Palombo uses such cultural symbolism in his dreamlike creations not to enrage the members of his audience, but to change their perspective; he fuses ideas from the dueling Western and Eastern worlds to embrace the ideals of both and unite them in a burst of artistic harmony.