“If Bad Bunny does it, we applaud him, but we bury Edu Casanova”: with men, sometimes the problem is not the dress

Several days have passed, but Jorge Motos is still not able to put into words everything he has experienced, and felt, in his first appearance on the gala of the Goya Awards. “I remember very little of what happened. I’m still in a cloud, it was like a kind of dream. I get emotional thinking about it,” says the 22-year-old actor. Although he could not take home the award for best new actor for his role in Luke, the Valencian did get all the targets pointed at him. Thanks to a set of Palomo Spainmade up of a white structured jacket lined in lace and velvet pants, which he finished off with a fantasy makeup with pearls, the interpreter did win the unofficial award for great revelation on the red carpet.

“For me, wearing a Palomo had always been a dream. When I tried it on for the first time and looked in the mirror, I started to cry”, explains Motos, one of the ambassadors of a new generation of actors determined to break with the archetypes and bet on genderless or traditionally feminine garments. A current that in the most recent edition of the Goya lived one of its most suggestive, and at the same time controversial, manifestations.

On the other hand, Edward Casanova I could already guess that his stylistic choice was not going to be without controversy. The actor known for Aida (2005-2014) and the direction of skins (2017) returned to the gala betting on a black bodice with a neckline that left her shoulders bare, black pants and pink ties, following the aesthetic commitment of his next film as director, piety. “The truth is that while we were doing the look we were a little shit”, confirms ICON Jaime Álvarez, creative director of the firm Mans Concept and responsible for the costumes. “Eduardo constantly repeated, ‘They’re going to give us even our identity card,’ but we didn’t expect so many insults.”

Eduardo Casanova, on the red carpet of the Goya 2022.
Eduardo Casanova, on the red carpet of the Goya 2022.Carlos Alvarez (Getty Images)

From the moment he posed in front of the photographers, the actor began to receive a wave of hate messages on his Instagram account – “playful”, “cynical” or “sidoso”, among other expletives – that has denounced in a statement published on the same social network. “Serophobia is very dangerous and further contributes to the stigma of HIV-positive people. This message is absolutely unjustifiable. It is a message of homophobic and serophobic hate, and I think that together we should denounce this person and make her understand how confused she is, how old she is and the damage she can do. I put his Instagram at the disposal of the National Police, ”the actor denounced.

This episode has highlighted the outright hate attacks suffered in Spain by those who dare to wear non-normative fashion, but it has also sparked a wave of solidarity that transcends the field of the film industry. “He is emotionally devastated because the insults got out of hand, but I think he is a look that will mark a before and after. Spain does not have a fashion culture and that is noticeable”, Álvarez maintains. “It is a shame what has happened to him and one more example that homophobia is still present in our society,” adds Motos. Whoever dressed this young actor at the Goyas, the designer Alejandro Palomo, also joins the condemnation and describes what happened with Casanova as “aberrant”. “I don’t understand why these things keep happening. I imagine it has to do with the lack of education and the ideological division of Spain. If we allow the things that are said on television to be said, giving voice to rednecks and rednecks who say that girls should be given a doll and boys a truck, the hatred grows and grows.

The Cordovan, who founded his firm Palomo Spain in 2016, has become one of the undisputed stars of Spanish men’s fashion thanks to an imaginary in which there are no limits or prejudices. Himself, thanks to his work as a judge of the talent from RTVE sewing mastershas managed to expand in each program the frontiers of what we are used to seeing on public television with outfits very personal. A media exposure that naturalizes and makes visible, but that also entails a personal cost for its protagonist. “I never receive criticism on my profiles, but when my photos are posted on the official profile of the program I have to read all kinds of barbarities. That if I am a carnival, that if I go pints… Nothing very violent, but it seems that people have free rein there to say what they want, ”she admits.

Jorge Motos, on the red carpet of the Goya 2022.
Jorge Motos, on the red carpet of the Goya 2022.LLUIS GENE (AFP via Getty Images)

Can this type of controversies suppose a regression in a trend that seemed unstoppable? Will those who fear that a style will make them the target of trolls and haters? Freddy Alonso, one of the most sought-after stylists in our country, believes that just the opposite will happen. “Whoever wants to risk or take advantage of that moment on a red carpet to express something, he will continue to do so. I put my hand in the fire that next year the look by Eduardo Casanova is going to be even stronger than this one”, he says.

His manager corroborates this suspicion. “The controversy neither affects me nor inhibits me. It drives me to create more innovative and groundbreaking fashion”, says Álvarez, who vindicates the work of performers such as Casanova, Paco Leon, Alfred García, Guillermo Lasheras or Motos himself as agents of change. “There is a current that is giving everything from now on. What we cannot do is that if we see an international figure we idolize him and, if he is someone Spanish, we describe him as a mamarracho”.

Although he acknowledges that the impact of his election on the great night of Spanish cinema was very positive, Jorge Motos has also had to face all kinds of insults before. “And who doesn’t?” He asks himself, confessing later that he has gone to therapy to learn how to manage them: “In the end, you use these events as a form of empowerment.” Therefore, while he continues to search for and define his personal style, he is not willing to give up enjoying fashion and makeup, one more form of “expression and communication” with society.

One of the images of the singer Bad Bunny in the campaign of the designer Jacquemus.
One of the images of the singer Bad Bunny in the campaign of the designer Jacquemus.

Palomo is delighted that young people are challenging traditional codes: “The generational change is evident. They dress differently with all the naturalness in the world, it is something innate. For them, dressing up doesn’t mean wearing a tuxedo, they don’t feel handsome wearing it.” “The red carpets have changed a lot in recent years”, confirms Freddy Alonso. “Before, everything was very uniform and now the difference is applauded more.”

Shortly after the insults leveled against Eduardo Casanova made headlines in the general press, a TikTok video starring the LGBT+ activist Daniel Valero went viral.

With more than 385,000 reproductions to date, he compared the images of Eduardo Casanova at the Goya Awards with a photograph from the latest campaign by the French firm Jacquemus, in which the Puerto Rican artist bad bunny poses wearing a pink dress with heeled sandals. “Why is one image celebrated and admired and the other provokes ridicule and insults?” Valero questions, denouncing a double standard in relation to this type of stylistic daring, depending on the sexual orientation of the person who uses it. star. The creative director of Mans Concept considers that these episodes hide “a great homophobic current”. He sums it up like this: “When Bad Bunny, who is straight, wears a dress, they put it on an altar; and if Casanova does it, with a much less feminine suit, they bury him alive”.

Harry Styles, at the Met gala held in 2019.
Harry Styles, at the Met gala held in 2019.Taylor Hill (FilmMagic)

In addition to the reggaeton player, there are several global movie or music stars who in recent years have opted to move away from traditional masculinity in terms of fashion, channeling a trend that is already being noticed in the industry dominated by new proposals. unisex and agender. To the chagrin of some like the actor Sean Penn, who has recently stated that “men have become quite feminized”the new male stars give up the heteropatriarchal normativity wearing dresses, skirts, crop toppearl necklaces and a manicure close to the field of nail art. The singers Harry Styles and Olly Alexander (Years & Years), the rappers Kid Cudi, Lil Nas X and ASAP Rocky or the actors billy porter, Ezra Miller or Dan Levy are some of its most applauded ambassadors. According reflect the data shared by the platform specialized in fashion searches Lyst, queries related to the term no gender they increased by 33% since the beginning of 2021.

One of the most commented milestones was the one starring Styles, who became the first man to occupy the cover of the American edition of the magazine alone. fashion in its December 2020 issue. The images, in which the former One Direction member wore a dress with a train and ruffles signed by Alessandro Michele or kilts Scottish, were criticized by non-binary trendsetters like Billy Porter. “I created the conversation, and yet fashion keeps choosing Harry Styles, a straight white man, with a dress on his cover for the first time (…) This is politics for me, this is my life. I had to fight my whole life to get to the day where I could wear a dress to the Oscars and not end up murdered.” Pose on an interview in The Times. After the impact of his words, the Emmy winner apologized to the singer, assuring that the conversation was not about him.

“I think Harry Styles is appropriating the culture queer in a slightly more forced way, I see it as more marketing”, says Jaime Álvarez. On the other hand, both Freddy Alonso and Jorge Motos consider the singer of hits as Watermelon Sugar a fundamental reference for its ability to get the message across to a majority audience. Alejandro Palomo is in favor of this second current of opinion: “It is necessary that idolized figures dress in an absolutely free way, whatever their sexuality. In the end, when this reaches the masses, people open their minds and normalize it.”

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“If Bad Bunny does it, we applaud him, but we bury Edu Casanova”: with men, sometimes the problem is not the dress