There is always something high and low about fashion. No matter how fancy and expensive and nice an ensemble might be, you sweat in it and you put your gross body bits onto it, therefore cheapening and ruining a once beautiful piece of art. Being fashionable is being ugly. Being fashionable is being both low and high at the same time.
That’s why the work of collage artist Kalen Hollomon is so special: he’s fucking around with what fashion should be. This playfulness naturally slices up notions of gender, sophistication, sex, sexuality, age, class, and rhythms: his way of editing the world through collage is at the exact center of fashion’s high/low nature. It’s never not both ugly and pretty, gorgeous and grotesque, humorous and humorless.
His collages are obviously laughable. Whether it’s quick video edits or subversions of major media campaigns by fashion labels or the simple juxtaposition fancy things in non-fancy environments through photos, what Hollomon makes is something that you will giggle at and then wonder why it’s funny. Is it because a man is wearing something normally worn by women? Is it because a “poor” person is interacting with an accessory of a “rich” person? Is it because we’re all familiar with these major campaigns—and that are so easy to fuck with—that the slight disturbance of their visual vocabulary is both artistic and comedic genius? It’s all that and more.
Hollomon is having a bit of a moment now too given he is the person who made the artwork for The Weekend’s latest album. You may also be familiar with his gender bending fashion from his PornHub collaboration, which is how I first found him. For the retail obsessed or anti-trend, there’s something to love in Hollomon’s edit obsessed fashion collages. They’re the epitome of the high-lowness and low-highness of clothing culture.