“When I started this collection I was reflecting on who I wanted to be as a designer,” reflects Paolina Russo. “In the past I’ve been the sporty colorful girl, but I didn’t really get to show the breadth of my world.” Google Russo’s name and the sporty, colorful ethos definitely dominates her results. It’s what has made retailers like Ssense buy into her collection and megabrands like Adidas seek her out for collaborations. But there’s more than meets the eye to Russo’s oeuvre. Born to a family of collectors in Canada, Russo inherited a certains sentimentality and nostalgia. For autumn-winter 2022, she’s plumbing her youth, morphing video game heroines with aloof suburban teens. Knitwear is a main focus, with fully fashioned wool pieces in tonal colorways. Russo is a master of the stitch, turning cable knits into corset boning and draping a midi-skirt to hang from slinky hip bone cutouts. She’s pulled on her snowboarding past to create padded sleeve jackets that evoke ski gear. The few cut-and-sew pieces have a video game look, with neon insets and pleated skirts. On the whole, her collection pushes the Paolina Russo brand to a more essential level – not just show pieces but real everyday clothes. Let’s see where she goes next.
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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.