Paolina Russo

Looks from Paolina Russo's final Central Saint Martins collection
Growing up in Toronto, the accessibility of the fashion industry was bound to TV and internet. Being part of this industry, or even establishing a career in fashion she could only imagine.
 
Feeling inspired at the age of thirteen, Paolina activated a fashion blog where she created and highlighted her interpretation of trends by customizing vintage clothing and posting images. The creative thread was picked up on by CSM students, who encouraged her to apply and take part in the fashion program.
 
At the age of seventeen she entered CSM, studying fashion, focusing on craftsmanship and artwork drawn and created by hand. Over the course of her education she developed a clear sculptural handwriting in her designs.
 
Development sketch for Paolina Russo’s final Central Saint Martins collection

An athletic sculptural approach

The recognizable athletic features of her work, take us back to her roots. Paolina’s athletic background and love for suburban sportswear tie together a look that connects back to her experience with taekwando and martial arts growing up. Today, this childhood spirit influences her design, using the easthetic and language of shin guard, protective wear.
 
The thought behind her artful approach to design is influenced by her background in sculpture and art. By using the technique of draping and moulage, a first design is created by collaging.
 
Looks from Paolina Russo's final Central Saint Martins collection

The versatility of leather

From a material perspective, leather fits the moulageing approach perfectly by its easily moldable and stretch properties.
 
“The aim is to work with futuristic materials that carry a combination of nostalgia and versatility. Aspects of lightness, softness and moldability are an important contributor to the draping techniques I apply on the model.”
 
The introduction to ECCO Leather was one of shared experience, whilst studying at CSM and getting a close look at the possibility of working with ECCO Leather, via best friend Florence Lamy, who at the time developed her patchwork leather collection.
 
Playing with the leather’s firmness and soft touch properties, Paolina’s designs capture a sense of armor underlined by its chosen materials. Seeking contrast with this protective association of leather, the addition of knitwear lightens up each composition and transforms the total look into something powerful.
 
“Leather is a special material that holds a close relation to my personal experience with the variation of life and compliments my vision on working in fashion design with an artisan approach.”
 
Development sketch for Paolina Russo’s final Central Saint Martins collection

About her work

As part of her education and graduation projects, she teamed up with Adidas, creating the repurposed sportswear project. This collaboration allowed her to explore the making of footwear, whilst entering a new athletic direction for adidas combining her desire to construct and moulage with the aesthetics of sportswear.
 
The continuation of her projects include a deeper dive into the possibilities of working with leather and a continuation of her collaboration with Adidas.
 
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