Canadian designer Paolina Russo’s namesake label is a rose-tinted supercut of her suburban upbringing; she taps into a familiar nostalgia for the boredom, uncertainty, and naiveté of growing up. Memories of youth sports teams and DIY arts-and-crafts projects inform both the aesthetic and assembly of Russo’s avant-garde garments—she stitches together a medley of upcycled and unconventional materials in jarring color combinations, returning to the playful brashness of adolescence. Russo’s experimentation with textiles began in her hometown of Markham, Ontario, where she repurposed old sporting equipment from the local community, hand-crocheting the material into wearable collages reminiscent of corsetry. Since completing a BA at Central Saint Martins and receiving the lauded L’Oreal Professional Young Talent Award, her practice has been increasingly defined by considered craftsmanship and innovation in textile development. Employing the hand-knit technique illusion knitting, Russo developed her signature lenticular fabric that mimics the illusory effect of holographic images. Blending her roots in craft technique with contemporary production methods, Paolina Russo demonstrates the enduring presence of childhood into adulthood.
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