LÆS DEN DANSKE UDGAVE HER
Paolina Russo, Wednesday 9 August 2023, Dampfærgevej 2, 2100 Copenhagen
Perhaps it’s because they’re London-based, or maybe it’s because they’re a young brand with a tendency to be more inclusive. I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure: the model cast at Paolina Russo’s show was one of the most diverse and interesting I’ve seen so far this season. Paolina Russo embraces a wide range when it comes to ethnicity, body type, disability, gender, and age. And it worked seamlessly.
Across the collection, styling and setting of the show, Paolina Russo’s Canadian roots were visible with symbols and patterns reminiscent of the Inuit. This inspiration was elevated with a modern edge, with prints on low-rise baggy jeans, the type which would hang nicely on the hips of a Copenhagen teenage girl. Paired with cropped blouses featuring drawstrings in the front, and large jewellery reminiscent of something from Beadhouse (if you know, you know), several outfits could have been taken straight from this summer’s Roskilde Festival.
The opening look was also a fun mix of the past and present. A chequered jersey blouse bordered in a tribal-like outline, paired with denim saturated in a greenish hue over some form of stencil, creating embossed shapes on the surface of the culotte shorts and short-breasted jacket. This created a look that felt like I had seen it before, and yet not at all. Perhaps it was the styling of calf-length silver boots and sharp bangs that made the look more futuristic than nostalgic.
Paolina Russo is a brand with lots of tailwind right now. First of all, they are part of the show calendar by virtue of being the winners of the Zalando Visionary Award this season. At the same time, they have been nominated for both the LVMH Fashion Prize and the International Woolmark Prize this spring, so it is not only here in Copenhagen that we keep an eye on the newly established brand, which was founded in 2020.
It was the brand’s knits in particular that put Paolina Russo on the radar. The knits are designed in many ways, where ins and outs are used to create patterns and lines, making knitted dresses and tops look like armour or tight-fitting warrior ensembles. At the same time, colours and stripes are used in a special technique creating a range of holographic 3D patterns, which is very special for the brand.
In terms of colour, nothing has been spared. All the candy colours of the rainbow shine side by side with earth tones, pastels, and every shade of blue. Especially on the several styles in lycra, where large tribal pattern prints in black and white lay next to fused shades of pink, brown, blue, orange and purple, in clothes for the gymnast or the surfer. Reminiscent of cave paintings, black prints of small figures surfaced on tie-dye t-shirts, and together with the many prints on denim, there was never a quiet moment at Paolina Russo.
All surfaces are printed, dyed, gathered, or knitted so there is always plenty to look at. Unfortunately, the models passed so quickly, you could only capture a mere fraction. In hindsight, this is a shame when you otherwise would like to have more time to ponder on the many details.
Ultimately, I can see what they are trying to do, and I can clearly see a lot of the clothes speaking directly to Copenhagen’s teenagers. The clothes are playful and fun, and in any case a breath of fresh air for the Copenhagen fashion scene.
Below you can see a selection of photos from the show. See the entire collection here.
This show review is translated from Danish to English by Sophie Axon.