Paolina Russo

BA Fashion: Fashion Design and Knitwear

Paolina Russo

‘A Love Letter to my Hometown’ remembers the boredom, freedom and time spent alone as a hopeful, naïve teenager in the suburbs. For my final collection, I have explored techniques and materials which remind me of the strong sports and craft culture I grew up around in Markham, Canada. Over the summer before my final year I visited Markham and began a collection of clothes and materials that would inspire and help develop my silhouettes and textiles, such as old rugs, crochet blankets, my old sports equipment and athletic shoes.

I first began experimenting with imagery and materials from competitive sport by playing around with draping shoes, which were either donated to me by members of the Markham community or found in local charity shops. I then began crocheting around the shoes and hand stitching them together, replicating shapes such as corsets and armour. I did the same with other sports related objects such as old soccer balls, which I deconstructed and crocheted back together into bags and “ball gown”.

I also became very interested in a hand knit technique called illusion knitting which looks similar to two-way holographic images, where the knitted image can only be seen from a certain angle and disappears when looking at it straight on. I really wanted to balance the handmade craft elements in my collection with the technical fabrics I developed – showcasing the juxtaposition of domestic lifestyle and femininity alongside the imagery of sports culture.

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