After graduating from the MA Fashion from Central Saint Martins in 2020, Paolina has taken a new route. Only two weeks after the final show and presentation the entire world was hit by the pandemic and the UK went into lockdown. Suddenly being forced to stand still after 7 years in fashion education made Paolina, amongst many others, come face to face with herself. “It was an anticlimax and a blessing”, she says. The pandemic allowed her time to feel, think, and realise that fashion is what she wants to do. Seeing the whole industry stop triggered thoughts about what fashion is in the world, but also for her personally.
“This was the first time in three years that I am creating from a clear and not stressed out mind.” – Paolina Russo
“Before the pandemic fashion was all about no sleep and all grinding,” she laughs. The months spent not creating gave time for a re-evaluation of what life is. What is enjoyable — success and money, or a healthy and happy lifestyle? Fashion is not everything, mental health, sleep, and food are enjoyable parts of life and they should be as important as work. She argues that she is not alone to say this, but that many of her peers agree. Perhaps it is the industry at large that is changing. One crucial point when she realised that change is needed, was when she saw that this is the first time in three years that she sees her work exactly for what it is and she actually knows what the next step is. “This was the first time in three years,” she says “that I am creating from a clear and not stressed out mind.”