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by Alex Brzezicka

Multi-layered monsters, hand-stitched angels and gentle vagabonds: explore Paolo Carzana’s SS23 collection, from dusk to dawn.

Paolo Carzana’s LFW SS23 presentation didn’t feel like an introduction to the fashion world or a newcomers’ rite of passage. Quite the opposite. It was our chance to step into the carefully draped, sewn and stitched reality of a tender soul. Amongst the solitary of his studio, he contemplated the inner and outer state of the worlds he occupies. The trauma accumulated with time got transformed into a vision of uncommon beauty.

Suddenly, we stood astonished among tulle angels with one leg brooding in the substance that’s left when unburdening the overwhelmed heart. “Fashion can still mean so much. It does to me,” Carzana confesses in the notes. At once, we realise that in those layers of fabric, in the threads, there’s a salvation written. It all starts with a leap of faith at dawn.

Sarabande’s scholar’s collection is set over 24h. It emerges from the cusp of trauma at midnight and brings new hopes in the morning so we can bask in the sunlight until we find resolution in the dusk. Introducing us to the army of elegant angels, protectors of his realm, Carzana reimagines the dialogue between fashion and religion, inspired by Pasolini’s La Ricotta (1963). From the more minimalistic looks featuring fantastic vagabond hats to sculptural gentle monsters in white, black and grey, the designer’s definition of holiness is inclusive of various shapes and cuts.

It’s a truly intimate spectacle. Paolo has ventured far after debuting the collection that put him on the fashion map, “Another World”, a solo, no-budget and upcycled series of looks. Though not much has changed in the process since then. The designer primality uses natural dyes like tea and orange spice for ecru. It’s relieving that behind his moving metaphors, there’s also a real strive for sustainability in Carzana’s work. Collaborating with South Korean artist Seming Hong, the pair created pioneering pieces, for the first time, introducing Seming’s layering technique onto the body, transforming the material into skin inscribed with her memories of home.

“I might be always fighting for peace; I’ll keep punching til it breaks,” show notes scream. Paolo Carzana’s SS23 collection, like an earthquake, destroyed the artificial surface to show us cracks in the industry, to prove that if someone fills them with raw emotions, something really special can sprout from the ground. On that soil, even the seeds of sadness have a chance if met with bravery and drive for the impossible, as powerful as the young designer’s.’ Embracing the multi-layered paradox of pain and tranquillity told by Paolo through textures and textiles, we encourage his fight. All for the sake of the feeling.

Follow Paolo Carzana on Instagram here.

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