After a year of lockdown, a youthful, astonishing wave of creative resilience is flowing back to meet the world. Today’s revelation was the 18 tender, visionary looks Paolo Carzana hand made, completely alone, in his studio in Cardiff, Wales, along with a film and a show he shot on his phone. “It’s really me creating what I don’t see,” he said. “Characters I imagine walking around protecting me.”
Carzana’s realm—Another World, he calls it—is a conjuring of spiritual healing, romantic, analog fantasy and a rootedness in craft, nature, and the hinterland of Welsh fairy mythologies: “I wanted to do things that have a delicate and fragile relation to the body,” he said. “It’s the idea that there’s an alternative way to do things, and an alternative world to exist in against the rise of fake, false, curated online reality and purposeless actions. Even though the country and the world is divided,” he said. “I wanted to show that we, who share the same beliefs, can be the antidote.”
Emerging at the end of the rollercoaster of anxiety and fear that has hit all students and graduates forced home during the pandemic, Carzana’s highly original visualization of a completely self-imagined speculative place of solace—hand-sewn exclusively with materials he’d collected and dyed with natural pigments—is a debut that places him as an isolated leader-hero of Gen Z’s fiercely sensitive values. Not to mention, a wonder to the fashion world at large.