‘IMAGINE WE COULD BE THE ONES TO CHANGE IT ALL' Paolo Carzana scrawled in pencil in his sketchbook while working on his Westminster University BA graduation collection, which he presented in February. Titled The Boy You Stole, the collection was massively accomplished and huge in stature – with ominous jacketed figures being carried on the models' shoulders – it had a drama that sent journalists running backstage to discover who made it. Work of this magnitude reminds you of the likes of McQueen or Galliano, but there was an extra jolt. As Carzana described the multi-layered symbolism about the abuse of power in the industry ("The men on the models' backs represented the idea that we are being controlled like puppets"), he also spoke in detail about how his collection was made, with strong red vegetable dyes, reconstituted fabrics and a supple, drapey leather substitute, Pinatex. "It's made from waste pineapple leaves," he told everyone backstage. There was a pause. "Oh, so are you vegan, Paolo?" someone asked. " Of course!" he looked surprised. "Everything here is 100 per cent vegan. I became vegan two and half years ago – originally because of caring for animals; but now I've grown up, I do it for the environment as well. It's really important to me."
"I wanted the collection to look as if it had come out of the ground, but to save everyone on the land. It's about working with nature, rather than against it." Interview extract with Sarah Mower from The Earthwise Issue of i-D.