The ‘KPI’ is a relatively new ugliness in our lives, as are its friends: the CTA, ROI, and the particularly unpleasant, UX. However, before these acronyms assailed us, life was bubbling, it was fun.Do you remember? When meetings took place at midnight, undercovers, during sleepovers with friends, real and imagined; when dreaming was a daily duty, and when language was something to be invented, not learned.

Designer Paula Canovas del Vas is known for, among other things: living garments, articulate absurdity and resurrecting deadstock fabric. For autumn winter 2023, she has created a collection that jaunts the protagonist from adulthood to youth, back again, and then somewhere further. The shapes, vivacious yet vulnerable, adolescent yet eloquent––read like specimens found in a museum of natural mystery, they grow and evolve, like a kind acid trip, right before the eye. In an instant, glittered knee-high Diablo boots make a faun of the protagonist, frosted sleeves sprout like stamens, and knits are busy ravelling themselves back together.

Better than an experiment with medication, colors arrive like the weather pattern of a distant planet, piece after piece vibrantly unfurls––a chain reaction to responsibility, to adulthood––afterglow blue, lava orange, the yellow of a banana flavored candy. Now hieroglyphs, a secret, seductive dialect; now specimens seen through a microscope, microbial, biotic; Canovas del Vas’ latest collection will prove as intriguing to an adult, as to the child within.

Words by Gabriel Santos