Francesco Russo Takes Inspiration from Nature

GIFT OF NATURE: Between the olive groves and the sea, shoe designer Francesco Russo spent his lockdown this spring at the Masseria Palaci, a 17th-century edifice in Puglia he has been tranforming into a hotel and retreat.

Away from the bustle of Paris, where he spends much of his time, Russo watched the landscape explode into color with the arrival of the new season, and was inspired to create a lineup evoking the natural setting. He also shot the lookbook for his spring collection himself, using a Polaroid camera, for the first time.

Against a backdrop of luxuriant, deep green foliage in the shade of a tree on the grounds of the estate, each of his creations is displayed almost like a still-life painting.

The designs themselves — a characteristically sculptural selection of pumps, sandals and Mary Janes — equally well echo the twisted forms of olive trees, the braided motif of a handwoven basket or the vivid red hue of a poppy’s petals.

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