Besides the political tensions between Russia and the Western world, there are fortunately still things to like about this gigantic state : Gosha Rubchinskiy, the future of Russian fashion and the representative of another side of Russia. A young, open-minded, gay, modern one far from the harsh realities we can hear & read about here and there. Gosha is showing us that Putin's Russia is not that far from our modern world and that youngsters there have the same dreams that any other boy/girl from all over the world.
Today, as the whole world is eagerly waiting for the first deliveries of Gosha Rubchinskiy Spring Summer 2017 on the Dover Street Market website [this collection presented at Pitti Uomo was a kind of tribute to all these 90s Italian sportwear brands that were slowly but surely falling into oblivion; Fila, Kappa or Sergio Tacchini], we are thinking about the AW17 collection he presented yesterday in Kaliningrad (an ancient German property, Russians annexed after WWII, see the link between Gosha & Adidas, a German brand, now?). The fact that the Fashion peeps travelled to Russia in the right middle of the Menswear collections is the proof that you have to take him more than seriously. The designer knows exactly what the modern young people want to wear. Just like Vetements actually but with a way more affordable approach. These two labels share this taste for re-working & re-thinking unfashionable stuff to make them the coolest things you've never seen. Gosha Rubchinskiy is no longer this small brand insiders love to wear. It has now become a streetwear monster copied everywhere (every fast fashion label has its fair share of Cyrillic prints on sweaters & tee-shirts nowadays) that every youngster with a minimum of fashion culture wants to wear. But do we really want to be like everyone else? Is there still some creativity left or is it just a juicy business? According to us, this juicy business is creative even in its most predictable moves i.e. a collaboration with Adidas; something people (including us) will necessarily get mad about.
A collab with Adidas obviously means a sporty touch but reducing this AW17 collection to another sportwear effort would be ridiculous and far from reality. Indeed, its genuine interest is lying in the tailored pieces highlighted by a simple but fiendishly effective styling. We want to wear all these desirable looks and are completely under the spell of this mix of two very different inspirations. Even taken separately, these pieces are gorgeous and could quickly become staples of a young man's (and woman's) wardrobe. Some could say that this collection is pure Gosha but do we really need a revolution? We really don't. Gosha is doing what he knows best but not in a lazy/unimaginative way. His clothes are all about an attitude and a perfect mix of retro (80s/90s), neo-classical pieces & sporty elements. We love his re-working of logos, his boxy shapes, the colour palette he uses (always some touches of blue, red, white -the colours of the Russian flag- & some forest green), the checked pieces are also completely desirable and are adding English student vibes to the collection. What he started last season at Pitti Uomo is perpetuated here, as we said before, in all the tailored pieces. Gosha wants to see beyond the mere audience of skaters & thug boys that love & wear his creations. That's not a coincidence if the first looks are more classical silhouettes; nicely fitted shirts, trousers, jackets & coats worn with Adidas sneakers, windbreakers in vivid colours or football-printed jumpers (all the knitwear is quite cool to be honest!). The balance is perfect between sportswear & tailoring, it feels that the Russian designer is seeking to broaden his audience & his impact on fashion. This smarter side is aiming at breaking the clichés that could poison the brand's image. No, Gosha Rubchinskiy is not all about logos, tracksuits & chav style! This is more than that! This is an attitude, a mood, a nod to the Soviet era (some silhouettes are eyeing toward this period), a tribute to a certain idea of Russia.
When it comes to Fashion, our world is clearly going crazy. It's all about the hype nowadays. Most people clearly don't care about the history or the message of a brand as long as it gets you likes & comments on Instagram. Reducing Gosha to the image it has on the social networks would be wrong and in a way, quite frightening. We've even learnt that some guys now cut their hair like the models on the Gosha's runways! Our world is getting so impersonal. Our youth looks so cool but lacks so much coolness actually. An army of robots looking all the same, wearing the same jeans, the same sneakers, the same tee-shirts without even trying to look original. We love Gosha for what he is saying about Russia, about his very own Russia, about its youth but also about the state of fashion. The designer who defines his work as "international but with a Russian accent" (as read in an article the Business of Fashion dedicated to him yesterday) should not be reduced to this hype image but understood in a more sociological way.
Words by Charles Margueritte & Yann Sackville-West
Pictures via Fucking Young!