Gosha Rubchinskiy might be a new name to the masses, but he’s no newbie in the fashion industry. Having started designing in 2008 and boasting the support of Dover Street Market’s Adrian Joffe in stocking and Rei Kawakubo in production and distribution, he has just debuted at Paris Fashion Week with his SS15 collection, ‘Arctica’. With an intimate audience of no more than fifty people, he managed to take the city by storm. Literally. Much like how it must have felt back in 1981 when Rei Kawakubo first presented Comme des Garçons to the Ville Lumiére (still solidly grounded on the reputation of adamant, longstanding fashion houses), this time one could clearly sense something special was blossoming, too. Something destined to grow big and dear in the hearts of many, firmly supported by cult figures collaborating with emerging talents rather than feeling blatantly dismissive about them.
Rubchinskiy’s vision is deeply rooted in the post-USSR skate subculture of Moscovite boys roaming the dodgy streets of the capital in the aftermath of the perestrojka years. As Soviet-born kids suddenly hit by 1991, they found themselves having to deal with the massive cultural clash that was promptly rising. Indeed they found their own, personal way to embrace (at least some) of the thousands of influences blowing from the West–and it’s exactly this composition of Western capitalism and Soviet custom that Rubchinskiy intends to capture with his unmistakable take on ready-to-wear.
He maintained his very street sensibility in the t-shirts with his name marked in Russian cyrillic on the sleeves and chests, shoelaces worn as belts, thick shorts, sportive jackets and a recurring alien print–which was created by one of Rubchinskiy’s friends, resembling a myth that aliens landed on Earth to provide the Siberian ethnic group with knowledge (similarly, the frozen heart in the print symbolises the lack of sunlight in Siberia for much of the year). Of the more sophisticated part of the collection, there are a few stand-out’s: the perforated faux-leather coats were patched with cubes in different colors and fabrics on the back, shirts made up of a clash of tartans and checks and a sensational red leather jacket. However, even the more high-end pieces were combined in distinct contrast with high-waisted, washed out grey tracksuit bottoms. As for the color palette, he was quite straightforward in opting for bright oranges, soft pink for caps and bold pink or forest green for the outerwear, and a few shades of beiges – together with the classic washed grey or blue denim and the black nail polish roughly applied on the models’ nails, as though it had been scratched off by their thug life.
Rubchinskiy’s attachment to the 1980’s and 1990’s Soviet skate subculture showed in the choice of models for the runway, too. Professional models were mixed up with street-cast boys who looked as though they’d just been plucked from the skate parks of Moscow. Plus, considering that Rubchinskiy is a skilled photographer himself, the whole show eventually felt like a living picture, his photos literally coming to life on the catwalk.
Regardless of whether you might think Rubchinskiy is worth mentioning because he’s a 30 year-old Russian debuting in Paris and not because he’s a truly skilled designer, there’s no denying it: we’ve all been longing for such a fresh, uncompromising and explosive breeze. It’s about time we welcomed Gosha.
· Official Website: www.gosharubchinskiy.com
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