August 19, 2016

Return of the Russian Hooligan - Gosha Rubchinskiy SS17 Menswear Collection

Gosha Rubchinskiy Menswear Collection SS17 via Vogue.com

Watching Gosha Rubchinskiy’s SS17 menswear collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence, I was reassured that whatever he does, he always is in his element. He showed his designs in a run-down 1930’s tobacco factory, reflecting his sentiment for the Soviet architecture. Every piece of clothing, from sporty t-shirts with slogans to track pants and shorts as if taken straight from the PA lesson at high school, paired with formal jackets and heavy necklaces, though they are very modern and will be an instant hit among the huge group of his devoted fans, seem to be homage to his heritage and boyhood of the late days of the Soviet Union. Gosha does not like to be called a fashion designer. He is more a creator with no formal training in fashion design.  However, his great eye for what appeals to young boys is what made him the designer carefully observed in last few seasons.

The fashion aesthetic of Rubchinskiy is a deep reflection on what young Russia is. He found the male models for his last show through the instagram account, which makes his point of view so fresh.  Boys from all over the world, undeveloped as models and purely appealing in their catwalk innocence, walk in the clothes perfectly made but so normal we could think it is a scene from a day at high-school in Eastern Europe. 

Gosha Rubchinskiy Menswear Collection SS17 via Vogue.com

This time Gosha, the unquestionable street style star, matches the occasion, the most acclaimed menswear show in the world, with a creative shift towards formal wear. Pinstriped suits worn on bare chests or with a sporty t-shirt, paired with white sneakers, heavy necklaces go back to a cliche of a Russian mobster look. Rubchinskiy is not shy when it comes to collaboration with big sport brands like Fila and Kappa. There is a big comeback of gigantic logos but this time round paired with his name written in Russian. One sweatshirt proclaims “Europe and Russian Renaissance. There is an element of boyish experimentations with style in his creations: from logo socks, shorts with unfinished hem, corduroy jackets, elegant shirts or unexpectedly polite turtlenecks layered under sweatshirts. Menswear designers are trying to lighten the stiff air of formal elegance and strict code of rules by introducing lots of sport elements, surprising color combinations and jewelry. Gosha knows how to manipulate the cliches with modern cool and he does it playing games with his nostalgia for the Russia of his youth.
Gosha Rubchinskiy Menswear Collection SS17 via Vogue.com

Gosha Rubchinskiy Menswear Collection SS17 via Vogue.com


My favorite piece of the collection is an oversized, red, double-breasted blazer with black buttons and exaggerated lapels. The blazers of this collection bring such a vivid memory of Richard Gere’s iconic Armani suits in the movie American Gigolo. What is interesting though is the context those suits are presented in. They are no longer an attribute of wealth or high status; they are part of some stylish experimentation and nostalgia for the 1980’s and 90’s of the young generation. 

Rubchinskiy is trying to show the face of modern Russia, not neglecting its heavy social and political heritage. His movie “The Day of My Death” and collection of the photographies, also presented at the show, give a deeper insight into the designer’s inspirations: his love of Pasolini's movies, techno music, club culture, skaters and other popular Russian subcultures of the moment. He interacts with his young fans, listens to them and sometimes helps them discover their calling.  For Rubchinskiy fashion is a game where he collects all different pieces of the puzzle together and the background of this process is his native land, Russia. He wants to remove the cliches concerning modern Russia and prove that his country is more than a political super power spreading fear all over the world; it is also a great ground for creativity, art, design, of which the fashion world was long unaware. 

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