What are the thoughts that come to you when browsing the new collection from Gosha Rubchinskiy? Say it with me, Mr. Rubchinksiy, every time I see new work from you I am so speechless I can only come up with YAAAAAHHH (is it a YES, is it an AH? I couldn’t decide). There you go, now I feel a little better. Let your freak flag fly, guys!!! Its the only way to live! Is my obsession partly caused by my Russian ego? Maybe and I don’t care! This guy is amazing. And this isn’t the first time I’ve written about him. So, lets get back to what you came here to see…
Rubchinskiy’s collections are very, very identifiable to anyone who pays attention to menswear and of course his work. If you do not, I highly encourage you to begin, menswear is the future by all accounts – financial prospects, creativity, everything. And if you happen to be a Rubchinskiy newcomer, well let me introduce to you a designer I feel has a big part in our fashion future. His aesthetic is focused on bringing the youth culture of Russia to the rest of the world. The clothes and presentation consistently give off a raw, Soviet-era feel. This raw element is, to me, the first thing that captures your attention. It is the reason I believe in Rubchinskiy’s work and feel strongly that he has a bright future ahead of him. Like any great designer, he always delivers a fresh take on his core aesthetic.
Spring/Summer 2016 is a collection that’s all 80s all the time, and it is fabulous. Firstly let’s adress the backdrop of the show, the abandoned gym. This perfectly reflects the influx of sportswear in the collection (more than usual). There are several references here and I hope to accurately identify them for our mutual benefit! The focus as you can probably tell is one year in particular, 1984. So, what happened in 1984?
Well, Russia’s Olympic team made the controversial decision to withhold it’s participation from the Summer Olympic games in a follow-up to the boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow led by the U.S. The intentions of the boycott were announced by the USSR on May 8, 1984, stating “chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria [were] being whipped up in the United States”. The USSR was joined by 14 other Eastern Bloc countries in the boycott. May I remind you that these events took place during the Cold War? Essentially it was a phase in the deterioration of relations between the Soviet Union and the U.S. A situation that seems to be bulbbling under the surface since the start of the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea.
Fashion is always a zeitgeist and perhaps this is Rubchinsky’s way of making a statement about what is happening now, which in my opinion is very accurate. Now, let’s get back to the clothes! The collection includes decorative elements of the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union, as well as many examples of the colours of the Russian flag and the 1984 print on cropped seersucker tank tops paired with retro shorts, pants with wild prints and nylon blousons. Multi-coloured panel tank tops and Koos van der Akker-inspired sweatshirts made popular by Bill Cosby on the Cosby Show, which coincidentally also premiered in 1984. You also cannot look at this print and not think of Biggie Smalls’ Coogi sweaters! Lots of elastic hems over here as well as oversized knits. And who can forgo mentioning perhaps the most 80s element of this whole collection, that quintessential turqouise used on the aforementioned oversized sweaters and sporty bottoms.
It is fascinating for me to dig a little deeper and think about what the designer may have been referencing during his process of creation, I hope I provided for you a more detailed look today. What do you think of this collection?
All images via Style.com