Gosha Rubchinskiy heads home
Words: Zak Maoui
Yesterday Gosha Rubchinskiy showcased his Autumn/Winter 2017 collection, not in Paris or Milan, but in Kaliningrad. Rubchinskiy has not shown in his home country of Russia in over eight years and Kaliningrad may have been a surprise choice, particularly as the designer had never actually visited the city before he scouted for showspaces. Yet it actually is the perfect place for his AW17 collection to be shown.
Kaliningrad is an enclave that sits seperate to the Russian mainland and during its history, it has sat within both Germany and Russia, previously holding the name Königsberg. By holding his show there, Rubchinskiy informally blended Germany and Russia, in the same way that his collection does by incorparting a collaboration between German brand Adidas (the Football line, ahead of Russia's role as World Cup host in 2018) and his own line.
What's more interesting is that Rubchinskiy, as the fashion industry's brightest spark, has completely dismissed the status quo of London, Milan, Paris and New York, and instead opted for a city many people would not have heard of. He is a contemporary, creating new rules and addressing the thoughts of his fellows. His collection represented youths everywhere who are breaking the once-stiff boundaries of the fashion industry.
The way he styles his collection addressed this, throwing together hoodies and tailoring for the first time. While skate-wear still had a massive influence, Rubchinskiy entered broader waters and reflected how young people today view suits and rigidity - they simply don't want them. Kazimir Malevich influenced Rubchinskiy's collection, with his graphic shapes reinterpreted to resemble a football match. The collection has more of what he does best - logos, tracksuits, knitwear and sleek trainers, all with a touch of Adidas.
While it was primarily all about the clothes, what Rubchinskiy attempted to do is completely different to many designers. He wants the youth to have a voice and the whole show was a dedication to young people. He even went as far as dismissing music as the models walked down the catwalk and instead they showcased his designs to the sound of their own voices, in Russian, stating their name, age and life ambitions. “It’s interesting what they say,” said Rubchinskiy afterwards, “for me it’s a portrait of today’s youth, all these different voices. It’s a portrait of what’s happening in young people’s minds.” Why did he choose football to so heavily encroach upon his AW17 line? Because it is an inclusive sport of course. “I like all things that unite people,” he said. This is a man who represents the new order and the young people whose voice is so often spoken over.