Eastern Europe is getting very hot on the fashion front right now and the man who is driving this cultural revolution is no other than Gosha Rubchinskiy.
The Moscow born designer has done something absolutely incredible in terms of transforming the atmosphere of every day life in the suburbs of the post Soviet countries and portraying in such an exemplary manner that it is dramatically altering streetwear.
Analysing Gosha’s clothing, his fashion shows and his work in general it is clear where the inspiration comes from. It is the nostalgic, eerie feel of a bye-gone era. Gosha, being only 6 when the Soviet Union collapsed, was a quite boy who enjoyed sketching and hanging out with his friends on the streets of the capital skating, which influenced one of his recent moves of launching a skating brand called Paccbet (Sunrise in Russian) which was inspired by his skater-friends.
Anyhow, in this article I wanted to closely deconstruct Gosha’s style and what it represents. Having a look at the adjacent photo, the colour red is evidently, heavily present. Red is such an iconic colour in Russia, which is present in many flags (most importantly the communist flag), symbols and icons, this is due to the representation of blood of the labourers who died under capitalism (this can be traced back to the French Revolution) This, was largely instated throughout Russian history after the revolution under Lenin in 1917. The ‘head flag’ on the model’s head goes in accordance with the massive hammer and sickle in the model’s hands, very frequently seen in his work. The boldness and almost the over extravagance of the props is mocking the Soviet ethic of communism and being united to work in manual labour which is furthermore apparent through the writing on the front of the shirt, stating in Russian ‘ready for labour and defence’. Even the catwalk setting of the basic wooden floor with a gym instalment piece in the background is what the school gyms look like in Eastern Europe
His style is so unique that every piece could be broken down and pin pointed precisely the underlying themes which Gosha is trying to portray. Gosha’s light is shining so bright right now due to the fact that in general Western Europe is almost all the same, there will be close resemblance between the streets of Amsterdam and the streets of Munich. Of course, this is a huge generalisation and every city, country has its soul and feel and they are all incomparable. Yet, because parts of Eastern Europe are so undeveloped it is very interesting for the modern man to dwell into an unknown culture which has been hiding in the ashes of communism for decades. The playgrounds of some of the sleeping districts in cities such as Kiev, Kharkov, Kaliningrad are so fascinating as they embezzle Soviet pragmatism of building block and blocks, flats and flats, of the most disgusting architecture one could possibly imagine. Due to this, street politics arises and Gosha represents that style down to a tee: boys with shaved heads, tiny crosses round their neck dressing in their sports wear with tucked in t-shirts or their father’s leather coat which was deemed gangster in the 90’s. His tops will say stuff in Russian like the ‘Russian Renaissance’, which brings out a subtle irony of the contrast between the actual renaissance era and the culture depicted in Gosha’s fashion.
Undoubtedly the Gosha is a visionary.
Title image: lifeafterfootball
Daniel Delikatnyi, Fashion Editor.