Gosha Rubchinskiy has had my attention for a minute now. I first became aware of him a few months back on a trip to Dover Street Market when I noticed a few of his pieces in the corner. DSM has been a mecca for me since the days when it was a safe alternative to the Hideout rush on Supreme release days, not to mention the brand selection – Neighborhood, Junya Watanabe & Undercover to name but three – that undoubtedly played a huge role in cultivating my fascination with menswear. It’s since become a force of habit to make regular trips to the basement floor, taking lots of notes and indulging in one of the few retail spaces in London that’s up to the task of letting its labels speak clearly.
On to Gosha. Born and raised in Russia, Rubchinskiy launched his eponymous label in 2008, citing Moscow skate and street culture as the central inspiration to his designs. He also works in film and photography, reinforcing and developing upon the brand’s central themes and concepts through these mediums.
Rubchinskiy’s street-level cues have been evident from the start in his simple and functional pieces – sweatshirts and heavy outerwear – that form the foundation of collections. As time has gone on the 30-year old has expanded his range, introducing knitwear and impressive cut’n’sew pieces that have quickly elevated him from up-and-coming to very-much-here. The recent release of his Fall/Winter 2014 lookbook was the cause for many smiles and approvals from this corner and it seemed like time to talk about what’s in Moscow’s water right now.
In previous seasons Rubchinskiy made a subtle nod to skate culture by riffing on the Thrasher logo. This time around he’s done the same with an adaptation of Jason Dill’s Fucking Awesome label, printed on the straightforward crews, sweatpants and tees.
Moving outwards we can see a variety of knitted pieces – including some really nice dobby knits – and thick wool and faux-fur overcoats geared towards the cold Moscow weather. Personal highlights have to be the plaid trench and the patchwork shearling jacket that looks potentially reversible – that’s the fashion equivalent of a Buy One Get One Free, you know.
Elsewhere there are other pieces that expand upon Rubchinskiy’s original concept with futuristic paneled sweats and a pastel pink faux-leopard parka which looks phenomenal – before you say a word, Cam’ron put in some serious work on this front over a decade ago so gender-role police can’t tell me nuttin’.
The pleasure hit is rounded off with some traditional suiting pieces in washed-out palettes and the real banger – mustard corduroy overalls. I’ll type that one more time. Mustard corduroy overalls. I had planned to write a whole paragraph about how great these are but in retrospect I don’t see why you need anything more than that. Did you see the brace buttons though? Cute, huh.
In short, it’s a unique collection, and for the right reasons. Rubchinskiy’s name has been bubbling around for a few years now and each progressive collection has shown warrant for this. With this collection you can see where his initial sidewalk stimuli is converging with his fashion sensibilities to form a new language. The uncompromised cut of the pants, sweats and knits is nuanced by the designer’s unimposing palette of pinks & pastels, stylizing classic subculture aesthetics tastefully with a soft hit of the eccentric.
There’s a reassuring self-awareness as well. I initially expected Gosha Rubchinskiy pieces to have prices through the roof. It was a pleasant surprise when I saw sweats on sale for £100 a piece – cut’n’sew obviously more. This creates what is, in my opinion, a nice dynamic wherein developed cut’n’sew pieces are available to those with the budget, but someone who just wants a crewneck with a nice graphic can do just that as well. As time goes on it’s clear that the marriage between the streets and high fashion isn’t going to disappear so I’m always interested by moves like this that seem to negotiate within the conflict of price, authenticity and so on.
By blending clear street styles with classic menswear pieces – uniting them through a unique aesthetic that’s equal parts nostalgic as it is progressive – Rubchinskiy’s collection culminates as one individual’s personal development from the place where creativity is born to the place where that creativity is refined. For me, however, the central element of this collection is colour and the way the designer experiments with it to create new language. Washed-out pink chinos might conjure up images to many of a bronze-skinned, silver-haired fox at the bar on a cruise ship, but worked into the skate culture aesthetic it translates that colour into a whole new context; not only that, it looks wonderful.
Gosha Rubchinskiy’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection is available right now from stockists worldwide. If you’re in the UK, I recommend Goodhood or DSM while our friends in the States should try Union LA – International stockists are listed in full on the website. Enjoy the photos and have a nice week.