A Street Teorema
The subversive films of Italian provocateur Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Sergio Tachinni tracksuits of 80s hooligans. Not two things you would usually expect to see grouped together. But trust Gosha Rubchinskiy, one of fashion’s most singular voices, to yolk the worlds of throwback sportswear and arthouse cinema together. It’s not much of a risk to assume that it’s Pasolini’s dissident vigour and fierce independence of thought that Rubchinskiy admires, particularly given that over the past three years or so Gosha has crafted an instantly recognisable and utterly unexpected Eastern Bloc aesthetic that’s won him critical praise and, most importantly, legions of fans actually desperate to buy his clothes. And that’s not something you can say of every zeitgeist designer.
Those fans – the kind which people Facebook’s Gosha Rubchinskiy Talk group – will find plenty of things to queue up for this time around come drop day. Bootleg-style collaborations with not just Tachinni but also Kappa and Fila made up the distinctly vintage bread and butter of this season. Generally speaking, Gosha didn’t do too much meddling with these time-worn athletic classics like tracksuits, tiny-shorts and vests. Instead, he zeroed in on the retro feel of the pieces, magnifying the tininess of the shorts, throwing in some Olympic sweat bands, and of course, fading his brand’s Cyrillic remixes into the legendary logos of his co-conspirators.
Still, there are inherent limits to that kind of demi-ironic, fundamentally graphic approach, and perhaps Rubchinskiy is reaching them. That might explain the unexpected forays into tailoring this time around: they included pinstripe suits worn shirtless as well as a bright red corduroy jacket and a crushed silver velvet one, both of them in a boxy, double breasted cut with wide lapels (there’s that 80s flavour again). Perhaps those gaudy jackets were the lounge-lizard Mafiosi counterpart to the street-thug solider of Gosha’s beloved tracksuits. Either way, it’s a relief to see Moscow’s most celebrated design export pushing at the limits of his precisely wrought world – before, that is, its concrete brutalism boxes him in.