Gosha Rubchinskiy's European Sportswear at Pitti Uomo SS17

One of the most anticipated shows of the season was no other than Russian phenomenon Gosha Rubchinskiy showing as guest designer at the Florence Trade Show: Pitti Immagine Uomo. Smoking is cool right? I mean it screams "I don't give a fuck" whilst at the same time not saying a thing. It's no wonder why Gosha chose an overgrown courtyard of a derelict, abandoned tobacco factory to showcase his Spring/Summer '17 collection. It was his biggest showcase as a designer to date (Gosha is also a photographer and filmmaker). Constantly inspired by youth, and his latest offering only helped but prove that, however unlike most designers, Gosha's label works both ways. It's a two-way street and as a result, his low price points makes his work attainable to almost everyone. What he "takes" from youth, he gives back essentially. Everyone can buy into his brand. In fact the models who walked in his show just last week, and all his shows for that matter are youth. Some as young as 14 and 15, fanboys who contacted Rubchinskiy through Instagram. They're the driving force behind a designer who arguably has the clearest vision of them all and who's namesake label is only going to grow, and grow, and grow - providing he wants to continue in years to come of course. Anyway, Gosha is a powerful man, in a powerful position with an influence on everyone who knows and understands his work.

This season, Gosha proved to everyone exactly what he was capable of. His opening three oversized, intentionally ill-fitting suits only enhance my point from earlier, in a collection about re-alligning perspectives on what Gosha wants to put out there as a brand. "We wanted to do something new, something suited to the moment," Rubchinskiy expressed post-show, and new was what he done. "Everyone is tired of streetwear - it's the moment for the suits" aimed at everyone who thought this post-Soviet designer was only able to generate post-Soviet printed t-shirts. The tailored aspect may have been excellent, but that wasn't the only hint at Italian heritage, next to emerge out of the cigarette factory was printed t-shirt, but it didn't bare Cyrillic script or logo-flipped knock-off jokes, these were genuine collaborations with some of Italy's finest vintage sportswear brands of the 1980's and associated highly with football casuals. Those brands you ask? Fila, Kappa and Sergio Tacchini. All borrowed with content, appreciation and sincerity to their cultural value as oppose to their humour, irony and appropriation. Believe me when I say this, these will sell out I imagine probably faster than anything else Gosha has done in the past. Price point will also be an interesting discussion when they done eventually become available, consider Dover Street Market first - you know with that gentleman's agreement they have between themselves.

"For me it's very Italy and very Gosha," said the designer, who was inspired by the way young friends on Instagram dress, how they're "tired of popular things" and how over the past couple of years they have been deliberately opting for vintage sports classics alike and no longer considered fashionable over essentially new fashionable fashion. Despite their heritage, Gosha noted how there was something universal in these clothes too, and he's right - kids everywhere will not only recognise these logos but like I mentioned earlier, will be keen to buy into them. Gosha is a very smart and aware, business-minded designer. Much like the other lazy term used so widely in fashion, "sportswear" well "Post-Soviet" is the same phrase lazily branded across Gosha Rubchinskiy's work, even still after this collection looked way beyond just Russia and had a much wider field of vision; it was European to it's core. "It's about Europe now" Gosha went on to explain his inspirations for the season, openly discussing his views on both Britain and Russia's growing isolationism and offering a warning against the rise of both far right and left groups. "This is the time that people need to collaborate and connect with each other, because we have the internet - everyone knows whats happening around the world so it's stupid to be isolated. Lets try to find words and ways to speak and live with each other. This is the main message." One lovely black and white striped sweater read "Russian Renaissance" translated in Cyrillic, in true Gosha style. It's also maybe important to recognise the fact that one sweatshirt in particular had the word "Европа?" (Europe) emblazoned across it, what with the EU Referendum fast approaching it was hard to ignore. Also it being in LGBT-esque rainbow colours, one couldn't help but think of the tragedies that happened at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida a number of days prior.









Images courtesy of Dazed Digital and Vogue Runway



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