ГОША РУБЧИНСКИЙ. РАСCВЕT. СПАСИ И СОХРАНИ.

Why are these words so alluring and why is everyone obsessed with wearing them on t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, sneakers, and so forth?

There’s nothing special about the name Gosha Rubchinskiy or the word “sunrise” or the biblical text “save and survive.”

One can say that the Cyrillic alphabet is alluring. It’s a stark contrast to any language, avant-garde, and rarely-seen in the fashion world…It’s rarely seen in the fashion industry simply because there aren’t many Russian designers out there that have permeated the high-fashion, luxe Western and European runways. And that’s because Russia’s doors were shut to outside fashion and all things Western up until the 90s. So while Ford, Lagerfeld, Versace, and Gaultier and countless others were experimenting and changing the face of fashion in the latter half of the twentieth century, Russia was still marveling at Levi’s jeans. And when the iron curtain lifted, and Western lifestyles, culture, fashion, food (Snickers and bananas were other-worldly creations) swarmed into Russia, that’s when this cross-cultural blend started happening that influenced a lot of what Gosha Rubchinskiy is putting forward. My uncle, who came from Soviet Ukraine, told me his experiences first listening to rock music, tasting soda, seeing American ads for McDonalds, going to underground clubs…seeing and hearing everything that was so completely new. It was a revolution, intoxicating and almost delusionary. And this flood of new information and merchandise, mixed with the still, very old, very traditional, rustic landscapes and lives of Russian people. My uncle would come down the block known as the Moldavanka where clothing was strung from one building to the next, his mom would be standing in a home-made robe listening to an old gramophone, and he’d be in a new FILA suit, walkman in hand. What I personally think happened after the initial opening of the iron curtain is that Russians were so breath-taken by everything they’d never known about (like a kid entering a candy store for the very first time in his life) that they wanted more, more materialistic things than the average person from America or EUrope, simply because they’d been deprived. I think that’s why you’ll see Russians buying more name-brands whether its Adidas, or more upscale brands such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton, because they still find it alluring to a much different level than we do. They came from absolutely having no name brands, no ads for materialistic things, into a whole, new brave world.

Rubchinskiy captures this juxtaposition in a lot of his photography.  It’s that very image of my dad coming home, clothed completely differently, to the very same, old landscape. The entire essence of street-wear currently is to wear everyday clothing in a bit of more high-fashion take and Gosha’s collection embodies that very essence. There’s something new, but still casual and common. His clothing brings about the excitement that Russians felt when seeing all of this for the first time, it brings about a sense of revolution. ANd that’s what we’re drawn to in Gosha’s clothing. It’s new to us, in a sense, but still holds that very common, intrinsic element of his life, which in turn, translates to us.