Fashion designer Gosha Rubchinskiy is an indicator of how much Russian youth culture has evolved of late. But mixing influences from the streets of Moscow and the surrounding subcultures, Rubchinskiy creates more than fashion. Going further than a label, his work is a totality, where orthodoxy meets black metal, sports and skateboard culture; a "gesamtkunstwerk" involving casting photography, design and artistic direction. Rubchinskiy is one of the emerging multitasking creative talents of Europe, but he is still is an exception in his Russian homeland. The label express the unrelayed voice of a youth that has re-appropriated Western culture in a very exclusive and peculiar Russian way. German art and fashion cult magazine 032c invited Gosha Rubchinskiy to show a sort of retrospective of his work in their Berlin gallery, and even though the designer doesn't like the idea of a 'retrospective', it is quite the case. Dazed Digital talked to Gosha Rubchinskiy about his teenage years in Russia, his vision of fashion and some possible future developments.
Dazed Digital: Let's start with your past - can you tell us how you created your fashion label?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: I wanted to work in in fashion since I was like 14 or 15. I was looking at this Russian magazine called OM, it was for Russia what The Face was in England, and I wanted to be part of it, to be in those pages, so it was either becoming a rock star or a fashion designer, and I went for fashion designer. Already at college I studied hair dressing, make up and styling so after graduating I naturally ended up working in Moscow fashion circles, learned the job, worked it for five years before deciding to launch my own label in 2008. It all started because I met a group of young skateboarders that inspired me to do my first collection for summer '09, it was made for them!
DD: Your work really is all about multimedia: you design your collection, photograph it, cast the models and layout your lookbook and publish them as seasonal fanzine. Can you describe your approach when starting a new collection, do you have clothes or images in mind?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: Fashion is my of putting together all media I work with, my main point is to create my own world and that need different sides, photo, video, clothing and more. Fashion is just a part of this world I'm building. The kids that inspires me are the goal of my work, I do it for them first of all.
DD: Can you tell us more about the exhibition at the 032c workshop in Berlin, how did it happen and what will you show there?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: When in London last January to present my collection, I met Joerg Koch, the editor of 032c and he proposed me to exhibit in his gallery / workshop. After a couple of e-mails we found a good time and prepared everything for Berlin fashion week. The exhibition sums up a cycle of seasons, presenting photos, key pieces of the collections, videos and inspirations for those three collections. Now I can start a new cycle, where the main theme will be our understanding of the future. You'll see...
DD: How do you see the fashion scene in Russia and Moscow?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: I've been working in the Moscow fashion industry for five years but I could never identify myself with it, that's part of why I created my own label. I wanted my label to be something different, something for the youth. I probably am an outsider, some people are jealous, some just don't understand but I have a group of loyal followers and even if I know people outside Russia understand my ideas more. I still intend to stay in Moscow and try to change things. Russians still have this bad habit of wanting to do copies of the occident, even bad ones, more than affirming their own style which what I'm trying to do.
DD : What would you describe as your first fashion memory, something that has stayed with you and comes back as recurring inspirations?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: It is difficult to say, but I think some Russian music videos, the first ones for after the breakdown of communism, very early 90s, they were kind of copies of what was on MTV, but we didn't have MTV at that time...
DD : How do you see your future? Any specific plans yet?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: My next big plan is to create a summer camp for my skateboard friends, and other than that I'll just be spending the summer in Moscow, working on the next collection....
The exhibition opens 5 July and is on till the end of the month at the 032c workshop in Berlin, Brunnenstrasse 9