Just five years ago, Moscow-born designer Gosha Rubchinskiy unveiled his first collection 'Evil Empire'. On reflection, it seems like an appropriate title - especially considering that since then he’s been one of the new generations of post-Soviet youth re-defining Russia’s creative scene. This season, Rubchinskiy’s paid homage to Russia’s own 80s punk scene – referencing bands like Auktyon and AVIA, mixing it with today’s skate culture and a collaboration with Ukrainian artist Igor Okuniev. As we premier his SS14 collection exclusively on Dazed, Rubchinskiy talks us through the process.
Dazed Digital: What was it that inspired your SS14 collection?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: I was inspired by late 80s punk references from Soviet's Leningrad music scene: bands like Auktyon and AVIA. Also, today's skate kids from Moscow and New York who’ve started using the nostalgic classic skate look from the 90s Supreme era. The main theme though is rassvet (sunrise): the start of something new. We collaborated with Ukrainian artist Igor Okuniev who I asked to create his vision of sunrise. He made a selection of fake sunrise logos which you can see prints and sketches of in the collection.
Political things are not important or interesting for me. I can't see big problems for artists here like you hear about it in the western press. I still feel freedom here in Moscow.
DD: The setting you chose for your look book worked perfectly. Where was it shot and why did you feel it fit so well?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: This was shot specially for Dazed in our Paris showroom. We used a new face, a Russian girl from Krasnoyarsk city in Siberia. I used her because so many pieces in the collection are unisex. The main look book along with the video for our first collaboration with Vans will come later on. We're shooting it now in Moscow with boys this time. You can see here the images are shot in a local skatepark in Moscow with Vans Russia team's pro rider Tolya Titaev. Russian people and places are always the main subjects of my work. It's my face and I feel power with it.
DD: As well as designing clothes, you're a photographer. How important was it to have full creative control over both your garments and the look book?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: I choose fashion because you can do so many things with it. I like to create clothes and photograph and video them. For me, it's one big art project. I see myself as a director. I usually know the whole image from the first step.
DD: Your work is based around the post-Soviet youth. How vital is youth and them having a voice to you?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: I like to show relations between past and present. It helps to see the future. Teenagers are interesting for me because they have an acute perception for everything. My friends are the most interesting thing in Russia for me now.
DD: Describe who it was you had in mind when designing your SS14 collection.
Gosha Rubchinskiy: 15–17 year old skate kids from Moscow and New York. I can't see a difference between them now even in the internet era. I see their lives on Instagram and they're very similar. I want to show their play on 90s style. It's a global thing now and I like this period, it was my early teenage years.
DD: What effect do you feel the current political situation in Russia is having on the new generation of creatives?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: Political things are not important or interesting for me. I can't see big problems for artists here like you hear about it in the western press. I still feel freedom here in Moscow.
DD: Russia, like many places, is undergoing continuous change. How have you seen your work adapt and alter itself to these changes over the years?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: Of course you feel some changes. I think it is the same in all countries and periods. Nothing is changing and nothing is still. For me as an artist, it's more interesting to create my own world and see changes there. Now I like to be here in Russia and work with local subjects but we will see. Nobody knows the future.
DD: And lastly, what's next for you?
Gosha Rubchinskiy: We are working on new collaborations with brands and artists. I've also started new art projects outside fashion but it's always more interesting to see the result than speak about it. You'll see it soon!
All clothes and accessories by Gosha Rubchinskiy
Styling Lotta Volkova Adam
Photography Gosha Rubchinsky
Hair and make up Jenny Janssen
Model Alexandra Titarenko at Major Paris