The designer-photographer draws parallels between George Orwell’s 1984 totalitarian society and his homeland today as he looks towards Russia’s future
Last time fashion designer/photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy released a photo book it sold out in two days. His new book Youth Hotel – published by IDEA Books – hasn’t even been released and its pre-sale has reached peak. Pushing Russian iconography, both past and present, onto the world stage through his runway shows and his imagery, Rubchinskiy re-visits the Soviet themes he perused in his recent 1984 collection, where he drew parallels between George Orwell’s fictional totalitarian surveillance society and that of his homeland today. “It’s because of the George Orwell book, and there are some references from the Soviet 80s, but it’s really about Moscow, Moscow now,” the designer told us backstage in June.
A juxtaposition of Soviet architecture, buildings and landmarks against shaven-haired teens in bomber jackets, with cigarettes hanging from their mouths, and mid-snooze as iPhones sway with the rise and fall of their chests, Rubchinskiy told AnOther last week: "It’s not really about a youth hotel as such. It’s more about the culture of youth. For me that’s like a hotel, a glimpse of time, you can spend a small amount of time there, but you have to move on, the energy changes, you grow up. Young people have new ideas, new ways and a new look on normality, that’s why I follow them and why they make the best portraits. For me, this book represents a new generation of hope, the future of Russia now.”