If you're not familiar with Gosha Rubchinskiy's
name, it's time to wrap your tongue around it because he's arguably one of the most influential figures in fashion today. The Russian menswear designer showed his SS17 collection at Pitti Uomo
(a four day trade show in Florence, where buyers, editors and retailers gather to see menswear collections) for the first time last Thursday, and through three mediums. The first was a fashion show, the second a 17-minute long film
directed by Russian director and actress Renata Litvinova
entitled The Day Of My Death
, and the third a photography book of the same name.
The book (pictures ahead) was hand-made in England and shot by Gosha entirely on black and white film. It marks the designer's third collaboration with esoteric publisher IDEA books
(the first two, Kids (2014)
and Youth Hotel (2015)
, sold out almost immediately.) The Day Of My Death
is a direct response to having been invited to show at Florence this year and features photography that draws strong lines between Mussolini's Italy and the Soviet aesthetic of Russian infrastructure and architecture.
Gosha's collections look like 1980s merchandise for a defunct football team, worn best with heavy silver curb-links and bleached mullets – as they were at his SS17 show
, where he collaborated with 'Football Dad' dressers, Fila
Anti-fashion in concept, his clothes are coveted by fashion's most discerning elite. From a similar school of thinking as the Vetements gang, Gosha is carving out his own back-to-basics, as-banal-as-it-is-beautiful style. Think plain red and white T-shirts and stretched-out tracksuits, infused with a heavy, grunge moodiness and strokes of Soviet symbology in the form of Russian words, flags and garish knitted scarves.
His cult aesthetic has attracted legions of devoted fans and now, wherever the streetwear designer goes, young, socially and style conscious boys and girls follow, queueing round the block when a new collection is released at Dover Street Market
or Opening Ceremony
. In part, his fanbase is down to the community Gosha has cultivated beyond his physical garments, through portals like this book. However, while his previous titles have focused clearly on youth culture, The Day of My Death
takes a wider-lens look at the state of Europe now, inspired by Italian artist and director P.P Pasolini
. Styled by long-time collaborator Lotta Volkova
, who also stars in the book, Gosha explained the thinking and feeling behind his latest artistic venture:
“I wanted to do something special. A collection, a short film and a book. Three ways to explain my message. The book and film have the same title. Both are dedicated to and inspired by P. P. Pasolini. I wanted to pay attention to this artist now. Some of his ideas and poetry suit the moment very well.”
“The questions I am asking are; What is Europe now? Are countries together or separated? What is global and what is unique?” he added.
1000 copies have been printed, at £45 each. Exclusively available from 27th June at COMME des GARÇONS Trading Museum in Paris, Dover Street Market London, New York, and Ginza Tokyo. Online at www.ideanow.online and DSM E-Shop.