GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY – Russian Youth Culture Meets High Couture

by Red Cell

Russian designer, photographer, and filmmaker Gosha Rubchinskiy has been quietly taking the fashion world by storm in the last couple of years. German fashion magazine 032c invited him for an exhibition of his work during the Berlin Fashion Week which will be on display until August 21 at 032c in Berlin, Brunnenstrasse 9. His video work SLAVE/PAB is getting recognition beyond the confines of this year’s London Fashion Week, where it entranced everyone who was lucky enough to view it. SLAVE/PAB is a collaboration between Rubchinskiy and sound/performance artist Aleksej Tarutz of Moscow, and you can view it below along with Rubchinskiy’s film about underground Russian skateboarding youth culture, SESTRORETSK. His work has earned him an international cult following based on his style dealing with post-Soviet youth cultures. He has his own label named Aglec (fantastic site!), after only showing 3 collections publicly.

And he is only 26.

His work has been described as “a personal take on the fetishistic uniformity of Moscow street gangs’ suburb sportswear, mixed with political paraphernalia.” His streetwear is predominately seen in his photography and video work. “Fashion is just part of this world I’m building,” the designer once said. “The kids who inspire me are the goal of my work. I do it for them first of all.”

But, it is his film work, more than photography or design, that has caught my attention. The two films below speak in volumes of honesty and severity. If it is possible for film to be genetic, then this is the very young child of Andrei Tarkovsky by way of Gus Van Sant with a possible Bela Tarr thrown in. This may seem a bit lofty, but it hasn’t grown up to be the equal of any of these parents yet. Watch them both below.

SLAVE \ PAB
shot on VHS \ SVHS tapes
Feb 2009 \ Dec 2010
by Aleksej Tarutz \ Gosha Rubchinskiy

SESTRORETSK
Documentary film about Russian teenage skateboarders and their Summer trip to Sestroretsk.
Concept: Gosha Rubchinskiy
Filmmakers: Gosha Rubchinskiy \ Igor Kropotov

Below is a reprinted interview from Russian Magazine, “PIG”
Oct 5, 2009, by Ilaria Norsa

Ilaria – Ciao!
Gosha – Hello, how are you today? Today, I’m happy.

How nice! Where are you?
It’s ten o’clock at night and on the terrace of one of the Stalinist skyscrapers in Moscow, the symbol “empire of evil.” I am responding to your questions while I admire this beautiful skyline.

How is the atmosphere there in Moscow?
It’s summer, you can breathe a lot about happiness and youth.

What are you doing these days?
I’m getting ready to shoot the video of our new collection.

It ‘s the first time I interviewed a Russian designer. Tell me a bit ‘you and your country.
I am twenty-five and was born in Moscow. My mother is a doctor, my father is a military officer.

What do you do?
I am an artist, I design clothes and photographs.

Where did you study?
I did art school and then university design. For a while I also worked as a stylist.

What have you learned from your experience as a stylist?
Working with other designers helped me understand the business from the inside, how things work.

I know that you have designed for the cinema as a costumer, I also work as a stylist, but I never did for the film and I wonder how its different.
The magazines have to do only with the image and when you work with a stylist for the film to the personality of the characters. This experience helped me to better understand the psychology of people.

Still works as a stylist?
Rarely.

Designing clothes then now is your main job?
Yes, it is a part of something bigger that I aspire to do …

When did you start?
More or less the age of adolescence.

Why?
To show people my personal vision.

Describe yourself in three words:
young Russian man.

Describe your brand in three words:
young Russian man.

Your label is based in Russia?
Yes, Russia

How many people work with you?
Nine people.

How would you describe the aesthetics of your brand?
I would say “Soviet skater chic” as he shouted at Emma Reeves in his article for the magazine Interview.

Where does inspiration come from?
From the street, by youth and orthodoxy.

How important are your roots in what you do? Do the traditions of your country influence aesthetic conception of your brand?
Yes, absolutely. One hundred percent!

How would you define the custom and the Russian tradition?
A mix of Western and Eastern traditions.

What is the main theme of your collection?
The collection is called “The growth and expansion.” It has to do with the ‘interconnection between the physical and inner beauty.

Your work is even remotely oriented to the world of sportswear and for this state compared to that of Raf Simons. What do you think? What flatters you?
The comparison does not displease me.

You’re having a good response to your collection?
Yeah, I would say yes!

As I said, you are the first young designer of Russian nationality that interview, the first and only person to have caught my attention lately. I wondered: is difficult for emerging designers come out with a new brand in Russia?
Very difficult. There is no fashion industry and there are almost no patterns of production here.

So you would not know other young designers advise your fellow countrymen?
No

And among those more established, there is someone whose work you admire?
Valentin Yudashkin.

Yes, I know him. Moscow fashion week is a reality for me so strange and fascinating … What can you tell me about it?
Not much really …

Ah. But you’ve submitted your collection in “Cycles and Seasons,” what about this initiative?
That it would not start if I had not believed.

I guess. Your participation will have a guaranteed return of international image and deserved the other hand, for your presentation you had the idea of transforming a former church in a gym.
It was a place to present the collection. I’d say the place has found us and not the reverse.

Have you ever thought of move to present your collection somewhere else?
I’m planning to introduce her to Sestroretsk, a city near St. Petersburg.

You travel a lot?
No, not really.

Is there a city or country you love most?
I love Russia with all my heart.

What do you love most in your country?
I like nature, history and culture.

Is there anyone out there in which to really work?
Gus Van Sant.

Are you involved in any projects beyond the world of fashion?
Yes. I’m Working on a book of photographs … And then a fanzine, and I love it.

What else you’re passionate about these days?
The ancient Russian architecture.

What music are you listening?
Russian rock music – Boris Grebenshikov.

What was the last thing you really inspired to have you seen?
The package of Russian cigarettes “Bogatyr.

What do you like doing in your spare time when you’re at home?
Sleep.

Your top 5 in Moscow:
Solyanka Club Hodynskoe Field, Poklonnaya Mountain, Victory Park.

And what’s your latest discovery in the city?
Make a boat trip on the river in summer.

What is your favorite store?
Mir Kino “cinema and bookshop”.

Where your collection is sold in Moscow and around the world?
Currently only in Moscow “Magazine Store (Kuznetsky Most, 20) and” Twins Shop Store (Solyanka, 11).

What are your future plans?
I want to make a picture book on Soviet youth. I also have to work on the new movie collection.

Tell me something I have not asked you and you think we need to know:
The dawn is not behind the mountains.

Thanks, good to know.

.

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