Rubchinskiy Shows a Final Soviet Collection in a Post-Soviet World

Nathaniel Smith, Editor-in-Chief

The Soviet Union collapsed over 20 years ago, but a Soviet idea has stated in the minds of many – especially in the mind of Gosha Rubchinskiy. His latest – and last – collection has been 33 years in the making.

Being born in the height of the USSR in the Soviet’s capital, Rubchinskiy used everything that he could remember from his childhood to create a final collection before he moves on to other art forms. Every model was dressed in things that would be seen in a 1980s Russian home movie – soccer jerseys that proudly show the Adidas logo, and things that the KGB could be seen wearing.

The first three looks were a little iffy when the models first walked onto the runway, but once look #4 came into view the whole collection started to make sense: this was his childhood playing out in 31 looks. This is what Rubchinskiy saw and absorbed in during his childhood in Moscow, and it’s been stuck in his mind for many years.

The model who put the theme of his final collection was wearing a green wool jacket with an iconic Burberry bucket hat. The coat is what old sailors in the time would wear during the nights at sea. The jacket has four accompanying toggles that are weaved in a way that looks like knots a sailor would use. Rubchinskiy would spend most of his time at the harbors in St. Petersburg where sailors from around the USSR would stop to deliver things.

The next seven outfits resemble clothing that a team of soccer players would wear. Sweaters for coaches (look 5), jerseys for defense players (look 11), and an outfit for a goalie (look 10). They seemed a little too vintage and outdated, but this is a walking-talking picture book of Rubchinskiy’s childhood.

Personally, the best look in all 31 collections was look #26. It’s a simple black outfit with a red armband around the model’s left arm. In bold white letters is “suddenly” in Russian. Suddenly could represent the sudden changes that the Russians felt when the Soviet Union collapsed in the 90s.

Rubchinskiy was only a child when the Berlin Wall fell, and big changes in the government, economy, and world as a whole is something that would stay engrained in the minds of anyone, including a child. Look #26 highly resembles something that a Soviet policeman would wear and being constantly harassed by policemen would be something no one would forget, especially an artist that takes dark moments and turns it into something beautiful.

No one besides the designer knows why the Autumn 2018 collection is his last collection, but if Gosha Rubchinskiy continues to work as hard as his final Autumn 2018 collection, there will be no sudden changes to his success as a photographer, filmmaker, author, and artist.


Looks can be found here: