If you're not familiar with Gosha Rubchinskiy, it's time to get acquainted — because he's arguably one of the most influential figures in fashion today. The Russian menswear designer showed his spring/summer 2017 collection at Pitti Uomo for the first time last Thursday through three mediums: The first was a traditional 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 tome was handmade in England, shot by Rubchinskiy entirely on black-and-white film, and marks the designer's third collaboration with 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.
Anti-fashion in concept, Rubchinskiy's clothes are coveted by fashion's most discerning elite. From a similar school of thinking as the Vetements gang, he 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 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 consumers follow, lining up for hours when a new collection drops at Dover Street Market or Opening Ceremony. In part, his fanbase is down to the community he has cultivated beyond 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 Pier Paolo 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," he said in a release. "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?”
Click through to get a sneak peak of Rubchinskiy's vision.