FI­VE DE­SI­GNERS RE­SHA­PING MEN­SWEAR

From Mo­scow, Lon­don, Ber­lin, Mi­lan and Pa­ris

VOGUE (Italy) - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Lu­ke Leit­ch

Men­swear de­ve­lops as a dia­lec­tic pu­sh and pull bet­ween the twin po­les of tra­di­tion and in­no­va­tion. In 2018 that con­ver­sa­tion bet­ween the costumes of ma­scu­li­ne pa­st and the ap­pa­rel of ma­scu­li­ne fu­tu­re is being inf luen­ced by ma­ny new fac­tors. Tech­no­lo­gy bo­th li­be­ra­tes and en­sla­ves. Ag­gres­sions to­wards wo­men - not be­fo­re ti­me - are being so­cial­ly ou­tla­wed as the idea of pa­triar­chal po­wer breaks do­wn. Old co­des, on­ce so re­gu­lar­ly rein­ven­ted, are now at ri­sk of dy­ing out en­ti­re­ly. As ver­na­cu­lar of men­swear is chan­ging so fast, L’Uo­mo

Vo­gue de­ci­ded to ze­ro in on f ive agen­ts of chan­ge: f ive de­si­gners who, in their own con­text, are con­tri­bu­ting to the lar­ge-sca­le shift in the te­ch­to­nics of ta­ste.

Is Go­sha Rub­chin­skiy the mo­st in­fluen­tial men­swear brand of the 2010s? Sin­ce his emer­gen­ce in 2009, the 33-year-old Mu­sco­vi­te’s ca­re­ful­ly cu­ra­ted ma­sh-up of ska­te-in­flec­ted street­wear and po­st-So­viet, ’90s ico­no­gra­phy - nai­ve in its ori­gi­nal form, but re­pur­po­sed by the de­si­gner with a so­phi­sti­ca­ted kno­wing­ness - has cer­tain­ly in­fec­ted the wi­der f ashion land­sca­pe. Look at the ap­pa­ren­tly ha­pha­zard, bri­co­la­ge ae­sthe­tic bo­th at Guc­ci and Ve­te­men­ts (+Ba­len­cia­ga): nei­ther is en­ti­re­ly una­li­gned with Rub­chin­skiy’s Rus­sian ska­te-rat ta­ke on you­th cul­tu­re. And his part­ner­ship sin­ce 2012 with Com­me des Ga­rçons ma­de Rub­chin­skiy ar­gua­bly the fir­st pu­re street­wear label to emer­ge from wi­thin the fa­shion sy­stem.

Rub­chin­skiy’s an­ti-uni­form of Cy­ril­lic-spel­led di­saf­fec­tion writ lar­ge in so­phi­sti­ca­ted sports­wear con­ti­nues to re­new itself. His th­ree mo­st re­cent sho­ws, held in Ka­li­nin­grad, St. Pe­ter­sburg and Ye­ka­te­rin­burg, brought Rub­chin­skiy’s in­ter­na­tio­nal au­dien­ce in­to di­rect pro­xi­mi­ty to his Rus­sian sour­ce co­de. At a ti­me when Rus­sia is the great bê­te noi­re of in­ter­na­tio­nal geo­po­li­tics, this see­med an espe­cial­ly re­so­nant act of fa­shion boun­da­ry-brea­king. Tho­se sho­ws we­re held with the sup­port of Adi­das in an­ti­ci­pa­tion of this sum­mer’s World Cup in Rus­sia, and ha­ve pro­du­ced what Mar­kus Eb­ner, the edi­tor of Ber­lin-ba­sed foot­ball fa­shion ma­ga­zi­ne Sepp, calls: “a po­wer­ful col­la­bo­ra­tion that is re­vi­si­ting ’80s foot­ball sty­le to ma­ke in­fluen­tial clo­thes.” Eb­ner adds: “Go­sha com­ple­te­ly cap­tu­res the zeit­gei­st. So of cour­se now Bur­ber­ry and other brands in need of no­w­ness ha­ve been li­ning up to se­cu­re his ser­vi­ces.”

Rub­chin­skiy’s col­la­bo­ra­tion with Bur­ber­ry over the la­st two sea­sons is a symp­tom of the rea­li­za­tion across lu­xu­ry fa­shion that street­wear is no lon­ger an ou­tlier ca­te­go­ry, but a cen­tral one. So as a gen­re of men­swear he hel­ped bring in­to the main­stream be­co­mes ce­men­ted in the fa­shion esta­blish­ment, Rub­chin­skiy is rein­ven­ting his brand to stay on the ed­ge.This sum­mer, ap­pa­ren­tly, the­re will be no show. Rub­chin­skiy said at Tbi­li­si Fa­shion Week: “I be­lie­ve that in the sta­te that [Go­sha Rub­chin­skiy] exists, it is a good con­di­tion to end this hi­sto­ry and start a new one.” Ex­pect that new sto­ry to be ahead of the cur ve.

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