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Punk Frock: Gosha Rubchinskiy Tries Not to Forget

photographer Katya Bogachevkaya

The skate rats and punk kids in Gosha Rubchinksiy’s circle of friends sport a look that’s straight out of Washington, DC circa 1980, though most of them weren’t even a glimmer in their parents’ eyes when Minor Threat shared bills with Bad Brains. Having grown up around post-Soviet capitalism, in a country that now hosts instructional millionaire fairs for its nouveau riche population, the Russian designer and his compadres embrace the spirit of Reagan-era hardcore with freshness and urgency. “I don’t want to make clothes for the rich,” says Rubchinsky from his apartment in Moscow. “My generation doesn’t care about luxury, and I want to make clothes for them.”

For his eponymous line of menswear, Rubchinskiy uses unruly punk posturing as a starting point, scouring the internet for inspiration and exaggerating the old school silhouettes he finds. Tight pants are pegged higher, tracksuits go body-con and denim cutoffs get even shorter. The models in his fashion presentations wear hi-top sneakers, white tube socks, and black bandanas over their faces. It’s punk pastiche, for sure, but filled with a new spirit only an outsider can bring. “It’s like a game for me and other Russian kids to fetishize old punk culture,” he says. “We want to mix it all together.” As part of the first wave of Russian high-schoolers to grow up with MTV, that sense of teen worship is an easy frame of reference. “Every evening after school we would watch music videos from bands like Metallica,” he remembers, “and we'd talk about it at school all day. It was a new world.”

Punk Frock: Gosha Rubchinskiy Tries Not to Forget