Georgia-born Demna Gvasalia recently told WWD he’s moving on from the underground club scene and the Eastern Bloc aesthetic which had fueled his Vetements shows, one of which opened with his Russian peer Gosha Rubchinskiy storming down the runway in a DHL T-shirt.
By contrast, Rubchinskiy, who staged his spring 2018 show in Saint Petersburg late Friday night, is still very much in the thick of it. He chose the northern city because it was home to the first raves of the post-Soviet era, when kids were eager to connect with the Western world and express themselves through fashion and parties.
Friday’s event started with a rooftop cocktail at Au Pont Rouge, a department store in a historical building that carries brands like Rick Owens, Marni, Alexander Wang and Gosha Rubchinskiy.
The show was staged at a venue called DK Svyazi, used for rock concerts in the late Eighties. Here the driving soundtrack curated by Buttechno approximated a clandestine dance party, while the runway provided the club gear to match: a sweatshirt with the slogan околорейв, which translates to “near the rave;” fluorescent tracksuits, and an oversized Burberry Harrington jacket, part of a collaboration with the British brand, reminiscent of loutish “chav” style.
The spring collection hadn’t moved far from last season, hinged on that Nineties sportswear vibe: short-shorts, utility vests, tracksuits and jersey. Tartan patterns were new, used for trousers and jackets, and more formal styles were better executed.
The spirit of football, the theme of fall 2017, lingered in typical jerseys that exalted the continuation of his collaboration with Adidas. Adidas ACE 16 Purecontrol were on feet this time.
Saint Petersburg is to host the final of the Football Confederations Cup later this year and Rubchinskiy has vowed to continue showing his collections in Moscow until the World Cup in 2018. After the show, the fashion pack headed to the Gryboedov club, one of the first to host techno parties in Saint Petersburg.