“Youth Hotel” by Gosha Rubchinskiy, a powerful portrait of Russian youth
The young and yet already famous fashion designer, photographer and video maker Gosha Rubchinskiy has just unveiled “Youth Hotel”, his second collection of photographs powerfully depicting the Russian youth of today.
Not yet 30 and Gosha Rubchinskiy has already so seduced the world as a fashion designer, starting with Rei Kawakubo, that his ready-to-wear line is sold worldwide in the hippest stores from Opening Ceremony to Dover Street Market. But the designer’s strong personality draws just as much interest. Having opened the Vetements runway show in Paris as a model, the young Russian is busy unveiling yet another of his skills, photography. After showing his fascination for Crimean skaters with “Crimea/kids”, his first collection of photographs, Gosha has turned his camera to the theme of adolescence in Russia. Between portraits and more spontaneous clichés, the multi-talented young Russian plunges us into an unfiltered Moscow without a hint of artifice. Muscovite cool kids with shaved heads in 90s garb.
Conceived with the same references as his “1984” ready-to-wear collection, the book is also a reflection on his country’s political situation. During the runway show, parallels drawn between the totalitarian society of the novel and the current Russian regime acts as a common thread and appears again as his photos highlight the brutality of Soviet architecture and the monotony of urban landscapes. His is a quasi-documentary style that imbues the project with a startling reality.
Through his photography, this ode to youth also reveals an astonishing gentleness, showcasing more intimate snapshots of life and moments of complicity between these young teenagers. It’s a disturbing view on a disillusioned yet creative underground youth, of which Gosha Rubchinskiy is the most influential spokesperson.
“Youth Hotel”, available at Trading Museum Comme des Garçons Paris, 54, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Paris VIIIe.
By Chloë Fage
© Gosha Rubchinskiy, 2015 / IDEA