If you’re wondering why Cyrillic slogans are appearing on high street retailers’ shelves, ask Gosha Rubchinskiy. The Russian designer – and hottest name in menswear – takes the dress codes of Russian teenagers, turning their effortless looks into pieces western hypebeasts camp overnight to cop.
Now, Rubchinskiy’s style is trickling over to the mainstream – if proof were needed, commercial giants ASOS just launched a Petersburg trend feature that lets you get the look for less (and without risking exposure). So, from shoestring belts to tucked-in trousers, here are five tips to introduce some post-Soviet cool into your wardrobe.
Pick A Palette (And Stick To It)
Continuity is key. To nail the post-Soviet aesthetic, treat it as your signature – Rubchinskiy has previously taken the Russian tricolour as inspiration for an entire collection in white, blue and red.
You don’t need to be quite so patriotic, even Rubchinskiy adds a splash of navy or yellow to keep things lively. But you should shift your mind from classic neutrals and get experimental – think those three-striped shellsuits gathering dust in too many wardrobes, given an on-trend update with a futuristic trainer.
Also, do navy, not black – Rubchinskiy’s not a fan, so forget everything the health goths taught you and stick to primary colours against a stark white background.
Rethink Your Belt
For Rubchinskiy, a belt is more than just an accent. His latest collection featured those old-school skate belts with the silver buckle that H&M used to sell for £2.99. But when printed, and teamed with wallet chains and double-strap braces, the look was more modern lo-fi than 2000s throwback.
The look is good if you’re on a tight budget – just grab a long lace or piece of rope, thread it loosely through your belt loops and tie for a style update straight from the designer’s AW16 collection. High fashion, on a shoestring.
sisley summer 2014
Always Tuck It In
Last season, everything was tucked in. Baggy denims were tucked into sport socks. Oversized hoodies were tucked into jersey gym shorts. It’s a styling trick for the everyman.
Be careful though; the key is to aim for nonchalant, not nerdy, so stick to casual separates and be sure to tug at the edges to avoid the whole ‘first day at school’ look.
For a final touch, pull the drawstrings tight on your logo-printed hoodie and wear it with the hood up and sleeves rolled, to really nail that whole ‘meh’ thing.
Gosha Rubchinskiy AW15 Styled by End Clothing
Dig Out Your Short Shorts
In Rubchinskiy’s world, there’s no such thing as mid-length. His SS16 collection was all about retro gym shorts in pillar-box red and plain white, accented with hardware zip pockets.
There are certain key factors to making this look work, the first of which is fabric choice – always prioritise jersey and loose materials. Denim booty shorts are a bit too provocative, even for high fashion, so keep it sporty and relaxed.
Team with either a baggy vest (Rubchinskiy obviously did his with the tricolour Soviet stripes), oversized tee or sweatshirt and pair of leather trainers, for a functional update on the classic shorts and tee combo.
If In Doubt, Customise
One of the most talked about pieces in Rubchinskiy’s SS16 collection is the bright red zip-up shirt-jacket adorned with ‘1984’ and Soviet flag patches.
In fact, the takeaway from this season in general is that even more formal pieces can look really cool with a little customisation. Small details like contrast stitching and patches beneath the chest pocket can take a classic shirt or jacket and add interest, revitalising tired garments and injecting your outfits with personality.
Take a tip from Rubchinskiy and keep an eye out for discreet iron-on patches (not as lame as it sounds, trust us) and subtle splashes of colour, for a low-effort update on your wardrobe staples.