June 27, 2014 Paris
Staged in an under-construction space tucked into Paris' gritty 11th arrondissement, Rubchinskiy, 30, displayed the evolution of his skater style, which has grown up to encompass tailoring in leather and fur without losing its shorts and sweatshirt base. The designer has always considered his collection to be for Russia's post-1991 generation, those who grew up in the midst of a reawakening of religious roots in the post-Soviet boom-or-bust economy. He even named his first show in 2008 Empire of Evil, after Ronald Reagan's famous anti-Soviet speech. But while a few seasons ago Rubchinskiy's guys might have been spending most of their time in Gorky Park, today they're a bit flashier.
For Spring, he offered a red-hot leather jacket cut to three-quarter length so it can double as a coat; fun bicolored-fur, single-button, double-breasted coats cut with a raw V-neck and modeled over bare skin; patchwork gingham and spring plaid shirts with oversize pockets; high-waisted white and baby-blue sweatpants; pale camo shorts; and old-school-style sneakers patched like abstract paintings. Besides the leather tailoring and fur, all the silhouettes are sport basic, but Rubchinskiy's high-waisted, narrow shapes and carelessly mixed, basic colors look like they come from a place the fashion world hasn't quite reached yet. The brilliant factor was particularly evident in beige canvas and bright blue jeans cut loose and drawn in at the waist with a shoelace belt—a quirky fit that appeared rough and rude, but was totally right. Canvas work jackets, styled with a test pattern of patchwork cubes across the back, looked cool and sophisticated, and Rubchinskiy's hot-pink work jackets and matching shorts shaped up like a tough-boy suit. This was a strong and focused breakthrough from a designer who knows how to balance simple and more complex pieces, to bridge street archetypes with innovation.