Florence doesn't seem like the most obvious place for a Gosha Rubchinskiy show. Gosha's work is a constant homage to his Russian homeland, in all its gritty, freezing cold, post-Cold War glory. Florence, on the other hand, is a city of Renaissance grandeur, boiling temperatures and double-breasted linen suits.
The location for Gosha's Pitti Uomo debut, however, a stunning old 1930s tobacco factory, could have been pulled right from one of his lookbooks. Gosha took his trip to Italy as an opportunity to pay homage to the country's illustrious fashion heritage, dropping not one but five collaborations with iconic Italian labels.
Terrace casual-favorite Sergio Tacchini supplied some bright red tracksuits, while Gosha linked with Kappa for some skimpy gym gear and yet more tracksuits. FILA's paneled sweaters and Tennis Classic sneakers were given a post-Soviet makeover, and Retrosuperfuture topped things off with some oversized rave-ready sunglasses.
Superga, Steve McQueen's favorite maker of canvas sneakers, will also be collaborating with the Muscovite for SS17, although none of their products were featured in the show.
The Italian inspirations didn't stop with those five collabs. Gosha's show opened with a trio of suits-and-sneakers looks, inspired by Pitti Uomo's sprezzatura culture of sharp tailoring. Unusually chic for the designer, and about a billion miles away from FW16's less-than-convincing nouveau-grunge.
Some corduroy jeans and trucker jackets, made with Levi's, added a sixth collaboration. Gosha has been by far and away the most talked-about designer of the past few seasons, and the season's onslaught of collabs will ensure his name won't be out of the headlines for long in 2017.
In terms of Gosha's mainline, there were ’90s-flavored striped sweaters, stone-washed jeans, yin-yang graphics and Benneton-inspired sweaters (Supreme beat him to it on that one, mind).
All in all, a tour de force in mainstream streetwear, and Gosha's most accessible collection yet. Pretty much every single piece, barring the bright silver and red double-breasted blazers, looked like they'd cause mayhem when they hit retailers next year.
You can tell that many jaded fashion industry veterans are "over" Gosha Rubchinskiy already. That won't make a tiny bit of difference if this collection is anything to go by. Gosha has far outgrown the high fashion demographic and is well on his way to becoming a bona fide streetwear giant, one that, like Supreme and Palace, is hugely successful simply because he makes clothes that young people really relate to.