For a little more than a year, Post-Soviet fashion aesthetics have dominated the scenes from streetwear labels to luxury power-houses. The revolution was led by Gosh Rubchinskiy and Demna Gvasalia, respectively under one own’s name but also indie French label Vetements and Balenciaga.
In the same timeframe, Western societies have started ceding under the charge of far-right populist movements, embodying positive and inspiring postures such as racism, homo/transphobia, hatred for the media, and negation of truths altogether.
And the worst has probably yet to come.
But once again, we can’t help but see the desperate relevance of the fashion industry in acknowledging the contemporary gloom, while we regret it is not creating and offering a vision of better tomorrows.
Here are three reason which make us interpret the Post-Soviet trend as a symptom of dark days to come.
1- Brutality Apology
In 2018, Russia will welcome the FIFA World Cup, and Russian Hooligans are already promising a “festival of violence”, following the violent incidents between them and British supporters in Marseille, France (UEFA Euro 2016).
Interestingly, Post-Soviet fashion has been built around an imagery of 90s pop culture dominated by sportswear and urban decay leading to violence. The revenge of the kids left out in the cold (war) by privileged city bourgeois is boiling up, both on runways and in French suburbs.
2- Death of Diversity
What’s striking in the lookbooks of the aforementioned brands is the very white skin tone of the models casted. Of course, a first degree reference to Eastern Bloc sociology, or Kanye West helping put Vetements on the American map of streetwear could be excuses for a blatant lack of diversity.
But deep down, one can also understand the imagery of Post-Soviet fashion is a representation of the flip-side of white male privilege: it is about the insecurities of the white males who have not reached Wall Street, Paris Fashion Week or Dan Bilzerian’s interesting lifestyle.
3- Absence of Dialectic
Intellectually, this trend is ridiculously first degree and very few are the interpretations of Post-Soviet fashion that have broken the status quo of post-communist / post-capitalist commentary.
Much like the characteristic post-truth era we’re crawling into, Post-Soviet fashion only offers a tale of an alternate reality, pulled out of recent archives, and repurposed for commercial relevance. The movement is giving the market what it needs, while we would desire a kind of fashion which would give us what we don’t know we want yet.
Now that a certain reality has been staged, we’d expect the newly influential creators to take us to new realms of ideas. Otherwise the Internet would one word left to say: booooring.
The new world order has started to dawn on our post-progress societies: Trump and Bannon are leading what was the exemple for the liberal, free world. The United Kingdom as paddling away from Europe, and France is confusing its ideals of revolution with the motions of a circus. It is time the fashion industry took the matters into its own hands and offered a vision of how life can be different towards 2020. Because the fascist shock is around the corner, and our children don’t need it.