Posts Tagged ‘Massimo Osti’

Book review: Ideas From Massimo Osti

November 23, 2012

Ideas From Massimo Osti : by Daniela Facchinato

First Published : 2012

ISBN 978-8862082358

Score out of 5 : 

As it’s Stone Island’s 30th Anniversary this year, there’s been a lot of re-newed (revised?) interest in that label and the original brain behind it – the late Massimo Osti. Stone Island themselves have released an Archive book – which I’ve yet to get my hands on as I’m abroad until next month – but it’s sat in its packaging at home, so I will review it in time.

This book, however, is a lot cheaper, and I’ve been told it’s far superior to SI’s effort. And that’s not hard to see why – Osti was a fashion genius, probably the greatest male fashion designer ever, and Stone Island was just one branch of his overall genius tree (am I making sense or talking bollocks here?).

I’m not going to spiel much more about this massive tome, I took a load of phots of it the minute it arrived in the post, and then read it cover to cover. It’s superb, if you’re an Osti fan/geek (hands up, I’m guilty), or into This Thing of Ours in any shape or form, then it’s a must buy. Get it bought for Xmas – at last, something you CAN say you want from Santa. Enjoy this small preview – and as always, my phots don’t do the book any justice whatsoever. See you next month. Ciao.

A casual buy no. 45

August 7, 2012

As I’ve mentioned before 2012 is the 30th Anniversary of the Italian clothing label Stone Island. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I’m a big fan, probably too big a fan judging by the amount of cash I’ve spunked out on this brand over the years. But there’s no other label like Stone Island, it’s unique in every way, much maligned but at the same much envied and copied, and never bettered at what it does.

During this anniversary year the label is re-issuing some old designs from the early days in the 1980s, they’re also releasing a special ’30/30′ jacket that incorporates all the textile innovations that Stone Island are famous for – Raso Gommato, liquid reflective, the thermo-sensitive ice jacket, and Mussola Prismatica. It is really two jackets in one and the RRP will make your eyes water. But I am seriously considering saving up for one, it’s a one-off, looks absolutely stunning, is 100% reversible, and the ’30/30′ means it’s a 30th anniversary jacket that can be worn 30 different ways. It will also be very collectible in years to come, so watch this space.

Much cheaper, and the first anniversary item to be released is the Tela Stella jacket. Back in 1982, the then little known Italian fashion designer Massimo Osti started Stone Island as an offshoot to his already established CP Company brand. Osti had just one fabric – a heavy cotton that was similar to that used for tarpaulins covering military trucks, and six colour dyes to work with. The result was the original Tela Stella. The fabric was impregnated on both sides with contrasting pigment resin, and treated with enzymes to give an effect of wind worn marine oilskins, or well-used military tenting. Military and nautical toughness and durability have been trademark influences on everything Osti did, and those who took up his various labels since.

This 2012 Tela is an exact replica of the first jacket, right down to the buttons, which were actually discovered in a store room in Ravarino, Italy, from the original 1982 batch made for the first jackets. Back then Stone Island stuck the now (in)famous compass rose badge on the chest, and some of the subsequent early collections, which were outlandish in treatment and style, had the compass in even odder parts of garments, until the left upper arm was where it eventually settled.

My only gripe about the new and old 30th anniversary range is the commemorative compass badge, I don’t like the look of it at all. It’s crap. Personally I would have liked the company to have produced the normal SI compass rose, but maybe edged it in matching yellow, similar to the vintage SI with the green edge. It’s a minor fault, and I’ll just wear the clothes with the badge detached.

There’s a book coming out soon too (I’ve pre-ordered it on Amazon) which archives every piece of Stone Island clothing from ’82 – ’12. That will be more than worth a look, and will probably send me screaming through eBay like a demented hunter, but I will fight the urge as long as I can.

A casual buy no. 44

July 25, 2012

I’ve owned a few CP Company ‘Mille Miglia’ (pronounced ‘Meal-ay Meal-yah’) goggle jackets over the years, but before this only held onto a full leather one from Autumn/Winter 2007, because it is too nice to sell on. CP Company started life in 1975 as ‘Chester Perry’ and was designed by Massimo Osti, the late Italian fashion designer. In 1988, Osti was asked to design a driver’s jacket for the revamped Mille Miglia race, with inspiration being the original race which was contested annually from 1927-1957 (excluding the WWII years). The result was the famous 1988 Race Mille Miglia, which of course is now much sought after by collectors and other assorted Osti fanatics.

In 1994, Osti left CP Company to design other ranges, but the goggle jacket was so popular among, as well as other groups, the UK’s football match-going lads that the ‘Mille Miglia’ has continued to be redesigned and released in both summer and winter season guises ever since. The range was produced under the SPW umbrella, who also of course owned the Stone Island label. Finally, in 2010, SPW sold ‘CP Company’ to FGF Industry, and some said the quality went, well, shit.

Now, I’m not saying I agree completely that something seemed to be lost when that last connection to Massimo Osti was severed in 2010, but there suddenly seemed to be tinted goggles on everything from ski hats to shitty cotton hoodies. Many said the label was ‘dead’ to them. But I disagree up to a point, I’ve kept and eye on everything that has come out of the FGF CP range, and while some of it raises my eyebrows, the odd bit here and there makes me sit up and take note.

This summer’s goggle jacket had three things that made me want one. First, the maroon dyed jacket was a great colour. Second, the watch viewer on the sleeve was again added, with nice ‘CP Company’ branding on it. And, thirdly, I liked the little cotton collar flap, again with ‘CP Company’ stitched on it in white lettering. Small little details you might think, but along with a nice snug tailored-effect fit, it all came together to make a very nice edition of the famous jacket, and I wanted one, badly.

I waited until I could pick one up in my size in the summer sales, and viola – I got this last month for around half price. I’m very pleased with it, and my goggle jacket quota is up to one winter and one summer one – that’s plenty I think. The little ‘Acid Casual’ badge depicting a little fella in his Mille with the hood up is from Casual Connoisseur, who do these little accessories better than anyone, but they are limited edition – i.e. like rocking horse shit to find.

A casual buy no. 43

July 8, 2012

Probably the best bargain I’ve ever picked up this one, definitely best ever buy from the Bay of shame. A mint condition Left Hand jacket from about 1999. It retailed for about £400 back then, I got this for £51 all in, to say I’m dead chuffed would be an understatement.

Left Hand was a short-lived, almost mythical brand from the genius that was Massimo Osti. The great man left Sportswear Company (AKA ‘SPW’ – which housed both CP Company and Stone Island back then) in 1993 and immediately set about designing a more grown-up, subdued, and, in my opinion classier range of clothing than a lot of his old SPW range.

Left Hand eschewed the iconic branding of SI and CP Company, opting instead for muted and minimal – the brand logo was literally ‘branded’ onto the left arm of most jackets, same place as the Stone Island compass rose, but you’d be hard pushed to make it out even from close up. Somehow for me that’s a bit of a bonus, don’t ask me why, but it gives the brand and their clothes a bit more exclusivity than the ubiquitous Stone Island and other Osti productions. If I see someone wearing a jacket I think might be Left Hand I have to make an effort to confirm or deny my suspicions. All very cloak and dagger for a clobber freak, but there you go.

Left Hand’s most iconic piece was the Thermojoint jacket – marketed as between 80-100% nuclear radiation proof. That’s just great, typically outside of the box innovation from Osti; but when your head and legs disappear in a thermonuclear detonation why give a fuck that your jacket is still steezing it? A bit like ‘bullet-proof’ sunglasses. Anyway, I have a Thermojoint at home, but it’s seen better days, I also have a Left Hand short double-breasted summer jacket that gets worn regularly – because it’s still smart and hasn’t aged a day. But this jacket above was a steal, looks fantastic, but is rather toasty with the quilted inner, so I’ll have to wait until the sun is low in the sky again before I can get it on. I can hardly wait.

Stone Island 30 year anniversary

January 20, 2012

Stone Island, the Italian clothing label, is 30 years old this year. Set up in 1982 by the late Massimo Osti as a diffusion line to his main CP Company label, the brand with the compass patch on the upper arm is perhaps (for better or worse) more synonymous with football culture than any other.

For many, that is to it’s eternal detriment, and no book/film/spoof about ‘casuals’ made today will be complete without at least one bonehead sporting a SI jacket. But you shouldn’t let that put you off, because Stone Island have and still produce top quality, innovative clothing. As the tired old cliche goes, it ain’t what you wear it’s how you wear it – and that is especially true with this brand. The beauty of SI is that the little compass – that symbol the British Police laughably tried to link to fascism – can easily be unbuttoned and put away somewhere safe. You still have your nice jacket on, but won’t receive unwanted attention from the police or the aforementioned bonehead fraternity. That’s my personal take on it anyway.

For the anniversary, Stone Island are releasing a few bits and pieces to commemorate 30 years in the business. In the vid above, head honcho Carlo Rivetti, who seems an affable chap even if I can only follow him in subtitles, explains what’s coming up. If I’m honest the three garments in the video do nothing for me, there may be other stuff coming too, but he mentions publishing a book that will document the whole Stone Island range, now that I will be looking out for, definitely.

A casual buy no. 37

June 28, 2011

Summer is teasing us, even down here on the naturally sunny south coast. She’s been hiding for most of June, and peeks out shyly from behind her veil once in a while. The upshot of this is I’m still wearing gear that usually gets aired in April before being stored away until October. A lot of dressers prefer the colder months, they get to wear more clothes, and thats what makes them happy after all. I’m not of that school, I love the heat, the jugs of Pimms, ice creams, polos, sunnys and shorts etc.

I haven’t picked up much from CP Company in a good while now. I’m a huge fan of SPW (the Bologna company that owns both CP and Stone Island), but have been buying more Stone Island, because more of that arm of the Italian dynasty has been catching my eye. But I wanted shorts, and although I love SI outerwear, I don’t really go for their bottom half stuff – the compass doesn’t look right on your arse I think. I’m also wary of cargo shorts, scruffy things with big map pockets, D-rings and all that other nonsense. Loads of good labels seem to have succumbed to this trend, but luckily CP Company haven’t. Wearing shorts shouldn’t mean you let yourself go, perhaps on the beach you can, but around town shorts need to be smart, and these are very smart indeed.


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