Posts Tagged ‘Stone Island’


February 23, 2013

Regular readers of this blog will know I’ve a bit of a ‘thing’ for Italy and Italian culture. The Boot inspires me foodwise, clothingwise, and of course I love their football too. One of the most fascinating aspects, and certainly least documented in the UK, is Italian youth culture, and the most enigmatic period of all – the 1980s and the Paninari.

During the height of what we brits now call Thatcherism – young urban and suburban Italians were discovering Americana, hedonism and high fashion. Starting out in a burger joint in Milan early in the decade, the Paninaro phenomenon spread to the rest of Italy and beyond, and eventually found its looks replicated on the football terraces of Merrie Olde Englande in the late 1980s.

When I was in Genoa and Turin lately, I tried tracking down the eponymous Bible of the original Paninari, ‘Paninaro’. My pidgin Italian didn’t cut it at all the independent bookstores and stalls I sought out there. So, I had to turn to that love/hate internet phenomenon – good old eBay – to find some satisfaction.

For a few Euros I picked up some original and dog-eared copies of ‘Paninaro’, direct from sellers in Italy. Flicking through these is like looking at a postcard from youthful continental holidays in my schooldays. Tanned, young and happy people, dressed to the nines in Moncler, Timberland, Best Company, and Stone Island. The 1980s were the best ten years in the history of the world, and I miss them now, I really do. Enjoy these scanned pages, their like will not be seen again anytime soon. Ciao ragazzi.

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. 47

October 2, 2012

The 30/30 jacket ‘out of the box’

It will be a long time before I do another ‘A casual buy’ post, not this year anyway, probably not for another year. The reason is this latest purchase. The ’30/30 Anniversary Jacket’ from Stone Island. This came at an eye-popping price, but I couldn’t resist owning a piece of SI history, plus you’re really getting two jackets for the price of one, or more accurately one and a half jackets, as will be seen. This will also be a very long, photo-heavy, post.

That ugly 30th Anniversary badge again

The blurb for this jacket from Stone Island themselves states:

The 30/30 jacket is a cross section of the state of the art of Stone Island. A testament to three decades of exploration and development, it has been designed to embody the spirit of Stone Islands endless creativity. Linked by the signature looped rigging system, both the jacket shell and jacket liner are reversible. These can be worn, either together or alone, in a total of 10 different ways. The transformative properties of the fabrics mean that these 10 ways can each be worn in 3 different states: Ice, Reflective, and Normal; resulting in a total of 30 different jacket modes. The numerous details, such as the reversible cuff and liner button, have been specially engineered to ensure the smooth operation of all jacket features in every worn state. The inclusion of both natural and man made face fabrics, as well as engineered knit and down components, ensure that the jacket can be worn across the broadest spectrum of climates and situations.

Total ways: 10

  1. Shell alone: Raso face outside
  2. Shell alone: Prismatic face outside
  3. Liner alone: Knit face outside
  4. Liner alone: Thermo Reflective face outside
  5. Shell and liner together: Raso face over Knit face
  6. Shell and liner together: Prismatic face over Knit face
  7. Shell and liner together: Raso face over Thermo Reflective face
  8. Shell and liner together: Prismatic face over Thermo Reflective face
  9. Shell and liner together: Thermo Reflective face over Raso face
  10. Shell and liner together: Thermo Reflective face over Prismatic face

Total States: 3

  1. Normal
  2. Ice
  3. Reflective

Total Modes: 30

Wow, there you have it. For ‘Ice’ read ‘really cold weather’. For ‘Reflective’ read ‘night time’.

The shell alone: Raso Gommato outside

Shell alone: Mussola Prismatica outside (I really like this)

The liner alone: Knit face outside. Can’t see many wearing it like this, looks just like what it is – a coat inside out. Horrible.

Liner alone: Thermo/reflective face outside (I really like this, there’s an idea forming here)

I then started putting it all together in the different ways the two elements interact. The jacket(s) have the famous SI ‘Dutch rope system’ to keep both jackets tied together once assembled. They also have inner sleeve and collar buttons to hold it together. I would’ve been out in the yard all day tying up little loops of cord, fuck that. So, I’ve just put one jacket loosely over the other as best I can for this next sequence of phots, to give a rough idea of how it looks in various guises; it will look better properly ‘joined together’ later. Promise.

Ice/thermo/reflective inner over the Prismatic face

Detailing: loose ‘Dutch Rope’ and the Mussola fabric

The ‘Ice’ jacket doing it’s thing, it was nippy out today. This will go a very dark grey in the really cold. (I love Ice jackets – pattern forming mmm)

Ice over Raso. The hood has a detachable inner/outer on both shell types, same material as the ice/reflective

That detachable section of the hood, looks too blocky on the outside for me

Detailing: buttons and reflective cuff on the Raso

Pocket detailing on the puffa (yes the Ice is down filled)

The hood with the reflective section reversed with Mussola outside (best combo I think)

More Mussola detailing, love the contrasting orange stitching

The Mussola Prismatica shell from the back

The wee booklet that comes with the jacket

Instructions for the dopey/uninitiated in dutch roping

“30 Ways to Love”

Ok, after playing around with the jacket and getting sore arms – it’s a heavy thing when put together – I decided which way I liked to wear it best. I like the Mussola on it’s own, but Winter is nearly here and the best way to get this worn is to put it together as one. So, I roped it all up like a good Dutchman, and voila, below is the jacket assembled the way I intend to wear it (for now). So, by Stone Island’s own criteria it’s ‘Shell and Liner together: Thermo Reflective face over Prismatic face’. It is a beautiful garment, but as I said before, that’s it for a long time for clothes shopping for me, this was pricier than it should have been, but I had to have one. That’s all folks.

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.

The irrepressible Signor Rivetti

May 24, 2012

Don’t be put off by the German titles on this video, the interview is in English. I’ve linked to stuff featuring the avuncular Carlo before, but there’s not much on the web in English. It’s over a year old, but worth watching to hear him talk about the creative inspiration behind the label, football, mountains, ice hockey, fashion victims, and even 9/11.

This excellent vid has the head of Stone Island waxing lyrical on all of this and more. The obviously queg German interviewer tries to draw him on the link between SI and football hooligans in the UK. But Signor Rivetti is too canny for him, and gives a fair, reasoned reply to what is usually a hysterical reaction regarding Stone Island clothing and soccer’s ‘boys’.

Not going to buy one…

March 19, 2012

…as I’m a bit old for this kind of thing, but I do like Stone Island‘s moody/arty farty videos

The ‘toffee wrapper’ is back

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. 39

July 20, 2011

Even though the summer’s been shite, it’s still a bit too warm of an evening to go out in a coat, while venturing out in only shirt sleeves can leave you distinctly chilly, unless you have a beer jacket on. The solution? A hoodie. A pullover would probably do the same job, but when I wear my jumpers I don’t want to be pulling them off and on all night. Therefore, a zip-front hoodie is ideal.

The humble hooded sweatshirt has been much-maligned as the garment of choice for working class kids (I’ll not mention ‘chavs’ as it’s a word I’ve grown to despise, mostly since reading this book and recognising how derogatory it is to members of my own class). The tabloid image of feral gangs of hoodie-lums terrorising old people on ‘sink estates’ is the stuff of legend now, and it’s mostly horseshit, but I digress.

As someone who likes to dress well, you’d think the hoodie would be something to swerve completely in the search for steez. I don’t agree. Even as the most expensive set of clothes on a div still doesn’t change the fact that he’s a div, it’s how you wear garments that make you what you are. This summer 2011 hoodie from Stone Island, worn with the right shirt/jeans/shoes/shorts/t-shirt, is a good case in point, it’s very smart on. But, you can easily pick up a cheaper hoodie from the high street and get it right, provided you think about what you team it up with. I’ve bought a couple of hoodies lately, another brand to look at (as always) is Ralph Lauren. So, the hoodie – more preppy than pikey (another word I’ve now consigned to the Hovian bin).


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