Saturday, 30 August 2008

Style Icons - Massimo Osti


Creator of brand trademarks such as CP Company and Stone Island since the seventies, clothing designer Massimo Osti imposed himself on menswear for his abilities of invention, research and experimentation with forms and most of all materials. I was fortunate enough to listen in on the Sarah Mower conversation with Aitor Throup on Friday night at the V&A, thanks to an invite from Stephen of thenonplace. I will do a full post on this later this weekend but as some of you are chomping at the bit for more Style Icon related posts, it seemed madness not to give you one of Aitor's, Massimo Osti. Throup mentioned Osti countless times and his words revealed himself as a teenager living in Burnley once again, a time when Osti designs were so important to him and had a lasting effect on his own designs. Renzo Rosso (Diesel) described Osti's work as marking "important moments that fashion will remember” and following last nights conversation, I would have to agree.

An inventor more than a traditional fashion designer, Massimo has always emphasised the functional, technological and innovative aspect of his garments instead of simply mutating fashion tendencies. His long research led him to build an archive which includes over 30,000 garments and 55,000 fabric samples. Even if you fail to recognise the name, you will know his work. Examples of his innovations that we remember are the fabric coatings such as joint fabrics, thermo sensitive fabrics, rubber flax and rubber wool as well as being the first to use specialised garment dying and stone washing Examples of his innovations that we remember are the fabric coatings such as joint fabrics, thermo sensitive fabrics, rubber flax and rubber wool as well as being the first to use specialised garment dying and stone washing. The entire textile industry has been entirely revolutionised by Osti’s research and the excited, enthusiastic Throup forced me to take notice. There can be little doubt that Massimo Osti, a reclusive Italian, was a truly unique and innovative thinker, fabric engineer and designer, that pushed menswear forward. The Chester Perry (CP Company as it's known today) name originates from a little known comic strip whose central character, Chester, was always coming up with innovative ideas to improve his work place, but went unheard. The name was shortened to CP Company as the original name was just to similar to the tennis brand of Fred Perry.

Below is one of his most recognised creations, the Mille Miglia jacket - named after an open road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty four times between 1927 and 1957. As you can see the garment features goggles built into the hood and originally had a small circular window in the sleeve enabling the wearer to see their watch. This jacket would certainly change my image.


I will end this post with a few words from the man himself...“If I find a piece of clothing interesting, I must be able to understand and define why it is interesting. The fabric used might be created using some new technological development, or the construction details are there to carry out a specific function. This is the reason why brands such as Stone Island and C.P. Company have such relevance in the future of fashion. I have no interest in trends, nor in decoration that isn’t relevant or justified.”

3 comments:

goooooood girl said...

Very good......

waxy said...

He is very inspiring...

Pier M. said...

father of stone island clothes...a casual icon...

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