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The Obsession: Neil’s Massimo Osti Jackets
At Oliver Sweeney, we have now an obsession for traditional craftsmanship, and for blending it with modern design. And while we know that if you’re reading this you definitely share our obsession, there are also plenty of other things out there that inspire passions to rival the Cobbler-in-Chief. With that in mind, we return to our editorial series on Obsessions. Massimo Osti, the Italian menswear designer most famous for the Stone Island and CP Company brands, was recognised by Arena Homme Plus magazine as the ‘Most Influential Man in Men’s Fashion of the ’90s’ and commands a huge following for his pioneering obsession for design and technology. Describing himself as a “devoted disciple and passionate collector” of Osti’s work, Neil has an extensive archive of rare pieces that he’s been amassing for over 20 years.

Where did the obsession begin
It’s very much linked to football for me. I’ve always been a keen football fan, and from going to games in the early to mid ‘80s you started to see the now-iconic compass badge on people’s arms. That caught my eye, and the jackets themselves had been unlike another jacket I’d ever seen: completely different fabrics, looks and details. They just stood out, and made everything else look drab & uniform. I realised that they were something just completely completely different, and that basically struck a chord.

What made them widespread on the time
Well, that will depend on who you believe. Certainly there’s a college of thought that says when British clubs played abroad, the fans were uncovered to new brands that they hadn’t seen before and jumped on them. My very own view is that whereas there’s an element of that, the Casuals era was about one-upmanship; going to someone else’s town and making a press release by how you dressed and how you behaved. Those jackets were standout jackets, however they have been also extremely practical, because soccer stadiums have been very chilly in these days!

But the jackets were definitely a status symbol too. The nature of one-upmanship means that developments change very quickly; what was in a single week would be out the next week, depending on who you have been and the place you were in the nation. I used see all kinds of various kinds round after i went to heaps of various matches as a teenager, from the early ‘80s onwards.

What was your first Massimo Osti piece
It was a very simple, plain ribbed crewneck sweatshirt that took me 6 months to save up for. Naturally, I wore it to demise. I not have that sweater, sadly. I’d say that it wasn’t till a very good few years later – within the mid-‘90s – that I managed to afford to indulge my passion properly, because the pieces had been just SO expensive.

Considered one of Neil’s earliest Stone Island pieces, this jacket is from the brand’s first-ever collection in 1982

When did you make the transition from fan to collector
Nicely it wasn’t a acutely aware determination. I find one of the best ways to describe it is that the world is split into two groups: you either have accumulating in your DNA, or you don’t. As a baby I collected stamps and as an early teenager I collected football programmes, so it didn’t surprise me that I ended up being obsessed (or taken, fairly) by something else, which happened to be these collections of clothes. I realised it had develop into a bona fide assortment when i couldn’t fit all the coats into a wardrobe!

Certainly one of the most recent additions to the collection is this area jacket from Stone Island Shadow Mission AW15

How many pieces do you might have now
The jackets I try to keep around the 200 mark, otherwise…well, it’s important to keep up some domestic harmony. The whole collection including jackets, jumpers, shirts, POS and books is probably somewhere between 400 and 500 pieces.

Do you find time to wear them all
Absolutely – that’s the crux of the collection, for me. Part of the fun is that I can go into the rooms, see what’s there and then pick out something to wear. At one stage I did have the concept I’d have one jacket for daily of the year! For the moment though, it can be whatever grabs my fancy at any given time, there’s no particular set plan. Obviously I have favourites, and pieces I only wear for special events, but normally I wear as much of it as attainable.

When exposed to temperature drops, the Stone Island Ice Jacket’s technical outer changes colour as demonstrated here

How does that affect the curation of the collection
For me, it gets more durable to part with pieces. Over the years, you get to a point where virtually everything you’ve received is one thing you actually, really need. I’ve typically been quite impulsive at buying things, so I used to have a bunch of things that either were the flawed measurement, or ‘what on earth i pondering at the actual time ’ so these are simply divestible with out an excessive amount of of an emotional problem. The sadness of one piece going is usually outweighed by the joy of the next piece arriving. It’s always evolving, it’s dynamic, and it’s meant to be a collection that’s worn.

Some of probably the most fragile pieces in Neil’s assortment, these two jackets are made with real metal thread and are stone island sale kopen extremely heavy

What do you look for when examining a new piece
The first stone island sale kopen criteria for adding is that it has to be something I might put on, nonetheless outlandish it might look (especially given my age), however it’s bought to be something that I could fit into. Then it’s about the details, something catches your eye concerning the garment and there’s an instinctive, emotional attachment to it. The colour, the fabric, the styling in some way of it, it just there’s no strict pattern to it, but I must say I’m drawn to brightly-coloured pieces notably.

The label inside the Metallic Shell jackets explains how they are made (and includes advice on tips on how to discharge static build-up)

Where do you go to find new pieces
All over the place. Over time, I’ve acquired to know individuals all over the world! I’m a part of an online community called the Osti Archive Forum, and there’s quite a thriving marketplace there. eBay is obviously a massively common place, but it’s harder to seek out these uncommon items as its popularity increases, however it’s amazing the place issues crop up. The Metropolis jacket took me years to find because they’re so huge in terms of sizing, but I eventually got hold of 1 when I used to be chatting to a man who ran a store in Exeter and by pure probability he mentioned that he had an previous CP piece in his wardrobe that he hadn’t worn for years…

The built-in pollution mask was an integral part of the Metropolis jacket
How did you are feeling when you found that
It’s a mixture, actually. Clearly there’s huge excitement and elation that you’re going to get hold of something; within the gathering neighborhood such finds are known as Grails (for obvious reasons) and that was positively considered one of mine on the time. I imagine gathering is somewhat like drug taking, in that you’re always trying for your next hit; in some ways it’s the downside of collecting – you’re nearly never glad, there’s always something else that you want to move on to. Stone Island Online And while the joys of the chase and the hunt is implausible, there’s always seems to be that yearning for one more…just another!

The now-iconic CP Firm Mille Miglia jacket had constructed-in goggles and was designed for the infamous Italian road race

What’s the foundation of the appeal of these pieces for purple stone island sweatshirt you
Once I acquired more into the history of the man and learned all about the brands, it absolutely appealed to me much more. I think what I admire most about him is the creativity and dedication – he was absolutely dedicated to experimentation, he by no means sat on his laurels and was willing to dream extraordinary things – for example who would think of putting goggles in the hood of a jacket 30 years ago Today it’s an iconic piece. There’s a film they did for the 30th Anniversary of Stone Island which says that Osti put experimentation into the DNA of the whole organisation, and I think that’ still there today.

The inside label from one of many earliest Stone Island Ice Jackets

Is there one which got away
Plenty! When it comes to Stone Island itself, the Ice Jackets [Editor’s note: completed with a thermo-sensitive resin treatment, these chameleonic jackets are icons of the Stone Island brand. The molecules of the micro pigments encapsulated in the resin change the path of light and get darker because the temperature drops.] are my specific favourites. There’s a really uncommon model of the Ice Jacket that had a helicopter visor within the hood; I think it was a prototype, not necessarily a production piece, but unfortunately that was one that got away.

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