The late great Massimo Osti, the man who changed the way we wear.
For anyone interested in clothing either as something you wear or a design and production process Massimo Osti should be a name that rolls of your lips. The man behind one of the defining brands of the 80’s, Chester Perry or as its more commonly known CP Company. Osti revolutionised much of the way clothing was designed and manufactured during the 80s and 90’s, being the first to use the four colour process and silkscreen on T-shirts. Originally working in advertising Osti used his knowledge of graphic design and print process to great effect on his first collection of T shirts. Its amazing to think he started with such simple garments as T’s and went on to create some of the most technically advanced outwerwear of the 80’s, brushed wool and rubber flaxing. He made textiles that were previously fairly porous weatherproof. These revolutionary ideas were to become seemingly old hat as his collections developed, the famous Stone Island Ice jacket of the early 90’s that changed colour with changing temperatures was the first of its kind and a huge breakthrough and the Left Hand thermojointing process which made jackets pretty much completely weather proof, I think they also had a high grade of radiation proofing too!!
Stone Island are celebrating their 30 year anniversary this year and looking at much of the collection it is built on the foundations of developments Osti made when launching the brand 30 years ago. The way in which the garments are produced has altered little, with current creative director and MD Carlo Rivetti staying true to much of Osti’s ethos.
The reputation of CP and SI has been sullied in recent years thanks to the Aquascutum Cap wearing rip of Stone Island Danny Dyer types, to the point of it being banned in many night spots up and down the land. A real shame and shows the lack of knowledge most people have about truly great clothing and manufacture.
There is to be a book released in a month or so’s time showing a number of sketches, articles and photos of Osti’s work and the design process. It promises to be a huge hit on a number of levels for both CP/SI collectors and those with an eye more on the design and technology aspect of his work, hopefully a few more people may be enlightened by the genius that was Massimo Osti.