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The Obsession: Neil’s Massimo Osti Outdoor jackets
At Oliver Sweeney, we have an obsession for traditional craftsmanship, and for blending this with modern design. And while we know that if you’re reading this you definitely reveal our obsession, there’s also plenty of other things available that inspire interests to rival your Cobbler-in-Chief. With that in mind, we return to the editorial series about Obsessions. Massimo Osti, the Italian menswear developer most famous for the Gemstone Island and Cerebral palsy Company brands, has been recognised by World Homme Plus magazine because ‘Most Influential Man within Men’s Fashion of the ’90s’ and also commands a huge subsequent for his groundbreaking obsession for design and technologies. Describing himself like a “devoted disciple and passionate collector” involving Osti’s work, Neil has an intensive archive of exceptional pieces that he’s already been amassing for over 20 years.

Where did the obsession begin
It’s a lot linked to football for me. I’ve always been a keen soccer fan, and from going to games noisy . to mid ‘80s you started to see the now-iconic compass logo on people’s arms. Which caught my eye, and also the jackets themselves ended up unlike any other jacket I’d ever seen: completely different materials, looks and details. They just stood out, making it everything else look dull uniform. I realised that they were something only completely different, and that truly struck a chord.
What made them well-liked at the time
Well, that relies on who you believe. Certainly there’s a school associated with thought that says any time British clubs stone island micro reps trench coat performed abroad, the followers were exposed to brand-new brands that they hadn’t witnessed before and leaped on them. My own view is that while there’s some that, the Casuals period was about one-upmanship; going to somebody else’s town and making a statement by how an individual dressed and how an individual behaved. Those overcoats were standout jackets, but they were furthermore incredibly practical, due to the fact football stadiums were very cold in those days!
However the jackets were definitely a status symbol too. The nature of one-upmanship means that trends change very quickly; that which was in one week can be out the next week, determined by who you were where you were in the country. We used see all sorts of different styles around when I visited lots of different matches as being a teenager, from the first ‘80s onwards.

What was your first Massimo Osti piece
It was an easy to use, plain ribbed crewneck sweatshirt that involved 6 months to save upward for. Naturally, I wore it to death.  I no longer obtain sweater, unfortunately. I’d say that it wasn’t until a fantastic few years later – inside the mid-‘90s – that I managed to manage to indulge my interest properly, because the bits were just SO costly.
One of Neil’s earliest Gemstone Island pieces, this kind of jacket is from the brand’s first-ever collection within 1982
When would you make the transition coming from fan to enthusiast
Well it wasn’t a new conscious decision. I have found the best way to describe it really is that the world can be split into two groups: you either have collecting in your DNA, or you don’t. As a child I collected stamps and as an early teenager I accumulated football programmes, so it didn’t surprise me that I ended up being obsessed (or taken, rather) by simply something else, which happened to be these collections of garments. I realised it was subsequently a bona fide selection when I couldn’t fit each of the coats into a wardrobe!
One of the most recent additions to the collection is this industry jacket from Gemstone Island Shadow Undertaking AW15
How many pieces do you have now
The jackets I try to keep around the 200 mark, or else;well, it’s important to keep some domestic a harmonious relationship. The whole collection including jackets, jumpers, tops, POS and textbooks is probably somewhere between 300 and 500 pieces.
Do you find time to use them all
Absolutely – that’s the particular 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 idea that I’d have one jacket for each day of the year! At the moment though, it can be whatever grabs my elegant at any given time, there’s no certain set plan. Obviously I have favourites, and pieces I only don for special events, but also in general I use as much of it as probable.
When exposed to temp drops, the Natural stone Island Ice Jacket’s technological outer changes coloring as demonstrated below
How does that affect the particular curation of the collection
To me, it gets harder to part with bits. Over the years, you get to an area where almost everything you’ve received is something you really, really would like. I’ve often been quite impulsive at purchasing things, so I had a bunch of things that both were the wrong dimension, or ‘what on earth my spouse and i thinking at the distinct time ’ so they are easily divestible without an excessive amount an emotional problem. Your sadness of one bit going is usually outweighed through the joy of the following piece arriving. It’s constantly evolving, it’s dynamic, and also it’s meant to be a collection which is worn.
Some of the most vulnerable pieces in Neil’s selection, these two jackets are created with real metallic thread and are extremely heavy
What do to look for when examining a new bit
The first criteria pertaining to adding is that it has to be something I could wear, however outlandish it might look (especially provided my age), but it’s have got to be something that I possibly could fit into. Then it’s about the details, something catches your stone island micro reps trench coat eye about the garment and there’s an instinctive, emotional attachment to it. The colour, the fabric, the styling in some way than it, it just there’s no rigid pattern to it, but I have to say I’m drawn to brightly-coloured items particularly.
The label inside the Metal Covering jackets explains how they are made (and contains advice on how to eliminate static build-up)
Where do you go to find fresh pieces
Everywhere. Through the years, I’ve got to know individuals all over the world! I’m part of a web based community called the Osti Store Forum, and there’s a serious thriving marketplace presently there. eBay is obviously a hugely popular location, but it’s harder to discover those rare parts as its popularity increases, but it’s amazing wherever things crop up. The area jacket took me many years to find because they’re so large in terms of sizing, on the other hand eventually got hold of a single when I was chattering to a guy who ran a store throughout Exeter and by pure chance he mentioned which he had an old Clubpenguin piece in his attire that he hadn’t worn for years;
The built-in pollution cover up was an integral part of the area jacket
How have you feel when you found out that
It’s a mixture, really. Naturally there’s huge excitement along with elation that you’re going to get hold of something; inside the collecting community this sort of finds are known as Grails (for self-evident reasons) and that was definitely one of mine at the time. I imagine collecting is a little like substance taking, in that you’re constantly looking for your next struck; in some ways it’s the downside regarding collecting – you’re almost never pleased, there’s always something else that you want to move on to. And while the thrill of the follow and the hunt is fantastic, there’s always seems to be that yearning for one more;just another!
The now-iconic CP Organization Mille Miglia jacket had built-in glasses and was designed to the infamous Italian highway race
What’s the root with the appeal of these items for you
Once I received more into the history of the man and discovered all about the brands, this absolutely appealed to me even more. I think what I admire most regarding him is the creativity and dedication – he or she was absolutely focused on experimentation, he in no way sat on their laurels and was willing to dream extraordinary points – for example who would think of putting goggles from the hood of a jumper 30 years ago Today it’s popular piece. There’s a film they will did for the Thirtieth Anniversary of Natural stone Island which claims that Osti put experimentation in to the DNA of the complete organisation, and I think that’ there today.
The inside label from one of the first Stone Island Snow Jackets
Is there the one that got away
Plenty! In terms of Stone Island itself, the Snow Jackets [Editor’s note: through with a thermo-sensitive resin remedy, these chameleonic jackets are generally icons of the Gemstone Island brand. Your molecules of the small pigments encapsulated inside the resin change the road to light and get darker as the temperature drops.] are my particular favourites. There’s an extremely rare version of the Ice Jacket that had a helicopter peak in the hood; I think it was a prototype, not really a production piece, but unfortunately that was one that got away. There’s always another day.
Discover why with Oliver Sweeney, our obsession is actually infectious here.

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