21 July 2010

Osti - blast from the past.

Following the Osti post, I was once a bit of a walking, talking advert for all things Italian designer wear, during my time on the 'catwalk' that was cobbled streets and seated terraces going to the football, I did like my Stone Island, CP Company and other bits, being my age, I was in school when this stuff really exploded in the UK in the early 90s, yes it was worn before then, but it was later when it really took off, as a young pup I often winced at the prices of this stuff on the occasional browse in stores and the odd shoot in the likes of Arena and Loaded et al, it was very expensive to someone who's only income at that time was a Metro paperound and I thought I'd never own any. Years later I did dabble with all sorts of jackets being the cutting edge cool cat I was (wink) jackets which shimmered, crinkled and shone, jackets which turned heads and some which admittedly looked better on a hanger than they did on my shoulders. I've still got the first item I ever bought, a cardigan that was probably two sizes too big, and still is, but I felt the bollocks when I got it.
What you have to understand, this stuff was still very exclusive then, you only really saw it on like minded types, sounds far fetched now, but it was certainly the truth back then. Before it was snided, and before every bandwagon jumper and Johnny come lately found themselves obsessed with art numbers and what brand of zippers they had, we just liked the garments for what they were and how they looked.
I loved the Mille, I had a nice rare grey one which wasn't released over here, it was and still is the most expensive thing I bought, and was actually something quite out of the ordinary when I had it, getting admiring and puzzled looks from Brentford away to the hills of Buxton before Chesterfield away earlier last decade. I had to put my hood up on request in them days.
Since then they have churned this one out each season, and in my personal opinion spoiled it, what was once a real one-off to many became the one must have for the young football lad, which is never a good thing from our viewpoint. I've since sold that one on. Another personal favourite label was Left Hand first released whilst I was an early teen, but an innovative label, shortlived yet ahead of it's time and one which still looks good today. Around 2007 if I remember rightly, there was a memorable wild goose chase which saw TK Maxx stores across the country selling old deadstock gems from Boneville Sporting Goods, Osti Production and Stone Island's colour changing ICE jackets, whilst many of us were guilty of running about like blue arsed bastards trying to get them, in hindsight it was a real pain in the arse for any big fans or serious collectors of this gear.

I tend to have moved on a fair bit now, I'm getting older, changing styles, more classic than contemporary, more desirable than designer, I still like to be different, but don't have the once disposable income I did have so it's all about classic and functional now, I can get a full outfit if I look hard enough, for the price of one jacket produced by this staple, which many my age will agree with I'm sure. These have had their place though and despite letting a lot of what I used to own go, there will be ones I regret selling, even if I wouldn't still wear them today. And I'll still say each season there's one or two items which look fantastic.
Above top, a selection of old photos I unearthed, stuff which has once been in my possession and on my back over the years, also included are some real older Osti gems with the help of cyber cohort and all round good egg Mr Beer from Staffs taken around 2006, and pre-dating that TK Maxx goose chase I spoke about, all sourced with genuine passion and hard graft. Centre, a selection of Osti finery, and the old and the new.


  1. I'm the same mate, I had a whole wardrobe of Left Hand, Stone Island and Boneville back in the '90s. That was when I lived with my mum and I thought nothing of chucking a week's wages at a jumper or shirt.

    My favourite item of clothing ever was a grey Left Hand jacket, purchased for £60 in the January sale in Cruise, Edinburgh. A beautiful coat that got ripped in a drunken stramash in the late '90s. I wish I still had it but there's no way it would fit over my beer belly now.

    These days I just shop at TK Maxx or on eBay. I've discovered the joys of foreign travel and a flight to Bangkok or Kiev is far higher up the pecking order than some overpriced garment, especially as every arsehole is wearing Stone Island these days.

    I used to be proud of how much I spent on schmutter, now I'm proud of how little I spend.

  2. A man after ny own heart, I starting buying in 1992 and haven't stopped since... Back then you'd have to grab anything that came in stock regardless of size. Good to see some old favorites of mine in your pictures, I've got a pair of Life Safers (1993) a few reflectors (1992-94) and several Ice's (1989-91) most bought from new and not nearly as wince inducingly priced as contemporary collections!

  3. awsome blog, very well ritten, many thanks, osti was a genius