Back in 2001, a little known publishing house called Automobilia produced the first of what was to be a series of books about the “new wave” of Italian stylists and fashion designers.
Well known Italian commentator of fashion and trends Cristina Morozzi headed the project, authoring the first in the series of books. Morozzi is probably best known for being the one-time editor of ‘Moda’ magazine.
The first volume is dedicated to the designs and ethos of Sportswear Company, and in particular, the Stone Island and C.P. Company brands. Carlo Rivetti, chairman of SPW worked alongside Morozzi to produce a large journal of images, stories and insights on the past, present and future of SPW.
When you first flick through the book, it appears more an engineering company than a traditional Italian fashion house. The techniques and research that goes into a garment is well documented in other places, but here its in black and white.
There is an interesting write up of Massimo Osti at the beginning, something that may grace these pages one day (if I find the time to transcript it!) but it really isn’t detailed or long enough about a man considered widely as the most important figure in SPW history.
The main focus of the book is from 1996 – 2001, the date of publishing. It starts with a long section explaining the company as it stood then, the industrial model, the research process, the techniques used in dying garments, even the distribution and sales structure of the company. Its fairly interesting, but personally, I found it hard work!
Paul Harvey is featured heavily, as are his designs. Lots of pictures of Harveys more famous creations, the Bronze and Steel jackets, NOC-1 etc. and a great write up explaining in length his influences, ideas and theories behind design. Having taken over from Osti as head designer, Harvey had a huge pair of boots to fill, and its interesting to read how a seemingly normal bloke from the Middlesbrough stepped up to the challenge.
There is plenty to read about in terms of detail and theory behind Harveys work, with a particularly interesting section regarding the NOC-1 jacket and the injection moulding techniques used to produce the hood, which was based on an old gas mask.
The final part of the book features Moreno Ferrari, and his C.P. Company work. Specifically the Urban Protection series, and Transformables. For those of you interested in UP in particular, this is great reading. Ferrari explains his ideas and aims behind the range. Fascinating at times, utter nonsense in others.
There is some fantastic imagery in this section, of some of the rarest C.P. Company garments ever released. The transformable garments in particular.
Stardust isnt a book detailing the history of SPW and personally found it quite a hard going read in places. It is however, and interesting snapshot of life in Modena in 2000.
Its interesting in parts, and there is some fantastic images to pour over. However, there is also alot of utter nonsense too and far too much detail on subjects few will find interesting.
Worth tracking one down if you can, but they are like stardust