Stone Island – the mad scientist of the fashion industry – has unveiled its latest fabric experimentation with the Prototype Research_Series 05. 

Milan Design Week is an event full of surprises, a showcase of otherworldly concepts, experimentation, and a visual of how far we can push the boundaries of design. For lovers of the crossover between fashion, art, and design, the event spaces are a treasure trove of ideas and the realization of the seemingly unimaginable – the Gucci Cartoleria, for example.

Italian sportswear craftsman and technical tinkerers Stone Island are a mainstay of the event, utilizing the occasion the open the doors onto the vast science behind the brand. On the surface, you might confuse the label for nothing more than functional garment-dyed apparel and accessories, but with each Prototype Research_Series, it's made abundantly clear it is much more than that. 

The Prototype Research Series is a conceptual line of limited edition apparel pieces (typically outerwear) constructed with fabrics and treatments resulting from meticulous research and experimentation yet to reach an industrial scale. Previous research products have included unique takes on the iconic Nylon Metal garment technology and 2016's unforgettable lasered Liquid Reflective jacket.

For the 2021 edition of Milan Design Week, Stone Island welcomed the fifth iteration of the Research Series. Its installation showcases an exploration of the use of copper nanotechnology on a cotton Raso trench coat. The resulting experimentation highlighted the natural oxidation characteristics of copper in the atmospheric environment, with various external factors resulting in unique finishes.

In the words of Carlo Rivetti, the Creative Director and President of Stone Island: “This study began in 2019 with the intention of it being shown at the Milan Design Week in April 2020, which was later canceled. When the garments were returned to us in spring 2021, their oxidized appearance was magnificent but the adhesive between the non-woven fabric and the cotton satin was unpredictably 'gone', 'eaten' by oxidation. The result did not reach the target of resistance and solidity we have. I often tell of the 'mistakes' that come up when daring to go beyond the known, the tested, the conventional. This is the unfiltered story of an unfinished research process, an enrichment of the company's experience and culture. Each step has taught us important things which will be important for the future, regardless of the goal achieved."

Stone Island's Prototype Research_Series 05 Instillation will continue to show at Milan Design Week until September 10th.

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