Zegna: Vertically integrated chic
No brand in menswear has addressed the question of how men want to dress in our post pandemic world as forcefully as Zegna. The brand’s answer - collections built on customised fabrics, created within the Zegna group, specifically designed for designer Alessandro Sartori's vision of tailored leisure wear.
Sartori – whose name means tailor in Italian – began his career cutting suits with a scalpel, strict, linear and lengthy. Now he moulds and sculpts like Donatello, or better yet Tony Cragg. Forming uber wide leg trousers with seams at the front, or cutting sandy leather cropped puffers with high collars.
Often the strongest looks were the leather picks – like a pair of bravura jerkins, gathered in the back in a sculptural corrugated form.
His whole collection was based on the concept of Oasi Zegna, a huge track of 100 square kilometres in the foothills of the Italian Alps, which the founding family own and protect. To give you some idea of its dimension, it is about 30 times the size of Central Park.
Sartori also leads menswear in the key post-pandemic garment, the shirt jacket. Zegna’s jackets come in blends of their best materials – cashmere, alpaca, merino or dense knits. Cut, ergonomically with elongated sleeves and sharp collars.
Otherwise, jackets come roomy, and without vents. Coats are languid with soft shoulders and wider sleeves. Sack jackets come with couture touches with sleeves ending at the elbow. There was even a hint of Pierre Cardin in Ale’s love of lapel-free jackets.
The colour palette was autumnal – leaf, butter, bitter lemon and oatmeal. Though the key shade was an urban granite.
Sartori works with prestigious directly owned mills — such as Bonotto, Dondi, Filati Biagioli Modesto, Lanificio Zegna and Tessitura Ubertino – giving him access to great fabrics of tremendous surface interest.
Underlining the whole approach, guests entered the show-space via a tunnel that led to a series of glass air chambers where fibers were floating and drying, an essential process in the production of Oasi Cashmere fabrics. Oasi Cashmere is at the heart of Zegna’s Road to Traceability, a commitment to certifying its fibers as fully traceable by 2024.
“At Zegna, I have the unprecedented opportunity to create fabrics from weaving through to finishing, challenging our manufacturers, pushing them to explore uncharted waters. This allows me to mold our silhouettes right from the matter, making sure that our commitment to innovation and excellence is rooted in every step of the process. The result is an all-encompassing language that is truly progressive,” explained Sartori in his program notes.
CEO Gildo Zegna enthusiastically greeted everyone he met, clearly enamored of the collection. In important news for his group, Thom Browne, the American designer brand Zegna controls, last week won a major court decision against Adidas’ claims that Browne’s four stripe signature copied the German brand’s three stripes.
Asked, for his thoughts on today’s show, Gildo replied with one word and a huge smile: “Hermès!”
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