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Ermenegildo Zegna XXX: Out of the lockdown into an oasis

Published
Jul 17, 2020
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Man met machine and nature at Ermenegildo Zegna on Friday afternoon in the most coherently stylish statement so far in fashion of a “phygital” collection.

 


 
Using a blend of web streaming; classy videos; live slo-mo and detailing this was a smart manner in which to present a powerful collection – a meeting of technically striking fabrics; highly innovative tailoring and optimism for the future, in the midst of the global pandemic.
 
The action opened in the company’s plant in Trivero, the camera slipping through the looms and gliding through a mature wood before entering a beautiful garden. The camera soars and sways as it captures the cast marching over the crest of a hill in 42 looks from the spring-summer 2021 collection of Ermenegildo Zegna XXX, the house’s bespoke line.

“We wanted a full collection and not a capsule and on the schedule. This year is the 110th anniversary of the company and we wanted to express what Zegna stands for, which is nature; humanity and men; machine and technology,” explained the house’s creative director Alessandro Sartori, on the final day of the debut Milan digital runway season.
 
Zegna had originally planned to celebrate the anniversary in Trivero, so Sartori’s impulse was to keep the brief but with a radically new format.
 
“I thought let’s do the show there anyway. Trivero embodies the collection and was where it takes shape. So, last weekend we shot 60% of the show in the nature and amid the looms, and today we shoot live and mix it all together,” he enthused, from his studio in Milan, before departing for the live event in Trivero, 45 minutes away in the Piedmont.
 
Blending camera live and recorded camera shots; doing slo-mo and drone shots during the streaming in a show entitled Nature/Man/Machine.


Ermenegildo Zegna Spring/Summer 2021


 
The first models descended the hill in a flawlessly cut suits; beautifully draped double-breasted with just one front button showing. Fluid dusters in micro fibers; and kimono style jerkins underline the carefully crafted silhouette. Major statements also in parkas and cabans, shown with large patch pockets and assembled in recycled double-face wools. Patch pockets everywhere - on fishermen vests, mock hunting jackets and tunics – always finished with a noble dash.
 
“Soft tailoring but with fully constructed interiors
And even interior drawstrings. Made in recycled wools,” noted Sartori. Who showed off how he had displaced interior canvas at the shoulder; and created jackets without any stitching above the front pockets. 

At one stage, the cast walked into the massive Zegna archive so large it looked like the Vatican Library, before exiting into the family’s ravishing cobbled pathway garden.  Designed by two master Italian gardeners and landscape artists – Pietro Porcinai and Paolo Pejrone - they provided an ideal setting for such classy clothes, which ended with a sunset stroll through the dappled light in a forest, worthy of the opening scenes of Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood.
 
“The gardens are our Oasis Zegna. They were done in the ‘50s and ‘60s for my father and uncle. Today they are our summer house. You see, we have deep roots,” smiled CEO Gildo Zegna, as he popped into the preview.

Add in a few cricket blazers in green gray silk viscose gabardine or archive pajama stripe suits in silk and mohair for smart summer lunches and you got a great contemporary menswear statement. That reeks class and looks very today.
 
“Gray on gray on gray; and available from our bespoke atelier,” smiled Sartori.


Ermenegildo Zegna Spring/Summer 2021



The designer offered two contrasting pants – one large at top and narrow at bottom; the other roomy from top to bottom. For party action, a series of great blotchy print shirts culled from the archive - tie-dyed yarn that is then woven to create a tie-dye chiné. 
 
In a palette that evoked nature, influenced by images from National Geographic photographer Mattias Klum.
 
Before the cast completed their 3.3 kilometer catwalk by marching onto the roof of the Lanificio Zegna headquarters with a magnificent view of the Italian alpine foothills. The soundtrack featuring Natureboy Flako’s driving track Theme For A Dream leading them into formation as Sartori joined them to take his bow.
 
The collection seen this Friday will be available in stores in January, while its pre-collection has been in the showroom over a week. The house also shot some 3,500 photos of this collection, inside and out, to help retailers in China and the Americas unable to travel to Milan. However, Zegna still expects one third of its clients to make it to Milan this summer.
 
And in another clever piece of staging, a day before, black British actor Parker Sawyers, dressed in a very natty Zegna tuxedo, extended online “a very special invitation to see the beautiful clothing and beautiful artistry of Zegna.”
 
“Oh, the cut, the texture it’s exquisite,” croons Sawyers, whose big breakout role was playing a young Barack Obama in Southside With You. It’s worth recalling that at a moment of Black Lives Matter, Zegna’s ambassador for the past two seasons has been Mahershala Ali, the double Oscar winning black actor. They walk the walk at Zegna.
 
 

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