An immense industrial building in despair is the site for the Ermenegildo Zegna XXX show. The runway unfolds below extremely high ceilings that once hosted Area Falck: a monument to steely modernity that over the years slowly turned into a metropolitan wasteland. The dismissed area, however, will soon be re-qualified by Milanosesto into a hub for health and science, along with green and residential areas, gaining a new continuity with the city and a new meaning, reverting from waste to opportunity. As such, it will be included again in the metropolitan fabric, including people within it. It is the same philosophy Zegna is applying to textile resources, with the commitment to continue to create new fabrics from existing ones, and the same drive Zegna applies to re-thinking tailoring for the modern world. #UseTheExisting is the byword.
“It is our duty as denizens of this world to live responsibly - says Zegna’s Artistic Director Alessandro Sartori - I want to do it using the creative means I have at my disposal, which extend from the materiality of fabric-making, to the exquisite technicality of tailoring to the highly communicative aspect of show-making. Everything is connected, and everything conveys the same idea: we do not need to create the new from scratch, but we can reuse and reinvent the existing, getting progressive fabrics out of discarded ones, translating traditional techniques into innovative lifetime tailoring, turning an abandoned place into an area of creation”.
A sharp industrial sensibility comes to the fore this season, channeled by the pragmatic suits composed of blousons, shirts or polo-shirts worn with matching trousers. Sartori sticks to an agenda rooted in tailoring’s essence, morphing tradition into something suited to the pace of a hyper connected, global generation. The silhouette is neat: boxy blousons, voluminous coats, sleek three-button blazers and slim one-button jackets with 3D patch pockets are paired with lean yet soft trousers or fuller ones. Generous pockets migrate from the sportier items onto tailored ones while tailored details move to sport pieces, suggesting a mix of categories that expands the possibilities of use.
Knits are building blocks that increase the modularity of modern dressing. Firm yet extremely light fabrics – wools, technical silks, – enhance the precision of the lines and the weightlessness of the sartorial construction, with flattened crinkles, photoprints of graphic assemblages and progressive stripe patterns giving rhythm to the surfaces. Macro chiné motifs have a painterly feel, mineral dyes add depth to denim.
The #UseTheExisting mindset is a brand’s commitment to use more and more wool and technical fabrics developed by the Zegna textile division with innovative processes from pre-existing sources. The “Achill” suit, entirely made with wool remnants from Zegna’s Achill farm, discarded during the process of suit making and then remixed and rewoven, fully closes the circle of traceability and sustainability. In keeping with the functional mood, accessories are pragmatic: bold-soled printed boots or derbies; signature Claudio sneakers; wearable notebooks and pouches in small geometric shapes.
The sense of industrial elegance is rounded by the mix of mineral hues of cement, steel, carbon and matt black with earthy tones of brass, rust, red blaze, sand and matt gold and light notes of nude, aqua, leaf green, teal and oxidized copper.
Transformation comes to the fore as just another aspect of inclusiveness: a Zegna pillar through and through.