“We’re here because it’s a place of connection. We liked the idea of a big hub where people are coming and going, where we connect diversity, different stories, but most of all, human beings,” said Ermenengildo Zegna artistic director Alessandro Sartori of this season’s venue: the gargantuan Milano Centrale railway station at night.
This idea of interconnecting lines was picked up in the square constructions of the clothes, with big square patches of suede sewn together on hybrid tops, and on the line’s jacquard knits step motifs and gleaming embroideries of commuters. Even the simpler looks, like a plum jacket with a sweater underneath, had angular light gray cuffs peeking out.
The designer blew up and downsized checks on looks, including a great coat, also in a warm shade of plum, with two contrasting bordeaux lines crossing the front.
Returning to a stronger tailoring proposition, the aim, explained Sartori during a preview, was to move in a “chic, less street” direction, albeit skewed toward a relaxed, easy, sporty attitude with the younger guy in mind who wants to wear tailoring “in a different way from before.”
It translated into a mix of comfortable, soft, light shapes, some with down padding, offset with sharp details. Light summer weights were used for layering, with the designer experimenting with volumes and lengths. The palette encompassed wintry in-between tones of beluga black, khaki, blue and gray.
Key silhouettes included a drop-shoulder military blouson in crisp khaki gabardine with a tailored collar, paired with a jodhpur-style pant with utilitarian pockets and a series of bands cuffing the legs.
Finishing the looks were striking hats molded from a single piece of felt by the recently acquired historic hatmaker Cappellificio Cervo; boots with double uppers, and new takes on the Cesare and Claudio handwoven leather sneakers. It felt very experimental in texture and shine, sometimes tipping into futurist territory.
Thirty percent of the collection — from natural to technical — was made from sustainable materials under the “Use the Existing” banner supported by the Zegna textile division that can be regenerated ad infinitum, much like the graphic interconnecting print decorating the rush-hour coats.