The shift away from street and toward new types of tailored clothing is gathering pace, and what a relief that must be for brands like Ermenegildo Zegna that are rooted in the classics, fabric innovation and elegant attire.
The changes are happening everywhere, with men’s fashion smartening up even in a streetwear capital like London, where designers are paying more attention than ever to detail, finish and fine fabrics.
Zegna’s Alessandro Sartori is clearly relishing the moment, mixing tailoring with street, and trying to create an easy and elegant uniform for modern men, some of whom actually miss wearing a suit and others who’ve never worn one and are sartorially curious.
At the core of Sartori’s rich, soft-edged fall collection was a slimmed-down take on the double-breasted jacket: It can be worn open or closed and with the collar up or down. Some had three buttons, others had karate-style belts, and others still, zipper pockets.
They were layered over zip-front tops, or polo shirts — without a necktie in sight.
Outerwear, too, captured the new mood, and ranged from roomy coats with sloping shoulders and moiré patterns to patterned patchwork blanket coats to thoroughly urban puffers, done in quilted leather, or printed, recycled nylon.
Sustainability is big news at Zegna, which has been recycling or upcycling wool, nylon and cashmere fibers, spinning or weaving them into new fabric or stuffing them into puffers, shoulder linings or coat paddings.
Friday night’s show set was all about sustainability. The American artist and sculptor Anne Patterson transformed old Zegna fabric into 3,500 colored ribbons that hung from the ceiling of the rough-edged venue, a former mechanical components factory.
The long ribbons quivered as models walked through them, reflecting the soft, supple qualities of this collection, and the great eco-aspirations at Zegna.