Digital fashion presentations continue this week and amongst the global chaos, the fashion world seek hope in the “new normal” and more confidence that fashion brands can power through the global pandemic. Over the weekend we witnessed the latest collection by Italian’s superior menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna, who this year celebrated their 110th anniversary – an achievement on its own. Having started as a textile mill in Trivero, Italy and to later encompass clothing manufacturing, Ermenegildo Zegna continues a traditional connection with nature, which is not just as a provider of resources and raw materials but also as a unique richness of diversities to preserve.
Filmed in the archetypal Lanificio Zegna of Trivero and in the Oasi, the Summer 2021 collection was a project that includes both clothing and the different way in which they can be presented. By fusing a digital and a live experience, the fashion house explored the unique bond between nature and machine, whose connection is the man himself.
A sense of fluidity and precision pervades the collection, both in the shapes and the chromatic choices. Volumes are liquid and generous, in ineffable and impalpable amalgamations of clay, cowslip yellows, hydrangea pinks, sienite greys, river stone blues, carabus greens and slate blacks; materials are lightweight yet firm.
Experimenting with dropped shoulders, lowered collars, layered forms and a poetic sense of functionality expressed by outsized pockets and zips that allow volumes to expand, Artistic Director, Alessandro Sartori extends the sartorial quest for new hybrid categories that defines his vision of Zegna. Inspired by the osmosis of different worlds, he cuts outerwear in shirting fabrics, and vice versa, allowing the wearer a complete freedom of combination and interpretation when it comes to items. What comes across is a sense of ease that is fluid and uncontrived, underlined by the mock turtleneck underpinnings that replace shirts under blazers and shirt jackets, by the duster coats and the liquid trousers that draw an elongated and nonchalant silhouette. Rounded loafers with massive soles and sandals ground the looks. Tie dye prints enrich the layering of colours and textures, suggesting a further mimesis of man and nature.
“A moment like this can easily lead to a glorification of flawless precision of the machine – says Artistic Director Alessandro Sartori – but at Zegna, in respect of a humanist tradition that is profoundly Italian, we believe that the human being always sits at the centre, in harmony with nature. It is sensitivity and creativity, human qualities par excellence, that get the best out of machines. Without man, everything would be soulless. This project reflects this union of sensibilities, which is also a balance of past and future, of inside and outside, in a cohesive yet multifaceted opus”.
Images courtesy of Ermenegildo Zegna