Ermenegildo Zegna Couture A/W 2018
Mood board: the Zegna man is always at his best when he swaps the toil of the city for the tranquillity of nature. So, for A/W 2018, artistic director Alessandro Sartori presents a modular wardrobe fusing indoors and outdoors, tailoring and sports. Colours are taken from the Oasi Zegna – the park above the Zegna factory in Biella, owned and maintained by the company since the 1920s. (It even has its own ski slope.) Cashmere has been dyed using a sustainable process developed by Lanificio Zegna; hues are drawn from flowers, herbs, wood, leaves and roots – the nature of nurture.
Scene setting: Christmas may be a distant memory, but the lights are still up in Italy. Only last week Moncler installed giant snowmen outside its new Florence boutique. At Zegna, guests walked through a snow shower, whilst it was unseasonably warm outside. Guests descended into the basement of the brutalist Università Bocconi, their shoulders and hair studded with flecks of white. The mood was influenced by a collection of photographs of frozen landscapes by Swiss artist Thomas Flechtner. In his series SNOW, published in 2002, Flechtner muses on the relationship between the metaphysics of nature and our own state of mind; Sartori dressed it. A long stretch of fresh fake snow bathed in icy blue light formed the catwalk.
Best in show: the bright, full-puffa ski suits on display in Pitti last week were dialled down for the mainline collection – here, they’re in a chevron, cut short and away from the body shown in navy and black. The show opened with single-button tailored jackets with ski-wear inspired wider belts across the waist – a ‘one 1/2 breasted’ construction. Elsewhere a pleated jumper and track pant were as sharp as they were fluid. The ‘XXX’ logo was splashed across the collection in various iterations; writ large as in a jacquard across jackets or small across the rim of knitted beanie hats.