Ermenegildo Zegna Couture A/W 2020 Milan Fashion Week Men's

Three male models stand shoulder to shoulder wearing various suit jackets and accessories
(Image credit: TBC)

Scene setting: The staging for Alessandro Sartori’s A/W 20 show amplified his commitment to sustainability with dramatic savoir faire. Imagine a large former foundry, grey and collapsed into darkness. Then thousands of fabric ribbons suspended from the ceiling swarm into view, their blues and greens quivering under the spotlight. A field of vivid strips made from stock materials, devised by New York-based artist Anne Patterson, served as a fitting backdrop to Sartori’s balanced mood. Models marched through a pathless wood with gusto and grace as the bass of the techno soundtrack smacked the glass windows. It was more than just another graphic backdrop to runway images – the set provided a physical manifestation of the brand’s commitment to the #UseTheExisting project.

Mood board: Zegna’s #UseTheExisting is a philosophical commitment to developing more refined, less harmful textile milling and dyeing processes. It’s time to remake and reuse. 50% of the A/W 20 collection was made from salvaged fabrics including recycled cashmere flannel and suiting wool derived entirely from remnants. The look explored a hybridised approach to smart dressing. The line was neat, clothes layered. Boxy three-button suits one-breast-and-a-half jackets and carrot-shaped tapered trousers were worn under lightly padded blousons. Standout were tailored one-button waistcoats and bold, elegant macro moiré suiting.

Sound bite: There is always room to build new archetypes for menswear. ’The collection is all about reshuffling or hybridising categories, breaking boundaries in order to explore new territories,’ Sartori said. ‘One experimentation leads to the next, in one seamless dialogue, always keeping in mind that our art should always respect the earth. That’s our mission, as both humans and fashion-makers’. The Zegna man is suited and sensitive.  

London based writer Dal Chodha is editor-in-chief of Archivist Addendum — a publishing project that explores the gap between fashion editorial and academe. He writes for various international titles and journals on fashion, art and culture and is a contributing editor at Wallpaper*. Chodha has been working in academic institutions for more than a decade and is Stage 1 Leader of the BA Fashion Communication and Promotion course at Central Saint Martins. In 2020 he published his first book SHOW NOTES, an original hybrid of journalism, poetry and provocation.