At Milan's Allianz Mico, Alessandro Sartori, the creative genius behind Zegna, orchestrated a mesmerising spectacle, seeing his designs swirling around a colossal heap of vibrant orange woollen scraps. The catwalk's backdrop was a cascade of Oasi cashmere fibres, gently descending from the heavens to form a massive mound, symbolising Zegna's commitment to the Oasi recycling process at its in-house mill.
Under Sartori's guidance, Zegna has established itself as a bastion of craftsmanship, weaving a narrative with its signature vicuna shade. Each season Zegna reinforces the brand's view of fashion as a transformative force, utilising fabrics, colours, and stunning silhouettes. The mountain of cashmere shavings in the show's centre mirrored the timelessness of academic theory, with each look serving as a vessel for individuality and interpretation.
The collection introduced newfound wardrobe classics, unveiling a plethora of intelligent layering ideas in a nature-inspired palette of monochrome. The stellar casting breathed life into this mesmerising system of wardrobe essentials, showcasing the diversity of life and personal style.
From three-layered cashmere overshirts to water-resistant, flocked-fronted jumpers, the innovation flowed seamlessly. Rugged yet sleek boots with shearling lining, a pleated and pocketed jacket, and super-long overcoats in melton wool painted a picture of versatility and sophistication. Alessandro Sartori's Zegna is a treasure trove of marvellous and innovative clothes, transforming the runway into what CEO Gildo Zegna aptly describes as an "ideas lab."
This show was a spotlight on the advancements in the brand's laboratory, where Sartori tirelessly explores new fabrications and develops forward-looking clothing solutions. It resulted in an open system where versatility takes the lead.
The runway's atmospheric soundtrack, curated in collaboration with friend-of-the-house James Blake, echoed the motifs and thoughts of the collection. Lyrics from Blake's discography, hauntingly painful, seamlessly matched the atmosphere of the cosmic venue.
Sartori, in an interview following the show, revealed his vision for Zegna's new set of classics. These classics, he emphasised, are generous, effortless, and durable, allowing for versatile styling.
As cashmere crumbs delicately fell from the ceiling, the central textile emerged as the hero, enveloping blazers, anoraks, blousons, vests, and the new "II Conte" jacket. Even gloves and plongé leather jackets embraced the luxurious fabric.
"In the Oasi of Cashmere, transformation is affirmed as evolution and adaptation, style as effortlessness," concluded the show notes. The modern Zegna man, appreciating distilled, high-quality garments, adheres to his personal style laws, undeterred by passing trends. With Zegna's abundance of cashmere, he's guaranteed never to go cold.
Words by Jheanelle Feanny