The snowy runway was set by Swiss artist Thomas Flechtner and designed by Grafton Architects at Bocconi University in Milan. This frozen landscape with irregular lines of white plinths, showcase 45 diverse outfits in a suggestive scenography; that is the ambiance for the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Winter 2018 Menswear Show.
“We work around sartorial neologisms, which this season I have labelled with another neologism: Snowriting. Formal merges with informal in a sublime snowy scenario” described Alessandro Sartori, Zegna’s Artistic Director. “I wanted to emphasize the man versus nature aspect, so I thought of artist Thomas Flechtner and his incredible work. Our exchanges have been extremely interesting and constructive, which finally led to Thomas being actively involved in the design of the show experience. Outdoor spirit clashes with evolved tailoring, technology merges with tradition in a new expression of winter couture”.
The show had the opportunity to host many renowned celebrities, whose heads and shoulders were sprinkled with flakes of freshly fallen (yet artificial) snow. This snow was partially inspired by Oasi Zegna, the family’s natural reserve situated in Northern Italy.
The mountaineering capes feature jackets and coats inspired by bird’s footprints in the snow: especially the colors of the jacket, rust against violet, come respectively from tea and tobacco for the first, Crocus flower for the latter.
The innovative aspect of this collection is characterized by experimental fabrics, which were courteously supplied by Bonotto SpA, the high-end textile manufacturer that the Ermenegildo Zegna Group acquired last year. These included matte cotton corduroy used for jackets and a new woven leather fabric for a tennis-bag-style. Now, sport coats and top coats are in double-faced Oasi cashmere, a new fabric obtained by chemical free process with natural ingredients only.
The collection presents adjustable geometric necklines, carved and curved lapels, and tie scarves, but what really catches the attention is “one-and-a-half-breasted” construction: it’s a mix between single and double breasted, it is used on jackets as well as coats. This is like a single-button jacket with a sharp line when open, but it fits like a double-breasted jacket when closed. Moreover, long felted cashmere coats and cashmere jumpsuits featured semi-articulated pockets with color inserts at the seam.
With this collection, Sartori aimed at creating a different shape for menswear by combining traditional heritage with modernity, using new techniques and concepts inspired by nature itself. Sartori added, “I am interested in expanding traditional techniques, creating hybrid shapes that are apt for new uses, getting contemporary function out of traditional craft”.
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