Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ermenegildo Zegna spring 2018



Upon first viewing, my initial reaction was WTF has happened here and what was Alessandro Sartori thinking here but upon second look it became abundantly clear that this collection was not quite as shocking as my  initial knee jerk reaction. 
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Zegna, for a jillion years was the last bastion of men’s tailored clothing that was a staple for retailers and businessmen on an international stage. Sartori has reimagined the brand in a sort of farfetched way by bringing that urban street wear vibe to this usually staid house but he has somehow done it while retaining the actual DNA of the brand.
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Yes the shapes are jolting as are the proportions when you have been conditioned to expect the slim trim neat as a pin look that has been long associated with the brand but look closer and you will see it is there right in front your eyes, you just have look beyond the obvious. Tailoring is present and accounted for “bigly!” What is jarring is the magnified proportions and detailing, mostly made to the upper body in the form of sweaters, blousons and even baseball jackets…. Nod to trend! Then you take into account a palette, menu of fabrics  and a range of patterns that seem at odds with a brand that’s rooted in the classics but yet they have been reinterpreted and massaged  which  reminds us that Sartori isn’t far off the mark. 
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Fabrications are key here; from the over bleached out denim which is almost unrecognizable to the cotton lace looks that resembled some old grandma tablecloth from  your youth. The perfect camel and white patternings that turn simple shapes into object of desire. Sartori even takes a shot at reimagining the fashion staple... the safari jacket; he magnifies the pocket treatments and loosens up the silhouette... presto a new look created by carefully manipulating the classics. Staying in that vein is how the classics are thrown for a loop by being offered in non-traditional colors or using traditional fabrics to render non traditional silhouettes… jogging pants! This favorite of too many designers has been this “athleisure” idea which most times too closely resembles a track suit or workout clothes but Sartori takes the mesh fabric concept to the next level… yes it looks like the stretch protective covering used to prevent bruising or breakage but he uses it in such a way that there is no joke or “play on words.” The mesh is used as a layering component that gives it gravitas and purpose rather than a wink to its original purpose.
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I could say more but I think you get the point! I tip my hat to the designer.