Since the arrival of Stefano Pilati at Zegna, the clothes have taken on a new polish, a new clarity and some great fashion. He has infused the collection with any number of details that have modernized this one staid conservative men’s collection and Spring is no different in many ways and then in some it is head and shoulders apart from what was.
What struck me this season is that unfortunately Pilati has decided to play the nubile young boy game instead of the cosmopolitan dapper man who he began with and has since dumped. Sadly, many of these boys appear not to be comfortable in what they wear and that forces the collection to suffer. Couple or add some flourishes like the unhemmed pants, the scarf above the collar line, the wretched Birkenstock like sandal and the ubiquity of sneakers are all detractors from the main event.
Then there are the very subtle almost subliminal flourishes that set Pilati apart from the flock. His use of tech fabrics and then transferring the men’s classic pattern onto them, the curving of the double breasted hemline, the elongated silhouette, the slightly boxy shapes and an amazing palette are all things that need to be taken into account and are probably very telling of the season ahead.
I also noticed a bit of Gaultier in the beginning and perhaps there was a bit of the modernists as well but that is hardly bothersome. It is the overall styling that disturbs me far more and causes a malaise of sorts. There is a deficit of crispness and defined line that was so evident last season.
Personally, I preferred that the collection had a bit more swagger rather than trendoid influences and that Pilati had not chosen the “blend in” styling including the use of such young men as exemplars of the brand. Did I like the collection? … Yes! Did I love the collection? … No!