Ermenegildo Zegna: Alessandro Sartori reveals his Secret Garden
All about self-assured nonchalance at Ermenegildo Zegna, where a cast of young models paraded around a beautiful cloister inside the University of Milan, recreated as a sunset red desert.
Starlings and swallows flew crazy patterns in the sky above, alarmed by a dozen drummers who kicked off the show dramatically, pounding loudly from an upper floor. It turned out the cloister’s arching silhouette and dusty redbrick colors were the inspiration for Zegna’s creative director Alessandro Sartori
“I went to the design school in Milan, not here. But I loved to come to this very space. It was my ideal place to sketch. All the colors and line come from this magic garden. It is a place I love,” he confessed.
The result was a classic silhouette – but playing radically with new proportions by using special fabrics in oversized bombers and long coats.
“They inflate when a guy walks. That’s because the fabric is about 100 grams per meter. In linen, cotton and silk. But when the models stand, the clothes becomes a normal line. That’s the idea – transformation,” smiled the designer.
It’s a measure of how much Sartori has imposed his style on Zegna that a house famous for producing polished business suits staged a collection utterly devoid of shirts and ties. Above all, he developed a striking new line – feather light jerkins that billowed as the young cast paraded past – whether in perforated leather or stripy silk. Throughout there was an arty mood, notably with some very, very washed out denim redingotes.
Though his most dramatic idea were leather blousons, coats and bags made in a cracked marble pattern. Sartori also showed splendid white loose weave blazers, nipped at the waist silk pajama trousers and crinkly blend surgeon’s smocks. The mood was sophisticated nomadic summing up the sense of adventure and openness in Milan, as Italy finally appears to be exiting an eight-year economic slump.
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