Ermenegildo Zegna Couture S/S 2016
Master class in tailoring
If you ever have to bring an ingénue to a runway show and explain what men’s fashion is all about – why for thousands of professional men it’s a true obsession – there are few better starting points than Zegna Couture.
So smooth the presentation; so refined the fabrics; so subtle the sense of chic and, above all, so thoroughly now the whole mood at Zegna Couture’s latest important show which kicked off the spring 2016 men’s wear season in Milan on a balmy Saturday morning.
Opening in all black, designer Stefano Pilati worked a modern silhouette – slim-line jackets with the softest of shoulders, fluid, languid pants. He banished horsehair from interiors, substituting with layers of poplin for a lighter line. All looks were anchored by a fab set of footwear. Fringed Navajo moccasins in stamped leather; or sleek loafers whose tassels looked almost handcuffed. Occasionally, the tailoring recalled Giorgio Armani, though at the height of his powers two decades ago revolutionizing menswear when, by the by, Pilati was the fledgling talent discovering fabrics for Giorgio.
Though, today, Stefano’s brightest idea, literally, were a dozen rather wonderful Madras checks. Made in humongous mega plaids in eye catching candy floss shades of peppermint, rose and earth, Pilati utilized the material in loose trenches, jerkins, and even as backs to several check suits.
A great way to highlight the legendary fabric resources of Zegna and another example of how Pilati has made this storied brand into a noted trendsetter. He also kicked in lots of his signature tricks: military pouches; mini belts; fluid blouse shirts, scarf styling and nipped in ankles pants. Though minimalist in silhouette, the show rippled with color, with madras the iconic material.
“I wanted to reinvent constructed clothes. See through clothes with an aesthetic using transparency, which is not so common in men’s wear. A new sexiness but through tailoring,” commented the designer.
No one looks more like a fashion designer than Pilati, a figure out of central casting, with his tight curly beard and funky hauteur, whose all white catwalk with sunken stairway entrance was an ideal piece of staging.
Above all, the sense of lightness and ease made this collection a pleasure on the eyes; and a great intro to any fashion novice. The cast – a half-decade-older than many men’s shows in Italy – looked groomed and cool. Backstage, they wandered around, hesitating to undress. They knew they looked great, too.