Milan Men’s Fashion Week F/W 2020 Part 1
The Milan season opened with Alessandro Sartori’s tactile sustainability tailoring while Pitti Uomo saw the return of Pontius Pilati to the runway with Random Identities
The Pitti and Milan men’s schedule gave us an interesting juxtaposition. On Thursday night, Stefano Pilati returned to the runway at Pitti Uomo with his new label Random Identities while his last show as designer for Zegna Couture was four years ago for F/W 2016; a memorable Haute Couture show with a blend of opulence, über rich fabrics, dandy embellishments and dynamite tailoring where the models each wore a number on their arm like in the old Parisian salon days. Not to forget the high four digit price tags for the coats and suits. Ultimately, the Zegna adventure did not work out but Pilati who has been living in Berlin for half a decade and has found his groove again by adding his outstanding tailoring and fabric skills to the gender bending Zeitgeist of Berlin. In the Random Identities world even little kids wear heeled boots as was the case in the show. Pilati wore the last look himself, a fine double-breasted camel coat worn with tough boots telegraphing his serious return to fashion. A showroom in Paris will actually sell this collection, not just Instagram posts anymore. “This is the beginning of a new decade for me,” Pilati exclaimed at the end.
Ermenegildo Zegna XXX
Alessandro Sartori now firmly holds the reins of his Ermenegildo Zegna XXX by embracing the future of fashion and being serious about sustainability and dialing down the extreme Couture factor – instead deftly mixing tailoring and sportswear at the core. Hence, the new logo where XXX symbolizes hand stitching and has replaced the word Couture. Sartori has also left a mark in his few years at Zegna by completely reinventing the business model with CEO Gildo Zegna. Offerings were scaled down, ad campaigns reflect a new masculinity, Couture is mixed with classic and sporty Z Zegna in stores, and one color card for all design teams and most importantly, Sartori brought back new skills as shoe designer from Berluti in Paris. His Tiziano sneaker is probably the men’s luxury world’s most sold sneaker by now gracing the shop windows on Via Montenapoleone. He has helped the company to grow again.
Sartori had two big innovations. A double-breasted jacket, which was belted on the side, and a new single-breasted form where the three buttons were slightly moved to the right to make for a taut and precise silhouette as in look Nr. 2. One of the key messages was the extreme layering of shorter, often padded bombers over flowing, tailored jackets to increase the fluidity of the silhouette.
Sartori brought back the vest as a stand-alone item over shirts and knitwear, he had some of the models carrying Leica cameras, he introduced a clever abstract logo sweatshirt and outfitted his show space with recycled fabric strands.
The old is new ?
Nearly fifty percent of the collection was made with fabrics, which were recycled by Zegna from its own dead stock to produce new yarns. To achieve this, Zegna is investing heavily in new machinery to prove that the company is doing something about sustainability.
The styling trick ?
By adding black berets on some of the models, Sartori injected a clever Ray Petri Buffalo gang vibe, which is trending again right now.
While always looking for a multi-ethnic line up, Sartori injected a new tougher stance to his casting. The first model with cropped hair looked like a street-smart skater from Moscow and not the softer gentlemen Sartori used to prefer.