Milan was incredibly strong this Fall/Winter 2017 season. Of the brands that show there, though, none can really contest Ermenegildo Zegna where mens luxury fashion is concerned.
The brand recently hired Alessandro Sartori, previously of Berluti, to replace Stefano Pilati after he left the brand – making it one of the most anticipated and observed shows of the season.
As hard an act as Pilati is to follow, Sartori made an incredibly assured and confident debut for Zegna. His main effort in the collection was visibly the contextualisation of sportswear in the realm of luxury men’s clothing. It’s a tricky line to tread, especially if you consider the place this Italian house occupies within fashion – Zegna Group is, besides being a retailer of finished garments, a supplier of luxury fabrics. All that considered, it’s easy to simply do as Dunhill and Canali have often done and err on the side of dullness.
Yet Sartori’s strength is in finding relevant beauty within classicism and elevating what we think we know well and are bored of. The result, as proven at Berluti and here at his debut, is a fiercely refined marriage of contemporary and classic details and silhouettes.
This look, for instance, is cut in a very classic silhouette and proportion, furnished with details to make it fresh. Contrasting quilted sleeves, a tab button fastening, elastic trouser hems, all worn with a white shirt cut with a low V neck reminiscent of Japanese styles.
In this look, Sartori takes the by-now simple formula of a dressed-down suit to a higher level of refinement with a few smart tweaks. A faintly embossed check pattern on the jacket and trousers is a perfect point of visual interest for even the least sartorially daring dressers. That, combined with a beautiful panelled leather bag (I’m waiting for details on that one) and a pair of leather trainers, makes for a compelling update on casual tailoring. Note that the proportions and silhouette are, though at ease, precise and exacting.
Beyond shoes, I’m excited to see what else Alessandro Sartori brings to Zegna’s Couture line and the rest of the brand. His work at Berluti means that we’ll be getting shoes to die for, so the question that remains is the clothing – which is, arguably, the heart and soul of the brand.