Ermenegildo Zegna kicks off Milan men’s fashion week with a show in a most unusual venue, the city’s railway station, Stazione Centrale, an icon of the past but a major ‘hub’ for undocumented immigrants for at least a decade. Despite renovations and the addition of upscale hotels in its vicinity, Milan’s train station has yet to re-invent its awareness and perception.
Completed in the 1930s, Mussolini personally insisted on giant steel canopies for the station’s enormous glass roof to symbolize the power of Fascism. Though that mattered little when in April 1945 his corpse was hung upside down at a nearby Esso gas station.
The brand’s Creative Director Alessandro Sartori who used cutting edge digital technology to reimagine the collonaded facade. presented what the Italian luxury brand calls Ermenegildo Zegna XXX (Spring Summer 2019), its version of men’s couture. Despite Zegna’s DNA which is rooted in sartorial elegance, Satori’s mission was ‘nothing that recalls classic design’.
Using fabrics such as pre-existing post-consumer natural materials, which have been recycled with innovative processes, he featured a collection of military-inspired utility pieces amidst statues and friezes. The Cesare sneaker gets a military upgrade into desirable combat boots, cargo pants are narrowly tapered with tri-utility bands, multi-texture khakis with less-than-expected colour blocking, while bombers with envisaged XXX prints are matched with leather trousers.
Family owned Zegna has been confirming signs of a general slow-down including China, one of its major markets. Zegna has also been striving to stay relevant in a fashion scene dominated by athleisure and especially sneakers.
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