The centre of the catwalk, a soothing and interesting installation featured a mountain of cashmere petals falling from the ceiling and resembling the movement of autumn leaves. Zegna picked this scene to display Alessandro Sartori’s collection for next autumn/winter 24 25, in which cashmere reigns supreme. It is the trait d’union of a wardrobe made up of items that can be layered and mixed in a variety of ways, from tops to bottoms, up to accessories. The glowing heap was painted in the Italian fashion house’s characteristic vicuna colour and was designed to replicate the brand’s sala delle mischie, or mixing chambers, at its headquarters, Oasi Zegna, in Trivero, inside Milan’s Allianz Mico, Italy.
“As a physical place and way of thinking, the Oasi Zegna, the center of our world, is a real laboratory – explains Alessandro Sartori – a place in which we can explore new materials, develop new shapes, create clothing solutions suitable for the present. Here we experiment with natural fibers and colors, decoding functions and recoding lines to create an open system of elements that frees personal interpretation. We do this in the constant search for beauty and excellence, with a responsible commitment to the environment, following a healthy idea of fashion as transformation: of fabrics, colors, silhouettes”.
Sartori’s theory revolves around the concept of metamorphosis, from substance to colour. If the forms do overlap, multifunctionality is reinterpreted via clothing that allow for several applications, ranging from coats with enveloping volumes to down jackets with ultrasonic stitching. Versatility was at the forefront.
The collection is completed with a blazer with a double collar, a collarless anorak, the new ‘Il Conte’ jacket produced from the archive, and spacious trousers. This presentation aimed to demonstrate the developments in the menswear imprint’s laboratory, a place where creative director Alessandro Sartori says he “can tirelessly explore new fabrications, develop new forms, devise forward-looking clothing solutions suited for the show.”
The textures are unique: multi-melange shetland/cashmere, pure cashmere beaver, washed cloth, inlaid or 3D workwear, plongé leather lined with cashmere, and raw denim. The soundtrack, crafted by artist and friend James Blake, a worldwide icon known for his soulful voice and electronic experimentations, was unquestionably the cherry on top of one of the most thrilling shows of 2018 men’s fashion week.
James Blake, a friend of the House, collaborated with Sartori to create the spectacle’s devastatingly beautiful music. The lyrics from the artist’s discography were unpleasant.: “In the end, it was friends that broke my heart.” Those words echoed through the cosmic venue over and over again, matching the “motifs and thoughts of the collection,” per the show notes.
Sartori is on a mission building a new set of classics as Zegna’s new forms are based on the House’s dynamic ones, avoiding what the designer refers to as “multi-purposeless,” or a lack of versatility. Sartori described “classics” as “generous, effortless, and durable.” He added, “You should be able to style them in many different ways.” To satisfy these standards, the fashion designer emphasized academic cutting, deliberate layering, and a (mainly) monochromatic finish.
Sartori redesigned the loden coat by stitching three layers of cashmere together like a sandwich. He converted a quilted jacket into a “sonic welded duvet,” which was sandwiched between two sheets of cashmere.
Sweaters with puckered sectionals, internal cushioning, and shaved cashmere façade were used as the outermost layer in numerous combinations. “Cashmere is the chosen fibre in winter,” Sartori said.
Clearly, the current Zegna man values a refined, high-quality outfit that deserves the eternal moniker of classic. He defies trends in favour of adhering to the rules of his own unique style, which remains popular due to its simple appearance. And with all that cashmere, it’s safe to assume he’ll never be chilly.
“In the Oasi of Cashmere, transformation is affirmed as evolution and adaptation, style as effortlessness,” the show notes concluded. Oasi represents ZEGNA: past, present, and future. It is a place in hearts and thoughts. It’s an effort to ensure “quality of life, attention to future generations and a mirror to highest industrial quality” .
The brand’s actual home is Oasi ZEGNA, a 100km2 public-access natural zone in Piedmont, Italy’s Alps. The original ZEGNA Wool Mill, which opened in 1910 and is still in operation, is located here. Oasi Zegna signifies a pursuit for brilliance and beauty, which is concisely expressed in Oasi Cashmere, the pinnacle of sartorial excellence.
Matter Matters’: discover the craft, experience the future.