To kick off their Spring Summer 2023 collection, Zegna has gone back to where it all began. Literally. To watch the show, guests of the brand were driven some 120 kilometres out of Milan to the town of Trivero, the location of the Zegna family home and the mill that creates the fabrics for Zegna’s suits and clothing – the lab, so to speak, for artistic director Alessandro Sartori to develop his vision for menswear.
While that vision remains as clear as ever, it has become more reflexive. If the location wasn’t a hint, the direction of the clothing was much clearer. Since the brand made the decision to close down its three strains of output – Ermenegildo Zegna, Z Zegna and the recent XXX Triple Stitch couture collection – and instead focus on one syncretic practice, Zegna has been able to distinguish what it stands for as a menswear label. Tailoring continues to be a blueprint that Sartori is determined to expand the meaning of, one that includes both casual and sporting elements. Fluidity, lightness and hybridity are three words that are on constant rotation in the Sartori x Zegna lexicon and this remains the underpinning philosophy for SS ’23.
In the press notes for the show, Sartori defines his ambitions for the brand as a question: “what’s next for tailoring? And for the needs of the lives of today?”
“The idea is to use our craftsmanship as a progressive tool, keeping the finesse, the attention to detail, the respect of materials while experimenting with shapes that are light and materials, solutions and finishes that give these shapes a new technicality, to mostly building up a new silhouette where effortless and innovation create a new style for men. In doing so, we keep expanding and solidifying a distinctive language, the one of Zegna,” says Alessandro.
Sartori’s signature shacket remains ever present, being the bridge between the traditional tailoring and workwear and the more relaxed motif that Zegna has adopted as the direction for menswear. Quarter-zip sweatshirts and ultra-light knit shirting gave additional volume to the already loose-fitting silhouette that seems to float around rather than cover the body. Collars are removed from jackets – a finishing detail that feels almost pre-destined in the trajectory of post-tie dressing.
Materials and fabrication are where Sartori is clearly having his most fun. The importance of fabrication and their materiality – subtle indicated by the location of the show itself, on the rooftop of the Lanificio Zegna wool mill – has become a dictionary for this language of Zegna that Sartori is schooling us all in. Innovative blends of paper and linen were used to create jackets and stiffened terry gave subtle texture to said shackets.