Under the watchful eye of one of Italy’s most influential literary figures (books and words, it seems, are playing a pivotal role at this year’s Milan Fashion Week) Alessandro Manzoni, Zegna artistic director Alessandro Sartori continued his unique dialogue on menswear.
Hinting at what would be the main character for this particular chapter of the Zegna story, bales of raw linen surrounded the runway. Imported in from their growing partner in Normandy, this was just a stopover point before it would head to the Zegna HQ to be transformed into the new Zegna-house form of it dubbed Oasi Lino. Like he has done for the Oasi Cashmere and merino wool in previous collections, Sartori was creating a story built around another key Zegna fibre.
The summer fabric par excellence, it is also the perfect fibre for Sartori’s vision of fluidity in menswear – that delightful lightness that links all of his designs. For Spring Summer 2024, Sartori’s lexicon on men’s fashion now includes unstructured leather jackets lined in linen; shirting with the three-quarter length sleeve continues on from the last collection, complimenting the fullness of the trousers.
Blazers and coats were airy and construction free while trompe l’oeil collars further streamlined their elegant simplicity. Jumpsuits offered pragmatic simplicity and vests worn as tank tops spoke to the versatility of the pieces to be worn as layers or speak with their own voice.
In an era where celebrity and clout are now part of the chemistry required to helm a fashion house, Sartori is evidence that technical skill and actual hands-on knowledge of garment making is still essential to creating clothing that pushes boundaries as equally as it is still beautiful and functional.
The colour palette was a delicious concoction of gelato-like shades: mint, chocolate, caramel, peach and bourbon vanillas.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Sartori is peerless when it comes to understanding the manipulation of fabrics and their potential. His lifelong study of both fabric development and tailoring has found the perfect home at Zegna which has become as much a laboratory for technical and creative experimentation as it is a fashion house.