Standing at the forefront of the Milan Fashion Week, Alessandro Sartori’s ZEGNA Spring/Summer 2024 collection has not only captured the eye of the fashion industry, but also intrigued the senses with a bold reshaping of contemporary menswear.
In today’s rapidly changing society, Sartori raises a timely query: “What is the suit of today?.” His response is a complete transformation of men’s fashion as we know it, ushering in an era of “modern tailoring” that breaks free from the traditional constraints of the suit. He envisions the “new suit” as consisting of “two pieces made in the same color and fabric”, a fashion-forward combination of matching shirt and trousers, or a tank top paired with shorts.
For Spring/Summer 2024, ZEGNA spotlighted a fabric celebrated for its natural elegance and comfort – linen. The importance of this textile was symbolically represented by the 192 bales of raw linen gracing the San Fedele square in Milan, the clandestine gem chosen by Sartori as the backdrop for his open-air spectacle.
Despite the challenge of high noon’s harsh sunlight slightly dulling the exquisite palette – from gentle mint greens and vibrant oranges to flamingo pink, paired with muted earth tones, jute, gray, and chocolate brown – the collection was received with applause. Each piece was meticulously thought out, reflecting Sartori’s knack for detail and precision.
But what was more intriguing was the story behind the raw linen. Imported from Normandy, where the flax plant blossoms for a fleeting day in early summer, the bales of raw linen would re-enter the production cycle post-show. This aligns with ZEGNA’s commitment to Oasi Lino fibers, which they plan to certify as 100% traceable by 2024, reinforcing their dedication to sustainable fashion.
Not only does linen offer sustainability, but Sartori also credits the fabric with providing a fluid fit across various body types and demographics. He remarked, “We tried many different natural fibers but we noticed that linen, because of its nature, is the closest to cashmere.”
The collection showcased an array of linen ensembles in oversized, boxy forms, and slender, shorter proportions, with padding and canvas notably absent, contributing to an airy, light aesthetic. Signature pieces included three-quarter sleeve sack jackets, and vests doubling as tank tops. Sartori has also introduced a novel lapel, fused in the same shape as the collar, integrating it as part of the front of the garment.
With an expansive knowledge of fabrics and techniques, Sartori continued his exploration by employing various textures such as linen gabardine, linen faille, satin linen, washi-paper, raffia, silk or mohair poplin, silk canvas, and hammered nubuck.
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