Ermenegildo Zegna’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection, “Art for Earth,” was presented in Milan last Friday. Accompanied by a hashtag, “#UseTheExisting,” the latest collection eloquently touches on something the fashion industry is laser focused on right now—reducing, reusing, and recycling materials for a more sustainable future.
Guests in attendance arrived at an industrial space, and were first greeted to a set designed by Burea Betak—a dark, geometric, and sophisticatedly sustainable forest of ribbons that drew all eyes in. Devised in collaboration with multimedia American artist Anne Patterson, the set’s was made entirely of leftover Zegna materials. “Art for Earth” goes beyond a temporary show installation, too, as it encourages visitors to explore fashion’s greater meaning and is on view to the public through January 31.
As the lights dimmed, spotlights highlighted the suspended, transparent cube, while models made their way through a door-like entrance between ribbons. For Fall/Winter 2020, Ermenegildo Zegna XXX—the brand’s experimental workshop and label—focused on capturing the spirit of the season. Per usual, Artistic Director Alessandro Sartori focused on tailoring, but this time accentuated new details and utilitarian aspects of clothing for an expressive and outgoing lifestyle.
Although most silhouettes were neat and narrow, we did notice an approach to layering that was comfortable and casual. Flaps, patch pockets, and blazers with a Japanese-inspired side tie were seen, in addition to three-button suits, tapered trousers, and zip-up overshirts with low collars. Waistcoats, coats with deep back pleats, parkas, and short-sleeved blousons were seen, too—all experimental with shapes and new hues.
Another experimental facet was a focus on the materials in the collection, furthering the #UseTheExhibition approach. Natural and synthetic fibers were mixed together to create an array of patterns, such as a macro check, jacquard, moiré, and digital landscapes rendered in print. Recycled cashmere flannel lent to this new innovation, too, as was calf leather that was laser-patterned, hand-cut, printed, distressed, and tumbled. New for the collection, as well, was a series of hand-woven textiles that were developed in the san Patrignano community.
“At Zegna I have the privilege to experiment at every level, from the mix of fibers to the evolved tailoring shapes,” said Sartori. “It is all about reshuffling or hybridizing categories, breaking boundaries in order to explore new territories. This is our new tailoring lexicon. One experimentation leads to the next, in one seamless dialogue, always keeping in mind that our art should always respect the earth. That’s our mission, as both humans and fashion-makers.”
“Art for Earth” accessories went beyond the typical roster of items, too. Yes, there were new sunglasses, polished boots, and oversized bags, but there was a new item that’s sure to hit the top of everyone’s wish list this season—new camera bags.
Made in collaboration with Leica are an array of camera bags, holders, and straps fit for modern, practical masculinity. A play on textures and shapes is heightened by a muted palette of plaster, sand, brown quartz, and sky tones, rounded by touches of copper, ember red, rose gold, and matte black. In addition to Leica’s partnership, there’s also a partnership with INSTA-PACK—a functional crossbody bag inspired by a photographer’s attitude. Special for its debut is also the reappearance of a vintage Zegna logo, created in 1980 by the late graphic designer Bob Noorda.