Ermenegildo Zegna: Nature/ Man/ Machine

July 17th was the day of the SS21 Ermenegildo Zegna menswear show.

In lieu of a traditional fashion show, creative director Alessandra Sartori chose to present the collection in a “phygital format”. The global pandemic has made it necessary for all of us to evolve and adapt and Sartori has wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity for an innovative replacement to a fashion show. Through a series of drone shots and recorded camera shots, live streaming and slow motion video, his newest collection came to life.

This year marks an impressive 110th anniversary for the company. Plans were originally put in place to celebrate this milestone with a show in Trivero, the home of the Oasi Zegna nature reserve. In spite of the setbacks, Sartori still opted to showcase the collection there and simply change the format. Thanks to the “phygital” display, far more of the beautiful estate was showcased as drones swooped over the models making their way along the 3.3 kilometre catwalk.

Viewing the video is a truly immersive experience. It feels as though you walk alongside the models as they move through the beautiful cobbled gardens towards the working factory looms. Sartori wanted the collection itself to “express what Zegna stands for, which is nature; humanity and men; machine and technology”. The models wore kimono style jerkins, double breasted suits and patch pockets were included on the majority of the pieces. There was also a definite theme of exploration with oversized and outdoorsy pieces, and a nature inspired colour scheme. In the final part of the video, where all the models walked onto the roof of the Lanificio Zegna headquarters, their coloured clothes formed an ombre effect. Soft pinks and ivory blended into slate grey and finally into forest greens and browns as the models stood with a backdrop of the Italian alpine foothills.

Notably, recycled wools were used to construct the beautiful suits and 35% of the fabric used in the entire collection was recycled. Sartori is also confident that they will reach a 50% recycled rate soon. Sustainability appears to be a key focus for the brand and in particular with this collection, as Sartori expressed his desire for the “garments to be kept for multiple seasons and multiple usage”. With eco-consciousness, the contrast of industrial and natural backdrops and innovative filming techniques, Sartori succeeded in demonstrating a perfect amalgamation of nature, man and machine.

By Sophie Easton