Men’s clothing collection Zegna autumn 2023

Alessandro Sartori’s lifelong study of fabric development and tailoring means that he is perhaps uniquely qualified in his depth of technical knowledge to serve as the fashion house’s creative director. And as the captain of Zegna, which has long been committed to vertical integration and materials innovation, he’s also in a unique position to push manufacturing hardware forward while developing its own fashion software.

These attributes were synchronized this afternoon in a Zegna show that demonstrated the complementary relationship between the two. Starting with the technical—without being too technical—Sartori called the collection Cashmere Oasis as a nod to the house’s centuries-old nature reserve, as well as his ambition to expand the fiber’s traditional use as yarn in knitwear to apply it to more fabrications. Those that Zegna and its affiliates have successfully achieved today include bobbled casentinofluffy pile, sturdy bouclé, rain-proof wool melton, lightweight flannel and more that the house claimed a full 70% of the runway wear here is cashmere.

The remaining material was mostly recycled Zegna ‘Use The Existing’ wool, which was the main protagonist, especially in the opening gray section which used a work coat, a “tailored” (but unconstructed) jacket and a short sleeve jacket as templates to shape the upper part. – half silhouettes. There was also a strong collarless jacket with a raw hem made of more recycled wool, this time undyed. Another early highlight included a hand-folded and painted down-lined leather jacket worn over cashmere casentino shaket.

It was impressive to consider how much of the collection – seemingly tailored jackets sometimes in a jacquard pattern, 10-layer knits, cashmere and flannel outerwear – was made from innovatively treated cashmere. But what was the advantage? Except to be cashmere—the second most noble’ yarn after the hyper-expensive vicuña—one less glamorous advantage of being able to make an entire wardrobe out of it, Sartori offered, is its high resistance to creasing. More excitingly, Zegna’s development of materials, Sartori showed, allowed him to manipulate the stiffness and weight of his materials to create pieces with visible structure that are completely self-contained on the body, without lining or canvas.

All this upgraded hardware allows Sartori to improve, deepen and diversify its software. Its template is currently based on a strong and consistent silhouette that combines a wide leg shape with a more form-fitting top (at least when not layered with outerwear). Now the house is expanding its range—without compromising on quality—to give Zegna-heads endless opportunities to add new pieces to their wardrobe that will work in tandem with the old. Another upcoming opportunity—teased here in a Look 21 shirt and worn coat—will come when he unveils the fruits of a two-year development collaboration with Greg Chait, of The Elder Statesman, in Paris next month.

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