Set against the stern glare of Alessandro Manzoni’s stone figure, the Zegna Spring/Summer 2024 collection became a testament to the harmonious blending of tradition with innovation. This collection unfolds the story of the brand’s resolute commitment to transforming the age-old language of fashion into an exciting, fresh dialogue, a testament to the power of creativity, and an homage to the enduring charm of linen.
The Zegna show, situated under the watchful gaze of the literary giant Manzoni, was an outdoor spectacle, a tribute to the author whose iconic novel, “The Betrothed”, was instrumental in shaping a unified Italian language, despite the country being a patchwork of regions, each with its unique dialects. This parallel seemed appropriate, as guests adorned identical Zegna baseball caps, evoking an atmosphere of collective unity amidst towering bales of linen.
Since his tenure at Berluti and currently at Zegna, Alessandro Sartori has been steadfast in his endeavor to cultivate a global language for tailoring, even as traditional sartorial codes become fragmented due to evolving tastes and styles. In Sartori’s words before the show, “The wardrobe of the future doesn’t revolve around classic references. It’s about tops, underpinnings, bottoms, and shoes… it’s not what the suit of the future will be, but how it will be”.
Sartori, having already established his fashion syntax, introduced a refreshing, lighter element this season, embodied by the newly branded Oasi Linen. The name is a nod to Zegna’s 100 square km nature reserve, highlighting the brand’s commitment to sustainability, which is as relevant in the 21st century as Sartori’s innovative designs. The event was flanked by 192 bales of deep golden linen, imported from Zegna’s partner producers in Normandy, a region famed for its linen, calvados, and cheese. Following the show, this unprocessed linen would embark on a journey to Zegna’s spinning facility, ready to be woven into the fabric of the future.
Approximately 70% of the collection is crafted from this Normandy-originating Oasi Linen, demonstrating remarkable ingenuity with the material. It was skillfully integrated into the lining of construction-free leather jackets with camp collars, and transformed into a wool-like texture for boxy “guru collared” jackets with cinching pleats. It found expression in apricot straight-cut pants paired with a rib-knit cardigan and, in deep V-neck shirts, shorts, and jackets, was fashioned into an innovative jacquard with irregular seams of color.
The palette of the collection echoed the stony backdrop of the Piazza San Fedele before transitioning into softer hues of pink, green, and blue. Amidst applause, Sartori made his appearance, framed by his models, his materials, and his groundbreaking collection. This moment of triumph seemed to echo Manzoni’s words: “the heart has always something to tell about the future to those who listen to it”. Sartori listened and delivered – with Zegna’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection, he not only envisions the future of fashion but shapes it.