Nature, Man, Machine: Ermenegildo Zegna XXX Summer 2021 Collection

A sense of fluidity and precision pervades the Ermenegildo Zegna XXX Summer 2021 collection.

This year marks the 110th anniversary of Ermenegildo Zegna. Also taking into account the challenging times the world is currently going through, the brand has decided to reassess and strengthen its core values. Having started as a textile mill to later encompass clothing manufacturing, Ermenegildo Zegna since its inception has had a strong connection with nature. In fact, the brand sees nature not just as a provider of resources and raw materials, but also as a unique richness of diversities to preserve; hence the Oasi Zegna.


The Ermenegildo Zegna XXX Summer 2021 collection presented a project that includes both clothing and a different way to present them fusing a digital and live experience. It is an exploration of the unique bond between nature and machine connected by man as a sensitive and sensible being. Filmed in the archetypal Lanificio Zegna of Trivero and in the Oasi, the meta, or rather hyper, fashion show is a subjective flow that seamlessly crosses lands and aisles, open-air and operating plants to finally create a singular reality where the natural element and the textile loom merge in dynamic harmony while clothing perfectly defines new categories and new solutions. True to the #UseTheExisting mindset which keeps informing Zegna’s actions, the show happens in places that exist and that are profoundly telling of the Zegna ethos.

A sense of fluidity and precision pervades the collection, both in the shapes and the chromatic choices. Volumes are liquid and generous, in ineffable and impalpable amalgamations of clay, cowslip yellows, hydrangea pinks, sienite grays, river stone blues, carabus greens and slate blacks. Materials are lightweight yet firm: wool, hemp, raw fibers, linen, paper/silk, papery Nappa and also #UseTheExisting wools.

Experimenting with dropped shoulders, lowered collars, layered forms and a poetic sense of functionality expressed by outsized pockets and zips that allow volumes to expand, Alessandro Sartori extends the sartorial quest for new hybrid categories that defines his vision of Zegna. Inspired by the osmosis of different worlds, he cuts outerwear in shirting fabrics, and vice versa, allowing the wearer complete freedom of combination and interpretation when it comes to items. What comes across is a sense of ease that is fluid and uncontrived, underlined by the mock turtleneck underpinnings that replace shirts under blazers and shirt jackets, by the duster coats and the liquid trousers that draw an elongated and nonchalant silhouette. Rounded loafers with massive soles and sandals ground the looks. Tie-dye prints enrich the layering of colors and textures, suggesting further mimesis of man and nature.

 

“A moment like this can easily lead to a glorification of flawless precision of the machine,” says Sartori. “But at Zegna, in respect of a humanist tradition that is profoundly Italian, we believe that the human being always sits at the center, in harmony with nature. It is sensitivity and creativity, human qualities par excellence, that get the best out of machines. Without a man, everything would be soulless. This project reflects this union of sensibilities, which is also a balance of past and future, of inside and outside, in a cohesive yet multifaceted opus”.

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