THE NEW NORMAL

DIAL DOWN THE CRAZY AND BRING FORTH THE SUIT­ABIL­ITY, AS SHOW­CASED BY THIS YEAR’S FALL/WIN­TER MILAN FASH­ION WEEK

DA MAN - Style - - Report -

“ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA MANAGED TO TRANSCEND TIME; MAK­ING A SAVAGELY POETIC AND FLUID NOTION ABOUT CONNECTION”

Be­sides great food and mon­u­men­tal land­marks, Italy has long been fa­mous for its ar­ti­sans. Just look at how the words “Ital­ian” and “crafts­man­ship” go to­gether so nat­u­rally and how the two to­gether has ba­si­cally be­come syn­ony­mous with fine qual­ity. While this is, of course, not al­ways true, there are plenty of ex­am­ples that live up to it. Take, for ex­am­ple, Ermenegildo Zegna, one of no­table brands to open the last fall/win­ter Milan Fash­ion Week ( MFW).

The show was held in an im­mensely large in­door space dec­o­rated with seven mon­u­men­tal tow­ers called “The Seven Heav­enly Places” by Anselm Kiefer. To make it more aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing, the fash­ion show fea­tured a live mu­si­cal per­for­mance by French pi­anist Mat­tias Mi­moun.

Ex­pec­ta­tions were, of course, high; espe­cially as Ermenegildo Zegna’s newly ap­pointed artis­tic di­rec­tor Alessan­dro Sar­tori, pre­vi­ously from Ber­luti. His re­turn— he has pre­vi­ously worked with the brand be­fore— marked the gen­e­sis of a new fash­ion lan­guage: sports cou­ture.

The collection en­com­passed knit­ted hood­ies, turtle­necks with re­laxed fit napes, frock coats and loose trousers in­te­grated by a subtle color pal­ette of off-whites, camel and gray. The cou­ture vibe was om­nipresent due to the in­cor­po­ra­tion of leather, silk, cashmere and alpaca wool em­broi­dered seam­lessly through­out the clothes.

While the collection did have a youth­ful feel to it, the idea— in fact the DNA— of this collection was about in­te­grat­ing the same val­ues shared by dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions. The run­way show had young and el­derly models alike walk­ing side by side with clothes that were clearly in­ter­change­able. Age eas­ily becomes un­ap­par­ent as the at­tires co­her­ently flowed from one to an­other. Some­how, Ermenegildo Zegna managed to transcend time to cre­ate a fluid poetic notion about connection.

It was hard to top off the grandeur of Eremenegildo Zegna this fall. But Prada comes in neck and neck by pre­sent­ing their most normal collection at MFW. See, the spec­tac­u­lar thing about Prada show­ing for this fall/win­ter season is that it wasn’t spec­tac­u­lar at all. It was, hands down, the most un­spec­tac­u­larly spec­tac­u­lar collection Prada had ever made.

It con­sisted of V- neck sweaters, fur belts, suede ac­cented shoes and an im­mense amount of cor­duroy pants, suits and jackets—which, by the way, is very in style this season. Color-wise, the collection was dom­i­nated by shades of brown, re­sult­ing in a very old- fashioned and ’ 70s look.

While there were voices de­cry­ing the collection as “bor­ing,” it was, in fact, a thought­ful an­thol­ogy of clothes that felt real, can­did, and in a way, deeply per­sonal. It is a subtle tes­ta­ment to hu­man de­sire for some­thing real.

There’s no doubt that seep­ing it normal was in many designers’ mind this year. From Gior­gio Ar­mani’s sartorial collection to Diesel Black Gold’s

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