A class above
We weigh in on Stefano Pilati’s curtain call for Ermenegildo Zegna Couture to define what dressing well can mean for a man.
imagine it to be no easy feat for a designer to decide what his last collection for the largest menswear brand in the world will be. But the exquisite execution of the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture AW16 collection puts any doubts—if they ever existed in the first place—to rest. For his third and final year helming the brand, Stefano Pilati keeps the mood sombre while delivering a sumptuous array of textures.
An elegant soul is evident throughout the collection, best captured by the combination of sharply tailored dress shirts paired with wide-cut trousers, a signature Pilati silhouette. A different take on masculine shapes, the relaxed fit of billowing blazers and oversized statement coats provides context for a man who exudes quiet confidence in both bearing and attire. Even so, nothing in this apparent nonchalance is accidental, and the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture AW16 collection makes this distinction with sumptuous baroque brocades and luxurious hand-embroidered ornamentation realised in Italy.
The elegance continues with the choice of fabrics—superfine Lanificio Zegna wools honed over decades of experience and research are employed, while constant innovation to produce sustainable textiles like recycled polyester result in a fine amalgamation of form and function, heritage and future. Noble Italian tailoring meets atelier craftsmanship for eveningwear that is assuredly unpretentious yet exquisitely made and finished. Here, fil coupé does not symbolise an overtly decorated individual; instead it sets the tone for menswear couture in the seasons to come. Indeed, Pilati has gathered an assortment of iconic patterns, such as herringbone, checks and paisley, and seamlessly integrated them with the collection.