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Stefano Pilati’s inaugural spring/summer collection for Italian menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna is a progressive one, with the former head designer of YSL shaking the foundations of Italian luxury by deconstructing it down to its simplest form.
As models in sleek suits and oversized coats filed down the oval runway to an exclusive techno soundtrack, giant video monitors displayed an erratic compilation of gears changing, pianos keys playing, and tape measures rolling. Masterminded by Swedish filmmaker Johan Soderberg, it was a cinematic backdrop that lent itself to the fast-paced nature of the show, and honored Pilati’s technical prowess.
The tailoring of Pilati’s debut is soft and languid, wholly made up of contrasting opposites and broken proportions. The streamlined suits are interrupted by mismatched trousers and jackets that boast subtle jacquard weaves, along with linen, silk, and wool mixes. Pilati has taken what we know about men’s tailoring and turned it on its head.
There are also jackets that possess lapels and high buttons, and others with offbeat slanted pockets. Meanwhile, robe-like coats are tied loosely over trousers with sharp, single pleats, and shirts are rolled back over the cuffs of jackets, to add a casual charm to the otherwise refined collection.
All of this is then rounded off by the color palette. Pilati uses 33 different shades that range from antique blue and tobacco, to coral and fern, alluding to the immense creative control the Ermenegildo Zegna Group has granted the designer.
The collection is a confident nod towards the direction Pilati plans to take the brand. And priced at 50 percent more than Zegna’s main line, it looks as though he intends to bring a new meaning high-end menswear.