Milan Men’s Fashion Week couldn’t have ended better. With the impressive parade of Zegna, held outdoors on Monday, under the blue sky, among linen boots, a stone’s throw from the famous La Scala theater. Artistic director Alessandro Sartori has taken the design to the extreme, focusing on natural materials, especially linen. A little earlier in the morning, the Indian Dhruv Kapoor had opened this last day with a collection in a radically opposite style, highlighting embroidery and bright colors.
For his fashion show, Zegna transformed Piazza San Fedele, at the foot of Palazzo Marino, which houses the municipality of Milan, into a rural landscape with 192 bales of linen coming directly from Normandy, where “the best linen in the world is produced”. , according to the leaders of the Piedmontese textile group. These linen boots are destined to return to the factory to be transformed into this yarn, which gave birth to most of the garments in the collection for Spring-Summer 2024.
From white to ebony black, passing through all the shades of sand and earth, to grays, military green and fresh pastels (mint, old rose, tangerine), Alessandro Sartori reinvents the rainbow with colors all strictly natural. In this context, he builds looks, where everything blends gracefully. “For me, the new way of dressing is the possibility of combining interchangeable pieces, which go well together, from head to toe. The shorts can be combined with the jacket, the classic trousers with theouterwearand so on,” he says.
The silhouettes, all monochrome, give an impression of innate ease and elegance. Nothing is starched, and yet the drapes of the clothes are perfect. Loose pants are fluid. The shorts are wide. Unstructured jackets are often collarless. They sometimes adopt shortened sleeves. Silk shirts, airy, float in the back. Leather jackets with a raw edge are so light, that from a distance they look like cotton.
More than ever, the creative director seems to have tried to lighten, remove, delete. “Less is more“, to use the definition of the rationalist German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Everything is thought out to create essential fashion. Down to the smallest detail. Like these patch pockets, which are almost invisible. This press stud or zip hidden by the fabric , thus depriving the clothes of conspicuous buttons, and even the trouser belt which disappears, three-quarters incorporated into the waistline.
“It is a very conceptual collection from the point of view of the spirit, but in fact simple in terms of design. They are new shapes with simple parts, which hide a great construction from the technical point of view”, summarizes the stylist at the end of the show, emphasizing the great research work carried out on the treatment of the different materials.
This collection has been made from 70% linen, produced within the supply chain of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group. “These are materials treated, reviewed, revisited, desired and prepared according to certain criteria. Even the leather is natural, in the sense that it is treated in a vegetable way, without being lined with glues or other adhesive products, but with linen “, explains Alessandro Sartori, recalling that today, “the linen we are talking about has nothing to do with the fiber that we once knew. It is also completely traceable”.
The exuberance of Dhruv Kapoor
Change of style at Dhruv Kapoor, who has signed a new colorful collection that nevertheless evolves towards a cleaner style. It still offers strong, richly decorated pieces combining embroidery, prints and playful slogans, which have made it so successful. But by mixing them cleverly with basic clothes or more designed for everyday life.
The maxi tuxedo jacket adorned with embroidered suns in silver rods is associated with a track jacket, or declined in short sleeves and total black without decorations. The large royal blue jersey sweatshirt with large embroidered flowers encrusted with pearls is worn over a simple tank top and denim shorts. Shirt-trouser sets with pop motifs are also available in monochrome versions, while knitwear is entering the label’s wardrobe through jacquard cardigans and sweaters.
“there is a great balance between the daily wardrobe and the more glamorous part. Many decorations and pieces are removable or designed to be arranged together in different ways. Thus, the pleated skirt superimposed on the trousers can be removed. The cargos can be transformed into shorts thanks to zips. Even the proportions are mixed. You can play in the same silhouette between a loose piece and a tighter one”, tells us the Indian designer, who joined the Milanese calendar in January 2021, where he parades with mixed collections for men and women.
He admits behind the scenes that he wanted to reduce the prints, “even if it was hard”. The collection still offers many, in a pop vein, between flowery and surreal patterns, alternating with more sober looks. Dhruv Kapoor nevertheless remains very focused on embroidery. This traditional know-how of his country constitutes his signature and his favorite style. Moreover, his embroidered clothes are among his bestsellers.
Having chosen fantasy, dreams and emotions as the theme for summer 2024, which he wishes to arouse through his clothes, Dhruv Kapoor could hardly turn completely towards minimalism… As illustrated by the last silhouettes of his fashion show. Like this suit covered in sequins in shades of red and mauve, or this bright red maxi coat with a black collar dotted with crystals.
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