In Harmony with Nature

Using sustainable fabrics in keeping with its 110-year-old philosophy, fresh, light colours, and hybrid separates, Ermenegildo Zegna launches its Zegna XXX Summer 2021 collection in the serene green splendour of the Zegna Oasis, in a ‘phygital’ show – a masterpiece by Artistic Director Alessandro Sartori.

Lifestyle Insider The green forest of Oasi Zegna is a perfect backdrop to Zegna's XXX Summer 2021 collection

Surrounded by the 100 sq km verdant environs of the Oasi Zegna (which literally means the Zegna Oasis), that sits in the Biella Alps, the Lanaficio Ermenegildo Zegna wool mill in Trivero, founded in 1910, is the backdrop of a very special celebration. For the luxury menswear marque’s 110th anniversary this year, and to showcase the Ermenegildo Zegna XXX Summer 2021 collection by Artistic Director Alessandro Sartori, an unique ‘phygital’ fashion show film (shot by Emilia Ponti for 4FRIENDS film) plays out among the grassy knolls of the Oasi, through hedges, into the manufacture among the textile looms, culminating dramatically on the rooftop of the factory.

Lifestyle Insider Soft bags and slate grey suits at Zegna XXX Summer 2021

In the age of Covid-19, it’s only natural to look at a format that fuses both digital and a live experience, one that not only shows via images the relationship between ‘Nature, Man, Machine’, as the collection is named, but the tangible connection between humanity, nature, one’s own actions on the planet, nature as a provider of raw resources, and our ability to preserve nature in harmony with humans – via the Oasi Zegna.

“This summer it’s all about lightness,” says Alessandro Sartori. “Light fabrics, light colours, light construction.” A sense of fluidity and precision pervades the collection, both in shapes and the chromatic choices. Volumes are liquid and generous, in hues of clay, cowslip yellow, hydrangea pink, sienite grey, river stone blue, carabus green, and slate black. Materials are lightweight yet firm – wool, hemp, raw fibre, linen, paper/silk, papery nappa, and #useTheExisting wool.

Lifestyle Insider Boxy jackets worn with shorts at Zegna XXX Summer 2021

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 his sartorial quest for new hybrid categories that defines his vision of Zegna. These hybrid garments include the overcoat/short look with a shirt construction that can be used as a jacket but also as sportswear, combined with knitwear or jersey. You can also wear the new light jacket with a shirt and tie! “In this collection, tailoring finds these distinct jacket shapes – a skinny one with a raglan shoulder, a boxy one with a 1.5 breast, and a hybrid one,” says Alessandro.

Inspired by the osmosis of different worlds, he cuts outerwear in shirting fabrics, and vice versa, allowing the wearer a complete freedom of combination and interpretation when it comes to items. A boxy, powdery pink 1.5 breasted jacket with a narrow lapel has a shirt construction in a shirting fabric (with a weight of180 gm). Thanks to the new technique, this has now become outerwear.

Lifestyle Insider Stripes in varying proportions at Zegna XXX Summer 2021

“The fabric is cotton, that belongs to the idea of #useTheExisting, so it’s recycled, part of a programme where we have cotton, wool, wool and silk, and many different natural fabrics,” says Alessandro. “It’s also a regimental proposition of fabrics, with pants, jackets, and outerwear, as well as suits.” A perfect example of the new Zegna suit is the striped silk mohair suit, where Alessandro has played with the widths of the stripes and used them in different proportions. He’s also got an ultra-light grey cotton shirt with a matching necktie, that is perfect for summer. Another interesting silhouette is the three-piece suit in viscose silk (again part of the #useTheExisting programme), with a beautiful raglan shoulder and short jacket.

Lifestyle Insider The new three-piece suit at Zegna XXX Summer 2021

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 colours and textures, suggesting a further mimesis of man and nature.

True to the #useTheExisting mindset which keeps informing the Zegna actions not only when it comes to the production of fabrics, the show happens in places that exist and that are profoundly telling of the Zegna ethos. As such, it is a responsible production.

Lifestyle Insider Shirting fabrics turn jackets into outerwear at Zegna XXX Summer 2021

“A moment like this can easily lead to a glorification of flawless precision of the machine,” says Alessandro 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 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”.

Lifestyle Insider Zegna XXX Summer 2021 held in parts of the Oasi Zegna Lifestyle Insider Soft shoulders and a one and half breasted jacket at Zegna XXX Summer 2021 Lifestyle Insider Stripes and a sporty feel at Zegna XXX Summer 2021 Lifestyle Insider Salmon pink overcoats at Zegna XXX Summer 2021 Lifestyle Insider Powdery pale hues at Zegna XXX Summer 2021 Lifestyle Insider Monochrome crossbody bags at Zegna XXX Summer 2021 Lifestyle Insider Summer eyewear and sporty caps at Zegna XXX Summer 2021 Lifestyle Insider Backstage at Zegna XXX Summer 2021 Lifestyle Insider Artistic Director Alessandro Sartori checks each exit at the Zegna XXX Summer 2021 show (Credits: Alessandro Sartori, Artistic Direction; 4Friends Film, Video Production; Wladimir Schall, Music;Beppe D’Elia for Beautick, Hair and Make up)


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

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A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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