ermenegildo zegna spring/summer 15 menswear

Stefano Pilati paraded his suit-clad boys around a set of hollow skyscrapers in a collection that riffs on the workingman's wardrobe of construction workers.

by Anders Christian Madsen
22 June 2014, 7:30pm

Photography Mitchell Sams

At fashion writing school they teach you that 'couture' is a trademarked word, which must only - and they must stress, only! - be used by endorsed members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, which, by the way, only counts womenswear designers and requires registered houses to show in Paris. So there's a rather rebelliously superior twinkle in the eye to Stefano Pilati's shows every time he opens the men's collections in Milan and declares his mainline for Ermenegildo Zegna to be exactly that. 

ermenegildo zegna spring/summer 15

On Saturday morning in the Italian fashion capital, Pilati's show notes came with an entire page devoted just to fabrication with descriptions like "heavy gauge knitwear in tubular cotton-nylon", which almost seemed to justify the designer's bold characterisation of his label more than the elaborate description of the thematic idea behind the collection. Pilati approaches tailoring the way an architect approaches construction, and his spring/summer 15 show more than manifested that point of departure. To the sweeping tones of sexy late-80s synth saxophone, Kenny G style, the men's couturier paraded his suit-clad boys around a set of hollow skyscrapers in a collection that almost seemed to riff on the workingman's wardrobe of construction workers themselves. 

There was an early twentieth century working class uniform quality about a utilitarian single-breasted multi-button suit, or a high-wais pleated trouser with built-in braces hanging casually down the sides. (The pulled-down wife-beaters peeping out under tops and jackets only cemented the notion.) For anyone who thought men's couture tailoring - sorry, Paris - was synonymous with dandy getups and shiny playboy suits, Pilati's Zegna gave them something to think about. And in a pressed jogging-bottom-as-suit-bottom trouser, something to dream about, too.


Text Anders Christian Madsen
Photography Mitchell Sams

Stefano Pilati
anders christian madsen
spring/summer 15
mitchell sams