Functionality is at the heart of menswear – ease of movement, protection from the elements, technological advancement, materials gleaned from ready resources – but it’s that moment when functionality is fused with sartorial flair that great menswear is born.
For Fall Winter 2012/13, Ermenegildo Zegna explores its Passion for Nature; a passion that’s been at the essence of the house since its founding 102 years ago. The founder himself loved nature so much, in fact, that in 1930 he launched a massive undertaking to reforest the mountains around Trivero where his company was based. In 1993 Oasi Zegna was established to promote his ecological efforts, and it forms the backdrop for this season’s campaign.
If you study the collection, you’ll see a heavy emphasis on luxury sportswear. Leather coats lined in shearling are paired with heavy knit turtleneck sweaters (all the better in which to step out of the ski lodge); corduroy suits woven in premium cashmere are fit for a weekend hunting jaunt; and the softest suede shoes come equipped with a rubber sole. Whoever said beauty couldn’t be found in practical clothing hadn’t envisioned Ermenegildo Zegna’s take on the great outdoors.
As always, for those of us who don’t spend our free time traversing the alps, shooting for sport or even jogging up the odd hill, the individual pieces will stand up to the big bad world outside our apartment doors.
Here’s how to achieve the look, regardless of your geographical location:
1. Pair a textured woolen suit with a shearling overcoat – it worked for the beat poets on their American treks, it’ll work for you on yours.
2. Try a microweight turtleneck beneath a shirt, or a heavyweight textured knit under a sportcoat – louche at its very best.
3. Chambray goes with everything and it’s heavy enough to wear with a weighty suit – try it with anything from a camel coat to a chevron suit.
4. Three piece suits are ideal for winter because they’ll often eliminate the need for a coat. Throw on a pair of leather gloves with yours and you’ll be good to go.
5. Keep your colours warm and natural – rusty browns; woody tawns and rich, inky blues are a welcome respite to the season’s duller light.
6. Don’t be afraid to throw on a heavy piece of knitwear over top of your waistcoat for a colourful alternative to your three piece suit.
*Originally posted on zegna.com
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