Alessandro Sartori, the man whose name was made for a career in menswear, must have felt the love as his last collection for Z Zegna got a special send-off yesterday. Gildo Zegna embraced him while the audience clapped and cheered.
The designer’s time at Z Zegna produced some of Milan’s oddest, edgiest menswear, and he saw himself out with a collection that did him proud. His vision for the brand was always a touch eccentric. (The affection for tail coats, for instance, revisited one last time in the finale here.)
There was something bold, almost cinematic about the way he exaggerated proportions. The broad-shouldered blouson with the wide-ribbed waistband had a superheroic slant. The baggy trousers that are practically his signature piece could have stepped out of a film noir.
Sartori called his collection My Abstract Sunday, so that might be why the sky blue and sunshine yellow; the blurry, painterly checks; the swingy A-line peacoat, as voluminous as a smock, suggested an artist’s day of rest. But that was ultimately less interesting than Sartori’s fascination with the technicalities of his job, which was, after all, the thing that made him so compatible with Zegna in the first place. You could stare at his fabrics and still not be absolutely sure what you were looking at, so glazed and rubberized and dyed and “vitrified” (that’s a good one) were they.
The construction was also artful, illuminated with little details that demanded a double take: the white top-stitching on a navy safari suit, the white shirt collar on a mac, the sky blue trim on one lapel of a gray jacket. Sartori now takes his point of view to Berluti, where he has a blank slate to build a business. But Z Zegna will linger as an inspiring memory.