Ermenegildo Zegna Menswear A/W’12 review

by Katie on January 16, 2012

Kim Jones shook up the high-end menswear sector last season with his first collection for Louis Vuitton, a collection so assured and precisely executed it garnered Jones the ‘Menswear Designer of the Year’ title at the British Fashion Awards.
Somebody at Zegna was obviously making notes because their proposal for next Winter feels more than a little like it’s riding on Jones’ coattails, metaphorically speaking.
Like Vuitton’s globetrotting tycoons, the Zegna man is always on the way to somewhere, and always carrying something (there seems to be a fresh focus on entry-level accessories at Zegna from gloves to glasses through to luggage). The palette of browns, blues, and ivory also feels like a repeat.
Plaid tailoring is cropped and slim, as it always is nowadays, which would look awfully passé anywhere else yet seems strangely radical on  the Zegna catwalk, thanks to some comfortably smart-casual styling and some high contrasting turn-ups – a simple and effective way to zhoosh up an otherwise conservative pair of pants.
However, texture is the real story here. As with all the other Italian labels there’s a hefty slug of shearling, as well as some quilted leather, brushed Alpaca, barky tweed, and a hefty chocolate brown boucle jacket with patch pockets worn with distressed denim.
Evening wear is as impeccable as you would expect from the company which runs up Tom Ford’s suits, yet this time around voluminous evening coats and snug cardigans, both with shawl collars, are added to the mix as a fresh alternative to the standard peaked lapel tuxedo.
Whether this is fresh blood or a fresh outlook is unclear, but the end result is a surprisingly youthful collection from the usually quite serious and staid Zegna, a company which celebrated its centenary a couple of years ago. Maybe it’s not true what they say about old dogs after all?
Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.
Catwalk pics courtesy of

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