All images courtesy of Zegna

ZEGNA ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Alessandro Sartori has been doing some thinking. Sartori has been at the helm of the Italian brand since 2016, but his spring 2024 collection, presented in Milan at the weekend, marked a subtle change in tone.

Of course, with every new collection comes the expectation of something new — as the show notes point out, “new perspectives determine other ways to be [in] the world.” This season, Zegna’s new perspective is refreshing, light and made seductive by its sense of ease.

“At Zegna, we keep rethinking what an efficient wardrobe should be like today, further delving into the idea of creating a system of elements — tops, bottoms, underpinnings and accessories — that can be combined and self-styled however one prefers,” says Sartori. “It’s the idea of the uniform that prompts non-uniformity.”

The artistic director is in the early stages of writing a new paradigm, one that’s fluid, multi-dimensional and apt for different bodies and demographics. The weapon of choice for his sartorial reset was simple: Linen — and lots of it.

Around 70 per cent of the collection, titled L’OASI DI LINO, was made from Norman Oasi Linen, spun into linen gabardine, linen faille, linen knit, Blue Flower linen… the list goes on. Not only was the collection itself heavy on the lightweight fabric, but for the show, Piazza San Fedele was surrounded by 192 bales of raw linen. Following the presentation, the unprocessed fabric was to be transported to Zegna’s spinning facility, where it would be used to create Oasi Lino garments.

192 bales of raw linen were arranged around the runway.

Zegna has always been defined by refinement, but this collection was imbued with a softer precision than we’ve seen from Sartori in the past. The volumes were fluid, sihlouettes lengthened and airy, cuts rounded and the palette reduced to neutrals, mint, coral and light grey. Sharp collars on jackets and trenches were juxtaposed by soft shoulders or cropped hems; tees and tanks featured circular necklines, and shorts and trousers whipped about in the wind. The textured knitwear added suppleness, with triangular scarves and cardigans further softening the silk, calfskin and — you guessed it — linen. Functional elements are hidden in construction, making pieces appear sanguine, as if they flow right from and belong on the body of the wearer.

With spring 2024, it seems Zegna is embodying a new school of thought. Instead of looking to the precise and the structured, Sartori and his team are finding inspiration in movement. They even said it themselves, “L’OASI DILINO is a state of mind: one of lightness in living and behaving.”

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