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Zegna just showed us what the future of style could look like in their S/S21 phygital show

Mantle Magazine

The house’s Summer 2021 “phygital” show could be an example of the way we experience fashion from now on.

No matter where in the world you might have been at the time, it was always going to be summer in Trivero. At least for Zegna’s Summer 2021 “phygital” fashion show. 

Phygital, a portmanteau of physical and digital, is supposed to cross the divide between both worlds, somehow blending them to create a more interactive experience. It’s the first attempt for Zegna, and in this regard, it’s done quite well. 

It’s difficult to capture the tactile nature of fashion, and the runways were easier opportunities to show how fabrics move, how the cuts drape and fall on the body. But artistic director Alessandro Sartori has created a very immersive way to do it online—one that feels natural and authentic. All while taking us around Zegna’s home base in Trivero. 

The phygital show was shot in the historic Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna mill in Trivero and the nearby Oasi Zegna nature park.
Photo: Zegna

Shot in the in the Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna fabric mill and the nearby Oasi Zegna nature park, the show was centered around the themes of man, machine, and nature: all of which are the cornerstones of Zegna. This year marks the house’s 110th anniversary, it would normally have meant a massive celebration, but things being what they are, everything was done online instead. Still, phygital seems to have worked for them as everyone comes to grips with the new order.

As for the looks? Summer 2021 is naturally going to be dominated by lighter fabrics, but it’s the way that Alessandro Sartori uses them that sets Zegna’s pieces apart. The house’s Summer 2021 collection has a certain energy about it, and you might describe it as elegant and leisurely. 

“This season the collection is about lightness. It’s about light colors, beautiful fabrics, light constructions, and light shoulders,” says Sartori from the rooftop of the Zegna mill. 

For tailored jackets, the collection has two different cuts: the first is boxy with a 1.5-breasted jacket and the second one features a slimmer cut with raglan sleeves.
Photo: Zegna

For tailoring, the jackets are done in shirt-weight fabric, using shirt-style construction, creating soft shoulders and less weight while keeping a good structure.

Sartori tackled the tailored jacket in two ways. The first uses a boxy, generous silhouette, with what they call a 1.5 breast construction. It’s not quite a double-breasted jacket, though it goes a bit past the single-breasted cut. The second style is a much slimmer jacket with raglan sleeves, which means the construction of each sleeve is done in one piece that extends to the collar. 

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The collection also features sportswear pieces and regimental outfits, and gets plenty of use out of recycled fabrics. That last one is in line with Zegna’s Use the Existing initiative, which seeks to reduce their environmental impact. 

The collection also features sportier pieces as well as regimental outfits.
Photo: Zegna

Even after 110 years in the business, Zegna’s consistently been known for its fine tailoring and its casuals, but this season’s cuts seem especially fresh. The way they bring all the elements together just makes the collection work, and it doesn’t hurt that most of these look extremely wearable. These looks should easily find a home in wardrobes around the world as the hotter months come around.

Could this sort of show spell the future of the fashion industry? It just might. If you want to catch it for yourself, check out their video below:

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