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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Z Zegna And The Art of Techno Tailoring

Godfrey Deeny
January 20th, 2010 @ 11:13 AM - Milan

If any designer walked away with his reputation significantly enhanced from the Italian men’s fashion season that ended Tuesday evening, Jan. 19, in Milan it was Alessandro Sartori, who pulled quite a triumph with Z Zegna, the last runway show of the four-day schedule.

In a surgically sharp take on brisk techno tailoring, the silhouette was lean and mean and the attitude hyper-confidant. Wearing Z Zegna does demand a fit figure, but if you have one, this collection lends a rare authority with its bonded futurist materials, precision and edgy contemporary spirit. A houndstooth in black and white gets the vote for Milan’s nattiest suit this month.

Frayed hems, semi-exposed seams and lean suits cut with high armpits and a few back slits made for a brilliant display in the art of tailoring, which is not entirely surprising. Sartori means "tailors" in Italian.

Staged in Zegna’s steel and glass cyber building headquarters, the show received a bust of tumultuous applause from an audience that included Chinese actor Deng Chao, winner of the 2009 Golden Phoenix Award for his role in “Assembly,” German rock stars Tokio Hotel and singer Chris Brown, who attended several shows this season in Milan.

The house of Ermenegildo Zegna celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and a video of the stylish swimming pool and gym that its founder built in the '30s for workers in his Piedmont manufacturing plant was the backdrop of the house’s signature show. With clever symmetry it was the first big collection of the Milan season, unveiled on Saturday.

If it’s a more classic suit your after, then the bravura finale of some 50 models in a classic super wool single, double breasted or three piece suits had a eons of options.

Italian fashion went through a tough 2010, but plenty of brands are seeing the tough retail market as a way to extract more favorable long-term leases from landlords, like Zegna, whose CEO Gildo Zegna plans to open 20 new stores this year.

“Our sales were down 8 percent last year, but given the climate I think most people would accept that was a pretty decent result. We’re certainly confident for the future," said Zegna, who showed off his latest watch by Swiss watchmaker Girard Perregaux, a limited edition of 100 and priced at $29,600.

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