The fall winter wardrobe, Sydney’s celebrations and the Silk innovation
Australia grows and sells 90% of the world's fine apparel wool and the partnership with Ermenegildo Zegna has been longstanding. Zegna turns this superior wool into some of the best menswear on the planet, so it was only fitting that Zegna would show its highly acclaimed Fall/Winter 2013/14 collection at an enormous party in Sydney to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the company's wool awards. I was lucky enough to be flown in for the event (which was also attended by Chris Hemsworth, Megan Gale, and other Aussie stars), and here's what I saw.
The hero cloth of the collection is a black and white pied-de-poule pattern resembling the styles produced by the Zegna mill from the award-winning wools in 1963, the first year of the competition. The houndstooth pattern shows up in single and double breasted suits, which are paired with crisp white point-collar shirts, and patterned ties inspired by Australian Aboriginal art. I'd wear mine with black leather lace-ups and a white pocket square, channeling a certain film star of the era.
The collection is all about special occasion dressing: Suits are made up in a variety of patterns, from chalk-stripe to pin-dot to tone-on-tone stripes, with longer jackets, higher-waisted trousers, and cummerbunds. But the great innovation is in the fabrication — many of the suits are woven from a combination of luxury materials, with one amazing charcoal chunky-textured suit being cut from 100% silk that looks every bit as sturdy as wool. The Zegna family spoke at length after the show about the sportification of fashion, and that was never so evident as in a hooded anorak cut from deer skin, a series of suits paired with deep v-neck or scoop-collar sweaters (worn with no tie), and a down-filled puffer vest that was shown both jacket-less, or beneath a suit, reminiscent of the protective gear worn by road-workers and fencers, alike.
But the piece de resistance for me was an enormous dark grey double breasted coat cut in a thick, fluffy wool. With its size and stature — not to mention those huge lapels — it reminded me of the louche glamour of the 1970s, and you can imagine Chris Hemsworth wearing it in his latest film Rush, where he stars as the 19760 Formula 1 Grand Prix champion James Hunt. Take it from me — there are far worse characters to emulate in your wardrobe.