Photo: Katherine Lowe
Workwear, in its many incarnations, is the basis of every male wardrobe: A suit and shirt for the white collar worker; sturdy outerwear for the blue collar guy; and a daily uniform for the military man or public servant. Z Zegna's Fall 2011 offering celebrated workwear with a classic exaggerated twist. After all, why settle for minimalism when you can have more?
Recalling power suits of the 80s, the trousers were wide at the hip, but tapered and narrow at the ankle. The shoulders followed suit – padded up and out, they created the ideal male torso; an inverted triangle.
Enormous coats constructed from thick neoprene buttoned and belted like a trench. In camel, they gave the impression of a jacket an American road worker might wear while labouring outside in the biting winter cold.
That neoprene showed up again and again, but most intriguingly, forming the fused underbelly of a series of leather coats and jackets. In olive green, they looked at once robotic and cartoonish, reminiscent of heroic wartime characters.
Every aspect of the collection screamed to be noticed, from the caramel suits with two jackets to the double breasted check suit with two different sized patterns. A section of petrol blue suits and knitwear was just plain loud.
As the final major show of the week, Z Zegna has the added responsibility of having to close Milan Menswear on a high note. The last few seasons have been major success stories for the brand, and this collection was another win. There's nothing like an exaggerated proportion or two to keep things fresh, and nothing like a bit of extra volume to give the rougher sex a bit of a boost. Trite as it may be, what they say is true – clothes do make the man.
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