Some people just can't relax. You wonder if Paul Surridge is one of
them. The Z Zegna designer, who presented his sophomore collection this
week, mentioned backstage he was thinking of kicking back. "The
silhouette is about leisure, about being on holiday, free from the
restraints of corporate identity," he said. "Looking at sportswear to
create an ideal utopia, a holiday feeling."
So he said. Still, even with the looser silhouettes Surridge said were a
nod to the sixties and the Kennedys' Camelot, there was a cool chill
that hung over this intriguing collection. Sixties colors like avocado,
coral, and lemon brightened up knits and gave a subtle sheen to Solaro
suit fabrics, but with a cold kind of light. Surridge mentioned Dan
Flavin as an inspiration. His synthetic illumination hit the mark (and,
it would seem, influenced the show's set).
The new, boxy suit shape, with its high-cut, four-button jackets, and
lopped-off sleeves, took cues from casual shirting, but had a kind of
severity, too. So did the elbow-length wide sleeves on shirts and
jackets and the wide Bermuda shorts. With their eyes hidden behind
polarized sunglasses, these holidaymakers looked like the factory-fresh
products of some assembly line of the future, the sort of resonance that
reminds you that Utopia and Dystopia are neighboring states. Surridge is
an admitted acolyte of Cardin, and a proponent of the supermodern (his
word). This felt, to its credit, exactly that.