The backdrop—a black-and-white film that tracked vertiginously through an abandoned industrial site—established a film-noir tone that made a perfect complement to Alessandro Sartori's new collection for Z Zegna. In their boxy jackets and pleated, tapered pants, his men might have peopled Raymond Chandler's mean streets. Couple that dark, filmic style with Zegna's futuristic fabric technology and you've got… um… future noir?

Like watching characters of the past in a modern setting," said Sartori. He pointed to the "icon" of the collection, a leather jacket in which the skin had been digitally needle-punched to a cashmere flannel lining. With no need for glue or stitching, the process loaned a seamless, almost neoprene feel to leather that will now never grow old. It also guaranteed a silhouette with a superhero bulk, narrow at the waist, wide at the shoulders. Everything the modern night crawler would crave.

One remarkable thing about Zegna's tech is its subtlety. Sartori was excited by the new three-piece camel suit: two jackets layered over a pair of pants. The top jacket was waterproofed, though you'd only know it when the hard rain fell. Ultimately, though, all the fabric research in the world won't get you anywhere if you're not making clothes that a man would want to wear, which is where Sartori comes in. His designs have a strong, broad-shouldered, masculine line in a straightforward palette of gray, loden, and camel. The seduction was in the details: the way a blouson sat on the waist, the pleat of a pant, the plaid, the perfectly judged proportions. And those futuristic leathers… the essence of Gattaca or Caprica on a catwalk.