It’s Perfect. Zanini AW21

It’s always refreshing to see a Zanini line-up during Milan Fashion Week. While it’s mostly about who’s louder and bolder in Milan, Marco Zanini delivers quiet collections (the lockdowns in Italy prevented him from doing so last season, so he used his sketches to present his collection to buyers instead) that actually speak volumes and have true substance. Don’t get me wrong, I love a camp-y Moschino, but nothing beats a well-edited offering that includes a perfectly tailored, felted double-faced cashmere peacoat or a sartorial jacket made from ultralight wool flannel. Zanini is a place for women (and now for men as well) who seek timeless, investment pieces that aren’t plain, cold minimalism, but got the human touch palpable in every single seam. The autumn-winter 2021 collection is simple, but studied, while the materials are luxurious, but unshowy. “Fabrics inform everything,” he confirmed on a Zoom call with Vogue. The cotton of an elastic-waist full skirt and top with handmade buttons down its back was embroidered by specialists in St. Gallen. Scottish cashmere was used for a roll-neck jumper, and a chunky turtleneck was hand-knit from yak wool. A heavy-gauge rib-knit cardigan coat with a deep collar that Zanini showed with a pair of very well-cut pleat-front side-zip pants is another delight. Love everything.

Collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Io Sono L’Amore. Zanini AW20

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Marco Zanini‘s small, name-sake label launched a year ago, and though the challenges are constant, he now finds himself with a roster of top boutiques around the world and the kind of personal satisfaction that comes from doing precisely what he wants after many years of working for other companies. This also is reflected in the garments: there’s no compromising at Zanini. Not on materials, not on the finishings on the inside of the garments, and definitely not on his silhouettes. For autumn-winter 2020, Zanini’s interest turned to traditional English wool flannels, which he cut into mannish two- and three-piece suits that he lined in white linen. Another wool jacket and matching full skirt were lightly hand-quilted. The thick cashmere knit worn with another big skirt looked just perfect, worn with a cameo necklace and a cotton poplin shirt underneath. Very, very Milanesa. This collection made me think of Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece “I Am Love”,  starring Tilda Swinton as Emma. I can see Zanini’s delightful silk eveningwear worn around the wonderful Villa Necchi Campiglio and his daywear being Emma’s day-to-day basics. And in our reality, Marco’s brand is gradually stealing hearts of clients who don’t need logos and one-season statements, but want a garment that will forever feel luxurious and beautiful.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Love for Details. Zanini SS20

Marco Zanini‘s name-sake label – Zanini – is the antidote for seeing too many big brands with their four or more collections a year that, simply speaking, lack any substance. Zanini is a quiet mega-talent, whose aesthetic and precision in making clothes isn’t based on random references and muses. His clothes are of the best possible quality, they are luxurious, but in a peaceful, logo-less way – they are investment pieces. His debut, autumn-winter 2019 collection, was a promise of great things to come. And here we are in the spring-summer 2020 season, and Marco impresses even more. All of the materials were uniquely developed for him, from the “crispy” checked cotton of a smock dress to the super-deluxe washed ivory satin of a tank dress, double-layered for ease of wear and comfort. Zanini pays attention to the smallest detail: the way a coat sleeve gathers at the elbow; the tie at the back of a mannish jacket that creates a womanly hourglass shape. The designer’s point of view has been at least partially formed by his roots – he’s Swedish on his mother’s side. “Scandinavia is in love with little details that you could call nothingness,” as he puts it. “But they are everything to me.” Love.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Good To See You Back. Zanini AW19

Marco Zanini, how good to see you back! This truly talented designer of Italian-Swedish origins had his stints at Rochas (those were truly brilliant seasons comparing to today’s state of things at the brand) and Schiaparelli, then did a few capsules for Santoni, and disappeared from the radar for a while. Now he’s back, better than ever, completely free, with his own namesake brand – Zanini. What it’s like to be on your own? “Finally, independence!” he told Vogue. “Of course, it’s a gamble, but this way feels more conscious, more authentic.” Zanini is thinking small, and proudly so – two collections per year, well-edited line-ups, quiet showroom presentations. But sometimes, less is really more. His debut collection can be described in one term: exquisite. Beautiful, beautiful tailoring and coats that you will make you drool. Cozy knitwear and beanies made in collaboration with his sister, Miki Zanini, who’s an avid knitter. The designer was in Japan last summer, and he came back with kimono silks that he’s cut into seamless bias dresses, airy and laid-back, but surprising with their construction. He can produce them in limited editions of two, a small number, but true to Marco’s intimate approach. “A lot of us are looking for something special, not overexposed.” That’s a fact. At a first glance, you might say that Zanini is the Milan alternative of The Row – one-off, logo-free, top-notch quality garments. But comparing to the Olsens and their uncompromising minimalism, Marco’s brand radiates with warmth and tactility. Summing up, Zanini is one of the best things I’ve seen in Milan this season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.