Ermenegildo Zegna at the fall-winter 2012-2013 shows, Milan

The Ermenegildo Zegna show took place on Saturday January 14th in Via Savona, Milan, on a lovely day in freezing temperatures but bright sunshine. Next winter looks like being cold, cold, as expressed by the interior, all in timber, with a frozen pine forest as a backdrop on the giant video wall at the back of the runway. Men in fall-winter 2012-2013 will be ready for everything, with a look of competence and rugged masculine grit, no frills, no bright colours, all muted greys, browns, whites and blacks, though with superbly lavish fabrics – velvets, chunky wool knits, super-sophisticated soft leather – and accents of violet-tinged blue.

The Zegna man will be like Clark Kent, an ordinary man ready to stroll to his biplane and take off into the icy skies, warm in a fleece-lined trench, leather gloves, boots, short-cut trousers. Decoration is limited to a frequent use of check, on shirts and cardigans. It’s a layered look, with a high polo-necked jersey under the shirt, that even appears in a more formal three-piece suit in a dark violet colour in which the polo-necked jersey coordinates with the suit fabric colour. Overcoat design is fascinating, with complex lapels turned out to reveal a dark contrasting colour, and one model that is midway between cape and trench. Formal wear is superbly cut, with narrow tie or bow tie, and a look back to the past in the classic wing-collared shirts.

A beautiful collection that seems to be saying: guys, it’s going to be tough, but with confidence and application we’ll get through it. If you like the look, Ermenegildo Zegna is already offering four products from the collection for purchase on line: loafers, trench, bag and iPad case.