Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied on his Zegna collaboration

By
Photography Billy Farrell

Published December 6, 2017

“I might go in the pool, jump in the pool,” said Miles Teller inside the John Lautner-designed Sheats-Goldstein residence in Beverly Hills. Through the living room’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls was a view of the glistening turquoise swimming pool, overlooking the sprawling Los Angeles skyline.

It was the location of choice for the unveiling of the new Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection, “XXX,” hosted by artistic director Alessandro Sartori.

“Alessandro said this whole line is waterproof, so…” joked Teller. It was hard to imagine such a scene inside the very much tamed, formal cocktail hour, where Teller was one of many sporting sharp, tailored looks, by Ermenegildo Zegna of course.

And while the new line isn’t waterproof, it is eco-friendly, made with materials including pure cotton, recycled polyester and technical silk fabrics. “We only have one planet, and we’re not doing a great job of sustaining it,” continued Teller. “I think it’s wonderful to incorporate the things people are so passionate about, culturally, and then socially, bringing that into the fashion world.”

Sartori described the line—T-shirts, sweatshirts, denim, outerwear, sneakers—as the “soul” of a new collection presented on the runway in January.

“I took inspiration from the idea of movement, freedom, new constructions, special energy and yet beautiful craft, nice quality, the DNA of Zegna, which is tailoring,” said the Italian designer. “New fabrics—mainly knitted, not woven—jersey, completely deconstructed garments. It’s the fusion of tailoring and sportswear.”

He decided to first present the line in L.A. because of his love for the city: “It’s a special place. I’ve been coming for a long time, 20 years almost. It’s the landscape, the lights, the energy, the freedom, the modernity. It’s a combination of different things that I don’t see anywhere else. And it’s a city where a friend of mine, Benjamin, lives.”

Benjamin Millepied that is. The choreographer, known primarily for his work in 2010’s Black Swan, turned heads when he arrived with wife Natalie Portman. The two appeared in time for the entertainment of the night, a stunning performance choreographed by Millepied—clad in “XXX” designs—from the L.A. Dance Project, which he founded in 2011.

“It’s been an interesting five years, because I left L.A. to work for the Paris Opéra, and I decided to come back and commit myself full-time to creating this organization,” said Millepied, as Portman stood waiting nearby. “Times have changed so much. In order to preserve culture and do something cultural today, you have to invent, and the old companies don’t allow you to do that. [L.A. Dance Project] is growing and has a new performance space downtown that I’m very committed to.”

Next, Millepied is getting ready to make his directorial debut. “I’m making a feature next year, which will be an adaptation of Carmen,” he said. It will be a contemporary musical drama, which Millepied will also choreograph. Inspired by French composer Georges Bizet, he begins shooting in early 2018 in L.A. “So, I will basically be sharing my time between new choreography, building this dance company and making films, hopefully,” he added.

 

THE ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA COUTURE XXX COLLECTION IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK, AND WORLDWIDE FROM FEBRUARY 8TH, 2018.