FW 17/18 fashion show
Dubai, UAE, July 19, 2017: For the first time in its twenty-year history, Zadig & Voltaire will deliver its manifesto in New York. This is only natural. After all, the brand's Parisian muse is a style icon for those across the pond as well. Her energy, joie de vivre and sporty-chic flair enjoys a close kinship with the New York look. Cecilia Bönström has said that Caroline Bessett-Kennedy is a quintessential embodiment of this type of woman. The Autumn-Winter 2017/18 collection pays homage to the women who inspire our characteristic signature: cool chic, tiny details that make the look, and a natural, nonchalant style that is at once sporty and urban, feminine and masculine. The tension between menswear and womenswear is a core component of the Zadig & Voltaire DNA: “the glamour of contrasts that ultimately complement one another, that is what our brand is all about,” Cecilia Bönström explains. “This speaks to a truth about the world in which we live that extends beyond fashion. An authentic attitude, free from affectation. It comes through for women and for men: Zadig is style for the street, for real life.” That is why the creative director chose to mix masculine silhouettes in with her womenswear looks on the catwalk.
In a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea, where rough concrete and industrial vibes create the perfect setting for the event, Zadig & Voltaire is getting back to the roots it never truly left, focusing on the four key themes that have made it a fashion icon over the past twenty years: knits, military looks, wearable lingerie and chic men's suits. Between leather, rock culture, splashy colours, eye-popping prints and core themes (Muse and Amour, joined by Fever and Rhythm), the arty inspirations slip seamlessly into their rightful places.
This season, the Zadig world comes to life with hard-edged lines softened by casual feminine touches, while sharp cuts intermix with oversized looks in perfectly executed juxtapositions. Blues, reds, yellows, pinks and greens meet in graphic-inspired combinations. The jumper with the wide zip-neck collar leads the charge, accompanied by a patched pull-over and velvet straps. Sweaters that feature soft Irish knits with backs and stripes made of XL open-work mesh are paired with long straight skirts. Oversized leopard prints blend into a neo-camo motif over a khaki or camel background on pull-overs with bat-wing sleeves set low on the waist.
Zadig & Voltaire is known for layering: bodysuits made from merino wool and brightly coloured camisoles get even hotter with maxi lengths; clouds of frothy, lustrous polka-dot tulle are worn over tight leather trousers or jeans, while tulle skirts are dressed down with a hockey-inspired jumper sporting elbow patches, restyled with a graphic sweatshirt vibe and covered in wide stripes. For the gents, outerwear and a rocking orange hue set the tone for a silhouette with the volume turned all the way up.
Rough leather is softened, washed, rubbed until it grabs onto the sleeve of a t-shirt, the waistband of a pair of trousers or the neckline of a little lacy dress: the Paris-New York underground rock scene vibrates in every stitch. Meanwhile, street artists also make their mark on the collection with badges and colourful patches from the creative genius of Tsukasa Ohtake and guitar-playing skeletons from the pen and needle of tattoo artist Virginia Elwood.
In a nod to Chinatown, there is the Chinese-inspired jacket, the little Asian-print dress and the pyjama-style trouser, all restyled and restructured. Female bodies appropriate the virile dress codes of Wall Street: the masculine tuxedo remains unchanged, though it now features oversized trousers, such as the flannel trousers with lurex pinstripes restyled to accommodate an athletic-style waistband, unconventional pockets and adjustable tabs. British-style overcheck suits feature extra-large trousers lined with ultra-soft cotton jersey for that sporty comfort that is so very Zadig.
Play it cool or über-feminine: with the same look, a Zadig girl can perch on her towering ‘Cover’ heels fastened with their spiked ankle straps or jump into her motorcycle boots with hiking-inspired or athletic laces. You'll find her peeking out from under her little tricoloured hats.
She might turn the strap of her favourite guitar into a bandolier to hold her wallet. And when it comes to her ‘Twister’ bag, she wants it fashioned for everyday use: colourful, spacious and full of pockets to hold everything or small enough for just the bare essentials.
Even her jewellery stands out in a crowd: crafted in collaboration with the designer Annelise Michelson, her hoops, necklaces and bracelets smash through their rough, industrial essence to reveal an undercurrent of sensuality.
An iconic signature and design, expressed through style that never turns its back on its roots, preferring to double down on them season after season without a second glance at passing fads and trends. A wardrobe that gets even better with age, becoming a treasured companion that evolves alongside you, a gift for you to discover all over again every time. Pieces that become members of a one-of-a-kind fashion family, a little unexpected yet thoroughly captivating for its willingness to play with words and materials.
Zadig & Voltaire is all that and more: life, real life, without artifice.