Pablo Starr is publisher of FWO and RNWY, and author of forthcoming RNWY: A Novel. Read about Pablo in The Huffington Post. (More info.)

Zadig & Voltaire NYFW SS18

Relevance in fashion can be a hard thing to put your finger on. Often it’s something you sense; you might even say it’s an energy. It has that shout of youth, that demands attention.

Cecilia Bönström‘s latest Zadig et Voltaire collection had just that clarion call this New York Fashion Week, with a freshness that suddenly made many of the top-tier, overwrought, “celebrity”-packed shows of the season seem stuffy and desperate in comparison.

 
Zadig & Voltaire SS18

 

The looks were often unmistakably French, but in that chic, effortless way that translates to any metropolitan setting where the traffic moves underground, drinks are enjoyed on sidewalk cafés, and youthful energy (if not necessarily youth in the chronological sense) abounds.

The press materials say that with elements of “feminine and masculine, edgy and soft, it’s all about balance.”

And indeed, the pairings and silhouettes were skillful, sinuous, and oozed sex appeal: but it was the magnetism that comes from danger and daredevilry, with a touch of mystery.

the pairings and silhouettes were skillful, sinuous, and oozed sex appeal

Twenty years ago Zadig & Voltaire started what has now become a family. Zadig girls are recognisable by their laid-back, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic with a touch of androgyny and delicate details. Zadig&Votlaire has made an art of combining opposite traits in the same looks.

Zadig girls are recognisable by their laid-back, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic

Parisian and cosmopolitan, they have remained feminine while embracing their power.

Men have also made the iconic Zadig & Voltaire look their own, always chic with a hint of nonchalance. Layering with careful consideration: a t-shirt is teamed with a button down under a sweater; a canvas military topper that warms up structured suiting.

This season Zadig & Voltaire’s inspiration came from a mixture of items that maybe found in a forgotten trunk in an attic. Time has worked its magic on the pastel tones, flowers and rainbows, virginal ivories, creased leathers, fragile tulles and silk as delicate as antique lingerie. Patches, raw denim, military khaki, embroidery and sequins play with a collective subconscious packed with souvenirs and images in faded colors. The collection can be summed up in a simple three-word motto for life: let love rule.

Oversized styles are paired with fitted looks. Long pieces flirt with short pieces, graphic black and sand duos alternate with a rainbow palette while butterflies, sketched by tattoo artist Virginia Elwood, live on a camouflage print background with English embroidery. Never restricted, the silhouettes seem to swim and float in mid-air. The long Swiss dotted tulle dresses are warmed up by an oversized military jacket, others flow onto the bust in blurred asymmetric panels, while the mohair XL cardigan hides a baby-doll nightdress with cosy, transparent effect.

A denim jacket with white topstitching and men’s trousers to finish off the look, re-interpreting cool femininity. Femininity that intentionally wears a sweater backwards, a men’s shirt as a mini dress or opts for a masculine suit in pastel-colored poplin. Femininity that is always about having fun, by joining several belts together and wrapping them round the waist several times, wearing trainers completely covered with purple, yellow, green or blue glitter with a super sensual dress, or oversized trousers with stilettos and ultra-feminine sequined sandals. Femininity which makes you want to wear unending earrings with waterfalls of jet black or rainbow-colored stones, to stand out and to have fun. The men’s line has adopted an immaculate raw denim and implemented updates to the maison’s checked shirts and favorite tie-dye styles along with camouflage prints on canvas and cashmere. Suites worn with impeccable black leather derby shoes with a studded welt: this clever contradiction of chic and nonchalance is accentuated more than ever.

Right at the bottom of the trunk are hidden gems from our youth: a khaki canvas hobo bags, like the ones we used in high school adorned with patches.

Re-christened “Ready Made,” the bag’s flap is inverted and the shoulder strap lined with a chunky curb chain that can be detached and worn as a belt. The bad is the epitome of a Zadig girl: versatile and relaxed. She grabs her “Pouch” clutch, slips the ring onto her wrist like a bracelet and grips it in her hand, not caring about creasing the extremely supple leather. The “Rocky” bag, little brother of the iconic “Rock” clutch, she can chicly store her essentials into its two medium-sized gussets.

Memories and family stories are marked by love and affection. Inspiring Cecilia Bönström to work with jewelry designer, VK Lillie: “I love her style, she is so full of affection for her work and love for her jewelry. Through it, she relays messages of joy and love for others, she spreads good vibes which really touch me.”

VK Lillie has designed jewelry for Zadig & Voltaire combining; leather, onyx, quartz and gold-toned metal. Her handmade pieces are unique with a raw, radiate, captivating authenticity that turns these charms into talismans, to preserved over time.

Punk, romantic, the Zadig & Voltaire girl is a real girly girl who knows what she wants and where she is going. What drives her? Life, love. Let love rule, always.

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Learn More

zadig-et-voltaire.com

With love,

FWO

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