Most high-end luxury fashion brands boast innovation and trendsetting power, and while it’s fairly true that these big fashion houses decide what the next “it” item will be, only to then see it trickle down the fashion world into mass market, there are some who are a tad more in tune with others, and every season, another designer sets a new high in gold standards. This season, I have to say, hands down, Zadig & Voltaire did something tremendous with their show during New York Fashion Week, and their collection… don’t even get me started.
Perhaps it had something to do with my up-close-and-personal experience at the show, but I gotta tell you, backstage is a serious privilege and I got to see the glitz and glam of behind-the-scene Zadig. There were models and celebrities everywhere, and one of the greatest aspects of getting an all-access pass was that I could actually see the clothes, touch them, chat with the models, and take fantastic pictures in front of their decked-out sparkly media wall. Each model took their turn as they got ready to pose for the slew of cameras that eagerly awaited like piranhas (me included!).
The show was unbelievable. The show took place at The Tunnel, one of the off-site locations for Fashion Week. I got there with enough time to see the likes of Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin), Jordan Barrett (@iblamejordan) also known as.Zadig & Voltaire’s newest muse, Toni Garrn (@tonigarrn), Charlotte Groeneveld (@thefashionguitar), and so many more (see below). The place was bustling and the music was sensational: so much rock, it really showed the roots of where the inspiration was drawn from. The runway was one of the longest runways I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot!), yet despite its length, it feels like as the models pass by, you catch merely a glimpse of what’s what. So, that was yet another perk of getting backstage – I could really take in the collection one piece at a time.
I was dressed at the Westmount location, where again, finely curated rock music accompanies the collection to reflect the thought process and state-of-mind of the clothes. I have such a great relationship with the clerks at the Zadig & Voltaire store, perhaps because I’m such a Zadig enthusiast! I have as serious sweet spot for French designers (maybe it’s a genetic thing, thanks dad!), which brings me to one of my other favourite parts of the show, everyone backstage was talking French – I felt right at home!
CHIC DESTROY BEST LOOKS - ZADIG & VOLTAIRE FW19
While I was being outfitted, we talked a bit about the Fall/Winter 2019 collection and how it was inspired by the femme fatale (think Eva Herzigova, the iconic model from the 90s). It was easy to catch the inspiration at the show, it was bold with an attitude, evoking a strong sense of adventure and unrestrained freedom. I chose a crinkled metallic suit look complete with accessories to give that rock edge. Everything about the look is exactly my style: the androgynous silhouette, the metallic/dark palette, the graphic long-sleeve peeking through, the leopard print scarf for detail and colour, and then of course, the grungy belt, for a little Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Cecilia Bonstorm, the artistic director for the label, gives that added edge to the brand, finding the tension between rock and romantic, dandy and avant-garde, classic and modern; a serious force to be reckoned with and, needless to say, her style is on. point. Her sense of style has a storytelling quality; she’s the perfect balance of effortless fused with powerhouse. I channeled her as I traipsed through the crowd proudly wearing my Zadig & Voltaire look.
Founded in 1997, the brand has evolved in many ones but one thing remains true 20+ years later, art and literary icons of the world have a strong influence in the way Thierry Gillier designs his collections. Impacted by musicians dating as far back to the 18th century all the way until today, his label reflects more than just affordable luxury, it reflects a culture.
Here’s a slideshow of the street style culture Zadig & Voltaire inspired on Fashion Show day:
As I walked back to my hotel at the 11 Howard in SoHo after the show, I was sitting in the lobby just looking through all the photos from the day. Totally disconnected from the hustle all around me, I tried to disengage and relax for a minute before I had to up and go again. But then, amidst the noise, I heard moments of French in the background. I must’ve been in my own world because Zadig & Voltaire had a pop-up shop right there in the lobby and I was in the middle of it all! It all worked out for the best, because I snagged a personalized white clutch painted with my name on the front. Did I mention I love this brand?
I think it goes without saying that I love Zadig & Voltaire. I love wearing their clothes and I love what their brand is all about. My vision of what fashion is and how it should be worn is seamlessly aligned with how they operate. Everything from who they chose to represent their latest campaign to the bedazzled media wall backstage, everything was thought of and everything was one hundred.
Photography by Patricia Brochu