ZADIG & VOLTAIRE AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
Last month, Zadig & Voltaire announced that longtime artistic director Cecilia Bönström would be sharing design credit with fellow Swede Paulo Melim Andersson. Separated by a generation or two but both from Gothenburg, the duo was amiably completing each other’s sentences backstage before their debut together—a good sign, no doubt. “When you create, it’s very intimate, and when I met Paulo, it was like a marriage from the start,” said Bönström. “I choose something that I like, he agrees and wants to push it further, and I trust his opinion.”
While Andersson hasn’t had much time for his pushes to accumulate into something more profound, the label has already taken a sharp right turn back to its rock-attitude roots, eliminating any trace of last season’s clean and conceptual color experiment. Against the backdrop of an underground club simulacrum, propped by Tetris-level configurations of concert equipment cases, aspiring Joan Jetts and Courtney Loves modeled studded suits, multi-zipped miniskirts, and shaggy patchwork fur coats. Their cross-body bags were held up by guitar straps and their exposed soft-cup bras were frosted with stars.
If those looks felt in tune with the brand’s DNA, they also felt rather familiar. More tempting was a turquoise flocked dress or a leather vest printed with illustrations from a contemporary Japanese artist. Zadig & Voltaire may no longer be interested in maturing along with its customers, but its design duo should consider pushing more of these original ideas rather than replaying the same old song.