Of the 25 looks representing the Zadig & Voltaire collection, only 10 will be produced exactly as they appeared at today’s presentation. Artistic director Cecilia Bönström explained that the remaining three-fifths were essentially showpieces. So if you’ve singled out the woven asymmetric ruffled top, too bad: It may not ever make it to stores. This is not unusual for high-end luxury labels, where a designer sends out his or her most impactful work to prove what’s possible when unencumbered by constraints. But for a high-end high-street brand, showing what will be available to buy is the usual modus operandi. Bönström, however, wanted to approach this season in a conceptual way, using the themes of architecture, freedom, black, and androgyny to develop a collection that would convey the Zadig & Voltaire Zeitgeist. From a series of tableaux vivants within a hôtel particulier that belongs to the brand, the crop tops under tuxedo jackets, skirt overlays, and a leather gilet captured the relevance no longer projected by a skull sweater. Gone were the prints; in their place, a knit plastered in strips like gaffer tape and a jacket in micro sequins. But neither, according to Bönström, will be produced for retail—and what will be produced currently remains a mystery, although the studded and silver-trimmed white sneakers are a safe bet.
Zadig & Voltaire enlisted Bureau Betak to conceive the film-wrapped blocky backdrops, with color filters that corresponded to Bönström’s precise palette of citron, ballet slipper pink, and turquoise, plus black and white. Certain prop elements played up the fact that the venue is under construction. And perhaps, for this season at least, the brand aesthetic is, too.