Mr. Z and I
|I know, I look serious but pinstripes are not to be taken lightly. |
At the newly opened Zadig & Voltaire store in Fashion Island wearing the navy pinstripe Volly Bi blazer.
|Lena Camouflage sock-style bootie.|
|Zadig & Voltaire shopping bags.|
|Phlame Deluxe leather pants & Amber Bis "Fever" slogan sweater.|
|Risty Jac silk deluxe dress with Jacquard guitar print and feminine lace.|
|Crinkled soft t-shirt style Rollins Deluxe leather dress.|
|Poetic style easy to wear Tink shirt.|
|Buttery soft Jaden silver lambskin leather skirt, perfect for the party season and beyond.|
|I'm stylishly sandwiched between celebrity stylist Mark-Alan Harmon and store director Melanie Eon of the Zadig & Voltaire store on Abbot Kinney. Melanie was in Fashion Island for the opening and spoke to me about the appeal of the French brand from her hometown (Paris) but is thrilled to be working in Venice, L.A. after being with the brand in N.Y.C. It's possible that Mark is not only a celebrity stylist but a mind reader, because when I asked him what he'd dress me in, he picked out the pinstripe jacket that I'd had my eye on for weeks. I'm an internet stalker kind of girl. You can be too: zadig&voltaire.|
Zadig & Voltaire (I call him Mr. Z) is not an exclusive or under-the-radar brand (they have several locations in L.A., N.Y.C. and elsewhere) but until now there hasn’t been a presence in O.C. In Europe they're pretty much everywhere and in some places you’ll find two locations on one high street. But here, it's been relatively unknown (something that I've relished) and so it's been my little secret.
My first encounter with the brand was in Paris where the brand hails from, years ago but as far as I can remember, it wasn’t eventful. My relationship with Mr. Z was the slow simmering kind. The kind where you discover one piece of clothing at a time (that I wanted to wear over and over again). So, I kept going back for more.
Founded in 1997 by Thierry Gillier, who comes from a family with ties to the Lacoste empire, the brand is named after the French Enlightenment writer Voltaire and his book Zadig ou la Destinée (Zadig, or The Book of Fate) with Zadig the protagonist, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. Voltaire's best known book Candide is a delight and after writing this review I'm intrigued about the lesser known Zadig. (If you haven't read Candide I highly recommend it because once you read it, you’ll never quite forget it).
With a name that could be just as suited to a bookstore as a clothing line, it’s not surprising that there’s a familiarity even a “classic” appeal to this ready-to-wear collection, evident in the founder's love for the arts. But at the same time the brand is modern, with a rock and roll vibe. Their signature use of cashmere and leather transition easily from day to night; dressed up or down. I suppose it's still very French, but with a little attitude and an understated cutting-edge style. Wearing Zadig & Voltaire allows me to feel comfortable in my own skin. I'm not pretending to be someone else since the clothes allow me to be who I want to be and not the other way around. Perhaps like all great relationships, it brings out the best in me.
Although it stings my heart a little to know that soon I may be sharing Mr. Z with all of you, I know there’s room for all of us to enjoy him. But promise me that when he grows on you, you won't brag to me about how you've "discovered" a new French beau and hopefully you'll remember that it was here, that you heard about him, first.