|Can see from this picture I need to steam these out a bit…|
I’d been aware of Zadig & Voltaire as a brand with a well-honed, very French aesthetic, but I’ll admit I never paid much attention before as they seemed a bit too twenty-something-Rocker-Chick with their skulls, sequins and short short skirts. But these boots were calling my name, so into the boutique we went…where I then proceeded to try on several items of clothing, many of which (to my surprise) fit me and were actually pieces I’d wear in a heartbeat.
I’d initially picked out a different jacket to try, which didn’t ring any chimes once I put it on, but the (very savvy) saleswoman had also brought out this one (above). I loved the color right off, and once I slipped it on, I didn’t want to take it off. The leather is very light and soft, Like Buttah™. It fits beautifully, is well made and the details were the icing on the cake. Le monsieur also gave two thumbs up.
I mentioned above that the saleswoman was very savvy and really knew her merchandise. She not only suggested pieces, but also offered ideas on how to arrange and style them. Before she gave me anything to try on, she pointed out the design details. Like the jacket, almost every piece she brought out didn’t look like much on the hanger, but looked great on une femme’s form.
This top, for example, is a piece that I never would have considered, had I just been flipping through the racks. She had me try it layered with a second one in a different color, which created an interesting effect. I ultimately decided on just this one (which I’ll wear with a tank or camisole underneath), but again, I love the details that take this a notch above just another knit tunic.
|Pointelle detail on the back|
It’s a lovely lightweight piece that will be great for summer, and also works as an interesting mid-layer under jackets.
|Color is actually a bit softer than it appears here|
I also selected this scarf in a soft, lightweight wool, which looks great with the jacket, and just about everything else in my closet as it turns out. The brass-colored paillettes along the edges pick up the brass in the jacket zippers. It’s a three-season piece that I’ll put away for summer and be delighted to wear again come fall.
This was such a satisfying shopping experience, not only because of the fabulous and unique additions to my wardrobe, but also because I felt as though I’d learned something. I’ve been trying to train my eye to be more discriminating and pay closer attention to details. I’ve tried to identify and emulate specific elements of French women’s style that I admire, but still it often feels like a watching a beautiful movie in a foreign language without subtitles; I get the gist but am missing substantial portions of the dialog. Many of the stylings and suggestions from the Z&V saleswoman were things I wouldn’t have seen or thought of myself, and gave me a little bit of insight into how French women approach style. They don’t just throw on a bunch of pieces that go together, but think about how they play off each other, even in the simplest ensembles. Selecting the color of a top to pick up the color of the jacket zippers (not just the leather), layering two tops and arranging the neckline just so (yet it looks nonchalant), folding a cuff to create a bit of architecture…those are the kind of insights that many French women seem to acquire as a birthright, a sort of sartorial terroir that is missing from my own cultural experience.
Et les bottes? Oui, those too. In spite of the skull. (They are super comfortable!)
|I’m thinking of giving my new little friend a name.|
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.