High Fashion, College Wallet: Balenciaga S/S 2017

When a brand is as iconic as Balenciaga, the stakes are high each season to have a memorable collection that surpasses the previous one. Demna Gvasalia, completing only his second show as the brand’s creative director, exceeded expectations with his Spring/Summer 2017 collection. His first collection built upon recurrent Balenciaga shapes while including contemporary street wear like puffer jackets and jeans, intrigued industry women. He built on the meaning behind the insiders’ obsession for the recent Paris show, thinking about details that are uncommon but extremely desirable. The result was a set of looks which included many professional-looking or familiar pieces while adding in creative shapes and bright patterns.

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One model seemed to have the perfect combination, a look that would work especially well on the streets while still incorporating Gvasalia’s creative vision. She wore a red and white striped blouse with a pussybow and peplum, pairing this with skinny black pants which draped over her ankles. Her purse was an oversized brown leather bag which was almost cylindrical. Other accessories included black square-toed heels, oversized pink button-like earrings and opaque black, rounded rectangular sunglasses. She wore her dyed icy blonde hair with brunette roots showing, parted down the center. The look successfully was adventurous, professional and effortless all at once.

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To achieve this look, first find a blouse which has a similar aesthetic. Coco Fashion has a good option for just $25. Black skinny pants are a staple piece, so those who do not already own a pair can easily find one like these high-waisted pants, $20 from H&M. Square-toed heels are less common than their pointed or rounded cousins, but they are still readily available from many stores. It is most important to find a pair that feels fashionable instead of dated; this $28 option from Maykool.com is simple and versatile.

Finding a bag as unique as the Balenciaga option is difficult, but mimicking the look with anything oversized works just as well. Try this hobo tote, for sale on NewChic for $28. Choosing a pair of oversized pink earrings is up to the individual. This pair, $38 on Wolf & Badger, plays to the current rose gold trend. Finally, finish the look with sunglasses. This $42 Joan Brown pair on Couture Candy may not be black, but it works perfectly with the outfit.

Balenciaga’s latest collection refreshed several more conservative pieces with trendy shapes, prints and combinations, making the looks eye-catching in a different way from those of most designers. Many individual parts of the above look may feel too dated or boring for a college student, but when brought together they create a new vision that women of all ages want to try. Anyone skeptical can pull a couple of pieces from this to create their own outfit, but those who dive in headfirst should rest assured that the look will stand out in a positive way.

Ali Webb is a staff writer. Email her at violetvision@nyunews.com.

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