High Fashion, College Wallet: Les Copains S/S 2017

For Les Copains’ Spring/Summer 2017 collection, Stefania Bandiera drew from feminist inspirations. The show focused on 19th-century female adventurers, finally giving this group of the past, which had not much choice to wear anything but men’s clothing, justice and empowerment through creating feminine pieces. Flowing cargo-esque pants, jumpsuits and jackets and sheer blouses and skirts with bikinis underneath dominated the looks. Knitwear, a Les Copains specialty, worked its way into the collection through the bikinis as well as with  dresses, tops and swimsuit cover-ups layered over many outfits.

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While many of the looks seem reserved for the beach or an actual adventure, some would transition easily onto the streets. One model wore an outfit of which the main piece was a sleeveless green, deep v-neck jumpsuit with artfully-placed cargo pocket detailing on the sides. Her matching knit bikini top peeks through, and the jumpsuit stays perfectly in place with a tan belt. Accessories, which included strappy, heeled sandals and interesting, buckled bracelets, coordinated with the belt. The model’s light brown nails, wet hair look and subtle makeup pulled everything together. She looked ready for an adventure in a different form; her outfit would work perfectly for a day of exploring a city or a girls’ night out.

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Recreating this look affordably requires creativity and compromise because the details will certainly vary, but it will pay off. Charlotte Russe has a $35 emerald jumpsuit that may be more fitted and richly colored than a typical adventure look, but it has a plunging neckline and straps across the chest which make it work well and catch attention. For those who love the pocket detailing, VendorOverstock.com has a $47, army green option that is long sleeved but has the deep v-neck as well as a chest pocket. Pink Queen may have one of the best deals, a wide-legged jumpsuit with a plunging neckline for just $19. This option also has the most accurate color of the three.

Next, try to find a bralette, bandeau or bikini top that matches the jumpsuit. Some potential solutions include this lace bralette from Charlotte Russe, on sale for just $8, and this arugula green bralette for $17 from Target. For the sandals, any strappy, tan or light brown pair will do; try these chunky heels from Sears for just $25. Find some tan or brown leather bracelets like this $14 Dover Saddlery braided leather bracelet or this $27 cuff from Nickel & Suede. Finally, use some product to give hair a relaxed, damp look and wear neutral-colored makeup to complete a look ready for an adventure around the world or just the city.

In a fashion world dominated by black and white and increasingly using technology’s influence, Les Copains’ ode to female adventurers of the past is striking but welcome. The collection’s green jumpsuit look takes already prevalent plunging neckline and delicate bikini top/bralette trends and uses them in an adventurous, empowering way. The wearer will exhibit beauty but also strength, communicating a feminist message that is as important as ever.

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

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