I have to give designers a lot of credit this season, as we see yet another 1960s inspired set of silhouettes walk down the runway, that while utilizing the general lines of that very versatile era, they’ve not been so caught up in a retro scene as to feel the need to duplicate the exact looks. Instead, what we’ve seen is brilliant updates of cuts that are inherently more flattering to women than those of later decades. Nowhere has that been more true than with this afternoon’s Les Copains collection.
Set to Peter Skellern’s One More Kiss, Dear, a tender little song about passing love, and with a subtle butterfly motif, this Les Copains collection seems at first glance to be made for a Midwest audience. Why would I suggest such? Wide, roomy hips. From the first ensemble coming down the catwalk, black knit pants with a sporty white stripe under a large knit sweater and fur capelet, there is very little to this collection that would challenge the expansive hips that define the stereotypical Midwestern physique. Let’s be totally honest here: Midwest girls are, by and large, not designed for stick-thin fashions. Blame whatever you want, the average Midwestern woman is 5′ 3″ and wears size 8 clothes. This fact is a photographer’s nightmare as we struggle to find local models who can actually fit the size 2 or size 0 samples we’re given to photograph. This Les Copains collection gives me hope for this fall’s editorials.
While the early 1960s aesthetic is evident, I have to give the Les Copains design team significant kudos for keeping this from looking anything remotely like a retro collection. As simple as the silhouettes are, they’ve kept the fabrics, patterns, and prints very fresh and contemporary. As a result, the line comes off very “today”in its appearance and is one that is likely to stay fresh and wearable for several seasons.
Standing out from this rather large collection are the sweater dresses. Knit pieces sometimes solid colored (black) but more often very intelligently patterned are just the right length, hitting just above the knee, to make these pieces appropriate day wear for a large number of occasions. Comfortable enough to wear all day, flexible enough that one can bend down to pick up a child, and carefully styled so as to not have to worry about gaps, seams, or inappropriate draping.
Knee-high boots are once again a strong piece of this collection, though the heel on these comes a little higher than others we’ve seen. Yet again, though, given the height challenges of many Midwestern women, a little extra heel is not a bad thing.
The color palette consists largely of earth tones and toward the end of the collection it goes almost completely black. This is not terribly unusual for fall/winter collections, though, and for many women the color neutrality that allows pieces to mix and math with existing wardrobe only add to its appeal.
Les Copains may not be a label with which many women are familiar, but this is a collection I strongly recommend exploring. Immensely wearable with thought given to comfort and appropriateness, this could be the look for which many women have been waiting.