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Class In Session At The Lauren Moffatt Fall 2012 Presentation

Philadelphia-born fashion designer Lauren Moffatt took us to school for her Fall 2012 Presentation— literally. Two spacious rooms inside The Old House (located at 238 Mott Street in New York City) were transformed into 1950s-style classrooms for the presentation, held on February 8th: one dedicated to science and the other  devoted to art. The two rooms were divided by a narrow hallway so that, as guests entered the building and walked up a small flight of stairs, they encountered a chalkboard with arrows pointing in opposite directions, toward each “class.”

Inside the science class, models posing as students sat in wooden chairs with built-in desks, poring over paperback books. A model dressed in a prim ivory ensemble consisting of a sleeveless buttoned-up shirt, a pleated knee-length skirt, matching tights, and leather oxford shoes, sat atop the wooden desk at the front of the classroom, a shiny red apple at the corner of her desk, and a large blackboard behind her, along with a US flag hanging from the wall. A retro globe was propped on a shelf nearby,  a stack of heavy encyclopedias directly next to it and, underneath, a metal table with a sate-colored typewriter and a classic black-and-white composition notebook. A coat rack was situated only a few feet away, with nostalgic pieces like a color-blocked parka (shown after the jump) in a navy blue shade featuring oversize charcoal-colored cargo pockets with red flaps, pops of cream along the chest area, red piping forming an arrow-like shape along the chest, a red strip on which golden snap buttons were arranged in a neat vertical row, and a plus fur-lined hood.

On the opposte side of the room, a presumably naughty student dutifully wrote the phrase “I will not talk in class on a chalkbord” while wearing a black A-line skirt with pleated details, and a sleeveless, sequin-adorned, golden blouse with a rounded Peter Pan-style collar. Nearby, toward the back of the room, two students were perched atop a wooden bench reading out of classic books by the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, a bulletin board with pages out of The Age of Innocence and The Old Man and the Sea tacked onto its surface situated directly above their heads. Next to them, a simple two-tiered bookshelf was stocked with classic philosophy, art history, music, and fiction titles.

At the very back of the room, meanwhile, visitors found a poster with the periodic table hanging from the wall and, underneath it, a wooden table with vintage flasks, Bunsen burners, and colorful microscopes. Two students stood on opposite ends of the table, presumably presiding over their lab experiment.

The art-themed classroom meanwhile featured two walls lined with paintings borrowed from Moffatt’s personal art collection. The center of the room, meanwhile, was occupied by wooden easels equipped with blank canvases. Models stood before the easels holding palettes and paintbrushes, as if carefully studying where to place their next brushstroke.

The attention to detail in the set’s design was astounding: Moffatt hand-picked the books to display both because she adored these particular tomes and because they corresponded to the colors she used when designing her collection, and she provided many of the vintage items used to decorate the space (including the chem lab tools). But, then, that’s to be expected from a designer with such a nuts-and-bolts approach to design.

Academia clearly played an important role in Moffatt’s design process, but her focus was mainly on the symbolic significance of the schoolgirl, the archetype’s link to fleeting innocence, to that not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman period of life. Vintage references also abounded, as manifested by the plethora of knee-high socks, buttoned-up blouses, rounded necklines, simple ponytails, pleated maxi skirts, calf-length dresses, ultra thin belts, apron-style ribbon stripe skirts with floral details, and menswear-inspired saddle and oxford shoes.

In typical Lauren Moffatt fashion, stripe details abounded (for example, on a a green-and-navy striped pullover paired with a checkered knee-high skirt featuring Mod-flavored square panels at the waist or, for that matter, on a mustard yellow, long-sleeved sweater top with white-and-red stripes at the rounded collar and sleeve cuffs). Arrow motifs also predominated — popping up on winter coats, pleated skirts (as with the salmon pink skirt with navy blue zig-zags shown after the jump), and dresses (especially a cream-colored dress that featured vertical stripes made of tiny directional arrows in a light gray shade, an orange-tinge red, a slightly greenish mustard yellow, a grayish lilac/mauve, and a deep navy blue (as shown after the jump). Polka dots and simple plaids were also peppered throughout the collection, adding a playful preppy vibe. But perhaps one of the most interesting design elements was the use of golden snaps meant to reference the round push-pins typically used to pin up flyers, announcements, and class work on cork-based bulletin boards. One of the most amazing looks incorporated an ankle-length, pleated navy skirt with vertical stripes created out of golden snaps paired with a cream-colored, short-sleeved blouse with horizontal stripes fashioned out of these same snaps and a “V” shape in a mustard yellow along the very center of the blouse.

And while Moffatt has typically shied away from anything even remotely revealing, she did incorporate a few risqué elements (comparatively speaking, of course) via small triangular or arrow-shaped cut-outs on select pieces, meant to reference the rebellious spirit inside even the most obedient, studious, well-behaved schoolgirl.

Check out more images of the collection (and the charming way in which the space was decorated) after the jump!

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