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Lauren Moffatt Dives Into Swimwear With Her Spring 2012 Collection

Philadelphia-born fashion designer Lauren Moffatt  may be diving into unfamiliar waters with her first foray into swimwear since the launch of her eponymous brand 10 years ago, but her aquatic designs are harly those of a fish out of water. In fact, the 12-piece collection captures Moffatt’s vintage-influenced aesthetic perfectly, with feminine, colorful, punchy silhouettes that recall bygone eras.

The Lauren Moffatt Spring/Summer 2012 Swim Collection was mainly inspired by the idea of a 1970s road trip across the United States. A crochet bikini top, for example, nods to one of the era’s  biggest swimwear crazes of the era (even Cheryl Tiegs was photographed wearing a white crochet one-piece suit for a Sports Illustrated issue).  And, while the collection offers two one-piece swimsuits (the coral “Help Me Rhonda,” which features a mustard yellow ruffle detail along the slight V-shaped neckline, and the above pictured “Barbara Ann Asymmetrical,” a floral print number with a striped ruffle along the one shoulder and the undulating neckline), Moffatt made sure to incorporate numerous two-piece swimsuits since, after all, these grew in popularity throughout the 1970s, eventually leading to the creation of the string bikini (though Moffatt generally steers clear of this more scandalous silhouette, save for the “Help Me Rhonda” string bikini bottom and the “Barbara Ann” string bikini bottom).

Ruffled necklines and waistlines abound in the collection, as do the coral, ochre yellow, and jade green shades that were so popular in the 1970s. Red, white, and blue swimsuit designs and white stripes against navy backdrops, meanwhile, celebrate classic Americana motifs, creating a retro pin-up charm. Wood accents, meanwhile, speak to the Bohemian trends of the time, while even the floral prints are imbued with a Mexican flavor that speaks to a bordertown style influence (which is consistent with the cross-country drive idea that inspired the collection).

Most of the bikini bottoms have a hipster cut, falling below the waist, and feature varying levels of coverage (some have ruffled details at the waist for a more conservative feel, while others feature thick waistbands, and more low-cut styles feature slightly risqué ties at the sides). The tops, meanwhile, vary from bandeau styles  to skimpy tiangle tops, sporty halters, cross-over bikini tops, and less revealing bustiers.

Pictured above, you’ll find four of the styles in the collection. First, we have the Barbara Ann Bustier Bandeau and matching hipster ($120 at LaurenMoffatt.net), which features a bustier-style top with navy blue cups and removable shoulder straps juxtaposed against a folkloric floral print reminiscent of Mexican mural art an classic Oaxaca textiles, along with a matching hipster featuring a wide waistband resembling a ribbon strip.

Second from top, we have the Help Me Rhonda String Tie Bandeau and String Bikini ($198 at LaurenMoffatt.net), which features a white bandeau top with color-blocked ruffles at its center and two strings that tie around the neck for a halter-like effect, along with a low-cut, string bikini bottom in a matching colorway. The colors  — particularly that jade green — are quite reminiscent of those worn by Valerie Harper’s Rhoda character in the 1970s sitcom by that name, which might explain this swimsuit style’s moniker.

The See You in September Ruffle Bandeau and Ruffle Hipsters ($198 at LaurenMoffatt.net) conjure up images of retro pin-up art — think Gillette A. Elvgren’s work in the late ’60s and ’70s —while also clearly emphasizing the nautical theme that thrived in this era. A perfect choice for Fourth of July pool parties, this bikini set features coquettish ruffles along the top edge of the bustier and right below the hipster’s waist band so as to create a skirt-like effect.

And last but not least, we have the one-piece version of the Barbara Ann ($21o at LaurenMoffatt.net), which features a ruffled asymmetrical neckline and is cut relatively low along the hip/thigh area to offer a bit more coverage.

To check out the entire collection, visit LaurenMoffatt.net!

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