A High Fashion Take on High School Stereotypes

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Academia chic is normally restricted to school auditoriums, cafeterias, and classrooms, but the Spring/Summer 2019 collections presented at New York Fashion Week proved otherwise. At Calvin Klein, Raf Simons was inspired by the 1975 Mike Nichols film, The Graduate, in which Dustin Hoffman plays a graduate dressed in mustard corduroy suits. Simons’ collection included graduation caps and gowns, layered over XL blazers, pleated skirts, and chunky knits. Graduation gowns also made an appearance in Vaquera’s collection, which took place at a public elementary school on the Lower East Side. Models were dressed in layers of twisted high school cool: deconstructed sweatsuits, jersey hoodies, and cobalt blue taffeta gowns, plus tube socks stuffed into stilettos.

With white poplin shirts, oversized plaid blazers and tan suede skirts, Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon presented a trendy take on the school uniform. Meanwhile, Tory Burch did a chic take on the science nerds, and Ralph Lauren, naturally, went all-out New England boarding school prep, with models dressed in letterman jackets, knit beanies, and an abundance of tweed.

CR dug deep into backpacks and lockers to find the back-to-school gear you can wear right now—without feeling like a kid again. Because, for better or for worse, school is officially back in session.

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