Nature is top of mind for New York luxury label Lafayette 148.
For the resort season, creative director Emily Smith debuted the idea through clothes designed for an upstate getaway. For spring, she looked out the window of the brand’s Brooklyn Navy Yard headquarters and directly into the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm and lush garden for inspiration.
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“It’s an urban oasis,” Smith said during the brand’s New York Fashion Week presentation, fittingly set in Greenwich Village’s outdoor Jefferson Market Garden (with look book imagery shot at Brooklyn Grange). “There’s a lot of textures. We really wanted to celebrate the idea of the time it takes to plant the seeds and grow the garden — that natural connection and creativity that it inspires.”
Smith pointed out the collection’s macramé fringed and crocheted details (as seen on a strong two-piece white napa leather jacket and skirt, or full-length dress) as a nod to seed sacks and flower-filled macramé baskets while nude-colored textural mesh styles (a tank and short sleeve dress) evoked the idea of blooming with allover, hand-stitched coxcomb floral embroideries.
“Then the leathers have these little imperfect crinkle textures because, again, it’s just like when you’re working, things get messy. I think that’s a beautiful thing to celebrate,” she added.
Smith further brought forth the garden idea through the collection’s natural eco-print — derived from the technique of applying and steaming flowers directly onto the fabric, which Smith’s team collaged to create a modern camouflage effect. The motif was rendered as true prints (as seen on a sky blue organza button-down with matching silk twill pant); as jacquards (a strong tonal khaki robe-meets-leisure suit), or whipped into knit layers.
Throughout the collection, Smith balanced the brand’s well-known, luxe, artisanal details with a mostly neutral palette on an expanded assortment of signature meets uniform-focused silhouettes.
“We wanted to celebrate great white shirts, which is sort of who we are,” Smith said of spring’s crisp poplin offering, elevated with pouffed tulip sleeves or thematic floral embroideries. “And beautiful tailoring, but done a little more relaxed and with a different palette.”
Instead of leaning fully into full workwear, Smith peppered in the ideas of a gardener’s uniform through apron-inspired drapes and ties, reversible outerwear (a double-faced cotton and silk blend workwear coat) and an updated signature tote bag with extra utility pockets.
Launch Gallery: Lafayette 148 RTW Spring 2024
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