ModelLafayette 148 presentation, Spring Summer 2018, New York Fashion Week, USA - 08 Sep 2017

SPRING ART ATTACK: Lafayette 148’s spring collection draws from the work of three female American artists — Georgia O’Keeffe, Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell (not to be confused with the musician Joni Mitchell.) Creative director Emily Smith said they decide on each artist due to their respective sense of color and abilities to blend shades such as O’Keeffe’s beautiful teals as well her fondness for denim. “What I like from all of these artists is the idea of the curved lines, the soft shapes, sculptural images and the hand brush strokes,” Smith said.

During a walk-through Friday morning, buyers from Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s were busy placing orders. Among the options were a Jackson Pollock-like printed white dress that appeared to be splattered with blue paint — a concept that the design team finessed during one of their monthlong visits to the company’s factory in Asia. Another standout is a relaxed linen trench with colorful brush strokes.

With about 75 percent of the company’s staff made up of women, Lafayette 148 is rooted in not just apparel that represents form follows function, but that which is comfortable. Smith, a Savannah College of Art and Design graduate, said, “We’re much more into wardrobing than outfitting. We just believe it’s about modern wear-to-wear into lifestyle dressing.” That said, there are core pieces like sweaters that can easily be worn three times a week to simplify workday dressing, as well as T-shirts, shorts and pants. The first group, which ships in March, is dedicated to O’Keeffe and features several chambray pieces such as a long dress, linen pieces, shimmery sweaters and superlightweight pieces.

With an eye on construction, Lafayette 148’s boyfriend jackets, shirtdresses, summer sweaters, anoraks in shirting weight material, belted city shorts and trenchcoats are among the options. Smith said, “This season it’s all about sleeve detail and striped shirting. It’s the moment of the blouses. Sweaters and all the casual luxe lifestyle are sort of a new way of dressing to go to work, but you can also wear it for the weekend. Anything that is easy-for-her and not overdone is what everyone is gravitating towards.”

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