The first impression of Lafayette 148’s fall collection was that of warm, sophisticated clothes meant to be lived in. The brand is known to dress the career woman, which has meant great suiting and men’s wear influences in the past, often with artistic undertones. Creative director Emily Smith has been steering the brand into more alluring territory lately, too, balancing a level of luxe and modernity that has broad appeal.
She eschewed a seasonal inspiration and focused on great design, luxe fabrications and novelty touches. Models roamed around the new showroom in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard in layered looks that highlighted contrasts of structured and fluid, masculine and feminine. A prime example of how she updated workwear beyond basics included a fluid satin suit under an equally elegant melange camel coat, and a mink-accented cashmere sweater styled with a leather midi skirt that amped up the cool factor. A contrast of shapes resulted in a boxy plaid coat over a slim, waist-defining blazer and high-waisted paperbag trousers. A rich palette of camel, rust and grayscale punctuated a polished sensibility.
There was novelty in subtle and subliminal ways, too, as in abstract geometric patterns that were a play on the letters “L” and “F” that served as a sort of hidden love letter to customers, elevated touches of fur made into large pockets on wrap shawls, and both calf hair and snakeskin rendered into bags, shoes and belts.