Last season, creative director Emily Smith was inspired by Lafayette 148’s original building’s history as a printing press, which translated into an innovative collection that creatively riffed on the idea of paper. For pre-fall, Smith dug deeper into the brand’s history, discovering the 148 Lafayette Street location had also previously been a post office in the ’20s.
“How can we take that and evolve it into a story to tell throughout?” Smith said. “We have envelopes, the crumpled up letters and love letters – these moments of stepping back into the nostalgic times of connecting, but also handwriting letters and celebrating craftsmanship and a return to the hand. It’s a celebration of the idea of love letters and introducing the idea of the post office, where we take you through a journey from postcards and getaway packages and eventually going into the postal uniform.”
The result was a nostalgic homage to the building’s history, rooted in the same handcrafted dialog that made spring’s assortment a success. For instance, button-off details on shirting and a trench coat subtly referenced the act of ripping apart stamps, while monochromatic dresses boasted “postal stripe wave-like engineered shirred stripes and envelope-inspired pockets which were featured on a stellar suede workwear shirt and pant. Elsewhere, Smith continued to riff on postal nostalgia with retro collars and buttons on uniform-esque utility shirting (an overshirt in “muslin brown” alluded to the idea of Mr. Postman’s messenger bag), suiting and outerwear while new cashmere wool knits were engineered with familiar vertical side stripes.
For postcards and getaway packages, Smith unveiled a seasonal print (a vintage postcard inspired scape, complete with beach, “weird motel,” countryside, lake, etc.) on a select number of silhouettes. Whether placed large scale on blue denim, repeated in Technicolor on a pleated skirt, or dressed up on a tonal silk jacquard, each style evoked nostalgia in smart doses. The same could be said for the collection as a whole, which upheld Smith’s sweet, celebratory inspiration without ever losing the brand’s polished, luxury handcraft signature.