Let’s be clear: Lafayette 148 does career dressing, and it does it well. The spring collection was a testament to that, on the surface full of gauzy, easy-to-wear separates and updated suiting; given more context, it reflected aspects of Peggy Guggenheim’s personal art collection, with an earthy palette and approachable prints that helped breathe energy into corporate attire.
Creative director Emily Smith found Guggenheim to be the perfect muse — a champion of the art world who spent the Fifties in Venice. It’s no wonder the styles echoed some of the best elements of that decade, including fit-and-flare skirts and dresses, tiny shrunken collars, high-waisted silhouettes and an emphasis on nipping in the waist.
Smith hit a sweet spot with feminine, updated takes on wardrobe staples that featured an overall sense of ease and relaxation, including a white semi-sheer gauze linen blouse tucked loosely into high-waisted paper-bag waist pants, cool short suits that easily transition from day to night and relaxed blazers done in lightweight, breathable fabrics.
She had fun with the designs, too, repurposing a Picasso painting from Guggenheim’s home for a graphic print on a campy short-sleeve button-down shirt, along with other art renderings that toed the line of kitsch and European sensibility. Mixed with fluid midi skirts and Smith’s minimalistic inclinations, there was a perfect balance of sophistication and charm.