Front Row

Lafayette 148 Spring/Summer 2022: NY-Based Craftsmanship

Founded in 1996, Lafayette 148 is a company led by women for women. It is known for sophisticated, luxe, clean-lined designs. This season, Lafayette 148 presents a collection that celebrates the spirit of New York design, craft, and construction. It is a love letter to the workers and makers who built this city that continues to offer endless inspiration and energy for the brand and remains the place we call home. The Lafayette 148 design studio, home to Creative Director Emily Smith and her team, overlooks the Brooklyn Navy Yard – a wonderfully evocative starting point for a collection that acts as a symbol of meticulous design and assembly, of a pioneering spirit, and of the construction of New York City and its diverse patchwork of global inhabitants.

The collection began as a feminine riff on workwear – the codes and traditions of masculine utilitarian clothing, reconsidered and elevated into a sophisticated wardrobe for the modern woman, for whom flawless quality, luxurious and sustainable materials, and a dynamic New York sensibility are of equal importance.

A carpenter’s jumpsuit is deconstructed and reimagined in the finest cotton, embellished with contrast stitching and leather-trim collar and cuffs. An oven-baked denim jacket and pants are cinched at the waist and paired with tan nappa leather espadrilles and a silk scarf adorned with the brand’s signature L Beam print – comfort and functionality upgraded through a feminine recontextualization.

Stripes run through the collection: as a nautical motif knitted into fine cashmere sweaters; woven into raw-cotton jackets as a nod to the railroads that forged the American path towards modernity, and in plissé fabrics which bring both fluidity and architectural rigor to dresses and tops as they envelop the body.

As with the city of New York itself, the idea of patchwork is prevalent. A multitude of textures, techniques, crafts, and stories. From dresses echoing the timeless and labor-intensive qualities of the American quilt to limited-edition knits that assemble and repurpose archive yarns into textural collages. Each piece is a wearable luxury built to last, where every stitch counts and nothing is wasted.

The naturally worn permanence of the workwear inspiration is complemented by the introduction of versatile leather pieces such as a classic white shirt transformed into skived fine nappa and matching shorts. And a full range of Made In Italy bags and footwear which embrace contrasting materials – celebrating the juxtaposition of the raw and the refined, grain against canvas, texture, and tonality, bursts of cobalt blue bringing verve and vibrancy to the season’s neutral palette.

The bags themselves are built around the values and versatility of the Lafayette 148 woman’s daily life. The leather cage bag with its removable and interchangeable canvas interior re-enforcing that in this collection the construction and interior are as meaningful as the outer surface.

Ultimately, the collection is a holistic expression of femininity, where style is imbued with confidence, purpose with romanticism, heritage with modernity. This is a wardrobe of effortless garments embedded with functionality, intricately assembled details, and a commitment to sustainable practice. They are created and crafted with a lightness of touch, which is the essence of modern luxury.

The collection is distributed online at lafayette148ny.com, Tmall, WeChat, and in 27 freestanding boutiques in the U.S. and China, as well as in specialty stores and luxury department stores around the world.

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