A Conversation of Creativity
Sitting on a film set recently in the Soho design studio of Lafayette 148 New York, Barbara Gast, Chief Creative Officer, had her keen eye fixed on the production of a fashion documentary film series. With a slight laugh she declared, "I love my job, which is good because Im not able to do anything else!" However false that statement may be, after building a storied career steeped in the luxury market, shes certainly one of the best in the industry.
Her vision now drives every aspect of the Lafayette 148 New York brand, from store design, and advertising, to the expansion of product scope.She likens herself to an orchestra conductor, inspiring and guiding an international team of designers – a brilliant mix of cultures, backgrounds, and expertise –to find a new vision with every collection.
"We spend a great deal of time at the beginning of every season looking at the runways, looking at whats going on in the world. Its our job tointerpret and refine the trends for our customer. We understand the role fashion plays in their lives. We give them a modern edge – but with arelaxed sophistication."
And as a model emerges from hair and makeup, Barbara rises and starts to make adjustments – fixing lapels, adding accessories, and scrutinizing every detail. "Every-thing we do is part of creating a global image."
On set between takes, Creative Director, Emily Smith gathers her thoughts to share on camera. "I love working with Barbara. Weve been working togetherfor, I think, twelve years. She is such a wealth of knowledge and is such an incredibly creative person."
As cameras roll for another take, Emilys passion and enthusiasm for fashion is undeniable. "What I love most about designing this line is the finishing, thequality, and the level of love that we give to each piece. For me, the inside of the garment should be just as beautiful as the outside. Like back in the'50s – Doris Day would walk into a room and the print on the inside of her coat would complement the outside. We do that here!"
At Lafayette 148 New York, every step of the process happens under one roof. Its what makes us unique. Designers are able to work the details of theirideas from start to finish. Its a creative dream – they can experiment, innovate, and perfect their designs. Whether working with the beautiful nuances ofcraftsmanship or using the latest technologies, the design team delivers collections that not only redefines luxury, but also the industry.
Barbara and Emily share a love of architecture, which makes them the perfect team. For 20 years, this has been Lafayette 148 New York'sdesign inspiration - collections that embrace the spirit of this city and the sculptural lines of its best architecture.
Barbara, watching video playback on a monitor, points outside the loft windows and the city beyond, where new towers constantly redefine the citys ever-evolvingskyline. "Soho. Downtown. Its vibrant. Vital. Dynamic."Emily nods, "You walk the streets - theres energy. Excitement. Drama. Inspiration. Fashion. "
It's just before noon, and this is the third day in a row where shooting has begun at 6am. Taking a sip of espresso, Barbara savors the moment."No matter where we go in the world, we find inspiration in everything from architecture and art, to music and the people who are constantlyredefining it. For us, fashion is all about what's next."