Back in ’96—a time that, fashion-wise, didn’t look wildly different from where we are now in ’16—Lafayette 148 New York opened up shop in the heart of SoHo. Today, they’re delving into the archives and retooling iconic styles from years past into a special 20th-anniversary collection.

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All images courtesy of Emily Smith and Lafayette 148 New York

That’s two decades of chic, elevated staples, and two decades dedicated to ensuring women—of all ages and all shapes—look and feel like their ideal versions of themselves.

headshot2To mark the occasion, we traded missives with the brand’s world-traveling creative director Emily Smith—who spends four months out of the year working alongside the company’s skilled artisans in Shantou, China—to talk history, favorite new pieces and inspiration found along the eastern edges of the Himalayas.

LET’S GO BACK, THEN FORWARD

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You can always count on Caroline Issa to be one of the most classically chic women on the street and in the front row, and you can always count on her for a precise yet spirited runway recap.

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Caroline Issa image by Kristin Yamada

So that’s exactly what we did: we counted on her. Our ace street-style shooter, Kristin Yamada, caught her at the show—wearing the Nordstrom Signature pintuck floral-print dress she helped design—and then we got her download on what was inside.

CAROLINE TELLS ALL: READ MORE

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What Men Wore to London Fashion Week

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Photos by InDigital Images

London Fashion Week is over. Scope our full coverage here. And stay tuned for more Fashion Week coverage from Milan and Paris.

In the meantime, let’s look at what men wore to LFW. We did the same thing last week, looking at what men wore to New York Fashion Week.

In the slideshow below: jackets, backpacks, jackets which are also backpacks–and drastically different interpretations of American varsity style in the UK.

CLICK HERE FOR THE SLIDESHOW

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London Fashion Week Street Style

Photos by Kristin Yamada

London Fashion Week Spring 2017 is coming to a close, and we’ll be sad to see the street style go. Here are a few more of our favorite (shoppable!) looks from LFW—captured by our gimlet-eyed street-style reporter Kristin Yamada—that we plan on emulating posthaste.

SEE THE LOOKS

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Once you get your hands on a straight-off-the-runway piece from Topshop’s London Fashion Week show, and then once you get ready to post it on Instagram, you might think about tagging the illustrations’ Orange County-based creator when you get there.

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Portrait of the emoji artist as a total babe; image courtesy @Lillipore

Natasha Lillipore—a crush-worthy, cool artist and Rihanna collaborator—answered our questions about these new digital buddies (for iPhone and Android) and her real life.

WE ♥ HER EMOJI: READ MORE

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Micro trend alert: Gingham.

London is alive with it; it’s all but bombarded us since we arrived. We saw it at Shrimps, Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard … and then, on Tuesday morning at Toga

Toga SS17 | Portia Hunt for Nordstrom

All images by Portia Hunt 

Whether you associate it with the U.K.’s top emerging designers or Bridget Bardot’s pink wedding dress, there’s every chance that gingham is going to be all over the place come spring ’17. And the ones you’ll see from Toga are anything but old-fashioned.

GET ALL THE GINGHAM HERE

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“I’m quite obsessed about girls on Instagram … how girls see themselves and what they want to give us from their life, how they choose to be seen.” This statement, from the program notes we found on our seats at Marques’Almeida‘s Tuesday afternoon show, is at the crux of everything the London brand is about. Not the social media part, per se, but the idea that for women today, image and message are personal and powerful, and immediate.

There are lots of fashion brands right now that team up and align with “real girls” (the term differentiates them from models, who—it’s worth saying—are real girls also), but Marta and her codesigner Paulo Almeida really live it. They weren’t the first to use street-casting and regular people on the runway, but they completely embody the ideals behind those acts. It’s impossible to separate their frayed denim and exaggerated silhouettes from their commitment to creating pieces that strong women want to live and express themselves in.

Marques Almeida SS17 | Portia Hunt for Nordstrom

Sofia Moser Leitão, discovered on Instagram by Marques’Almeida;
all images by Portia Hunt unless otherwise noted

We spent the afternoon with one of those women—22-year-old Lisbon-based culture and art student Sofia Moser Leitão—and talked to her about getting discovered on Instagram, walking in her first runway show and the “new dimension” of fashion that she’s found while working with the M’A team.

And then, yes, of course, we got front and center for the big spring runway event too.

CLICK IN TO MEET SOFIA AND SEE THE COLLECTION

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It started with the set. Sometimes you walk into a presentation, or you see the runway before the show begins, and you’re just charmed. This was one of those times. Upon walking up four flights of old cement stairs in an industrial building out in East London, we found an assemblage of women we wanted to know, and maybe even wanted to be.

Isa Arfen SS17 | Portia Hunt for Nordstrom

Isa Arfen SS17 | Portia Hunt for Nordstrom

All images by Portia Hunt 

Isa Arfen designer Serafina Sama’s spring collection was shown on women pacing and writing, dreaming and preparing, reading and gazing; most of them in their own little worlds—except for the girls braiding each other’s hair and dancing together under a disco ball in the corner. The rough, pretty and cinematic setting—like something on an experimental theater stage—made the collection feel immediately intriguing.

But once you looked closer, it was the clothes themselves that were pulling you in.

GET INSIDE THE MOOD AND THE COLLECTION

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While most of the much-discussed styles during London Fashion Week appear on the runways, there’s a whole show happening at street level. When the fashion world is gathered in one city, sometimes on one block, there’s no shortage of amazing shoes. Here, we’ve assembled some of the styles that stopped us in our tracks—it’s a thing we do.

Click on a pair to shop these showstoppers or similar styles right now.

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Photos by Kristin Yamada

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One thing was clear from London Fashion Week Spring 2017: fashion isn’t Brexiting anytime soon. Strong collections from established and emerging designers attest to the long line of talent that shows in the UK. Storied houses like Burberry implemented new practices like gender-blurring designs and see-now, shop-now strategies. Breakout designers like Molly Goddard and Marques’Almeida continued to find new ways to deconstruct and reenvision styles for the runway. Then there were the front rows full of celebrities and the great street style that just gets better during Fashion Week.

Here are some of our favorite moments and the most memorable trends from LFW Spring 2017.

1. Charlotte Olympia’s dance show

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Image: Indigital Images

Known for her cheeky accessories, Charlotte Olympia put on a sexy show to celebrate her spring collection, inspired by the Copacabana Club. Fruity props and Carmen Miranda tunes filled the Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel’s Art Deco ballroom in London. The ’40s-themed dinner club setting perfectly set the stage for Olympia’s kitschy new platforms and stilettos, sure to put a spring in the step of wearers and a smile on admirers’ faces.

CONTINUE THE COUNTDOWN

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