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Lafayette 148’s Martha Madigan Capsule Collection Reflects the Passages of Life

Lafayette 148 collaborated with the Martha Madigan estate to launch a capsule collection in honor of the late artist.

In a touching tribute to the late Martha Madigan, Lafayette 148 launched last week a capsule collection in collaboration with the artist’s daughters, Claire Khodara and Grace Fuller Marroquin, on International Women’s Day. The collection debuted at the brand’s Greene Street, Madison Avenue, and Beverly Hills locations, as well as online. Twenty percent of the sales will benefit the Martha Madigan Foundation, furthering art education in honor of Madigan’s legacy.

From March 13 through early April, Lafayette 148’s Greene Street New York flagship will be hosting an exhibit of Madigan’s works. The display includes large banner-format archival prints on silk, showcasing solar photograms that encapsulate Madigan’s exploration of sunlight and nature.

Lafayette 148

Courtesy of Lafayette 148.

Martha Madigan’s Photographic Alchemy

“My work is a direct experience of light and the fragility of life through the seasons.  Nature is a great teacher.  Nature always reminds me of the fullness and vitality of life as well as the death and decay that dwells within every living thing,” said Madigan of her work.

Madigan’s art is distinguished by her use of camera-less photographic processes. These processes incorporate natural elements, often botanical objects, which she places directly onto Cyanotype-coated paper. These objects, when exposed to sunlight, leave behind their silhouettes, creating exquisite prints. The choice of botanical subjects adds a layer of organic intimacy to her work, bridging the gap between art and the natural world.

“Our mother saw beauty in every corner, in every inch of the world,” Khodara and Fuller Marroquin said. “She was deeply connected to nature, and, as she would always say, nature is the greatest teacher. That’s why she worked so much with the natural world, with plants, and why she was such a pioneer in photographic arts. She made a mark, and so we feel a deep sense of devotion to continuing her legacy and spreading her love and light.”

Lafayette 148

Courtesy of Lafayette 148.

Emily Smith Finds Inspiration in Madigan’s Process

Lafayette 148’s Creative Director Emily Smith and her design team drew inspiration from Madigan’s profound connection to natural processes. The capsule collection features a pajama set and scarf, crafted using the finest Italian silk twill, and a kaftan in semi-sheer voile. The pieces are adorned with one of Madigan’s iconic flora-infused prints. It’s a venture that intertwines Madigan’s philosophy of the intrinsic creativity within nature with Lafayette 148’s sophisticated garment design.

“Martha Madigan once said of her work that it ‘reflects the passages of life, seeking not an understanding of time, but rather an experience of the sacred presence within it,’” Smith said. “My own guiding light while creating this collection was the thought of introducing more women to Martha’s beautiful depictions of nature, and through wearing the pieces we’ve designed using her prints, adding their own presence and their own passage of time to what is already an important and inspiring artistic legacy.”

Lafayette 148

Courtesy of Lafayette 148.

Lafayette 148

Courtesy of Lafayette 148.

20% of sales from the Martha Madigan x Lafayette 148 Capsule Collection will be donated to The Martha Madigan Foundation, supporting funds for art education.

Who is Martha Madigan?

Martha Madigan’s acclaimed and widely exhibited art practice began in the 1970s when her experimental approach to photography and image-making saw her adopt a camera-less photographic process. Using Cyanotype coated paper, sunlight, and often botanical objects placed on the paper, Madigan created exquisitely poetic forms silhouetted by light. “The radiance of the sun as the essence of creation becomes a direct experience within the work,’ the artist once explained. “The sun reveals the truth of human nature – that work we seek dwells quietly within the core of our beings.”Source

“The series of photographs titled ‘Human Nature” has grown out of a lifelong interest in the relationships between time, the seasons, and photography.  These three are inextricably woven together from both a technical and metaphoric perspective.  The issues within the work are simple and yet profound for me.  Some of these are:  an awareness of the essential truth in the teachings of nature; death and life as a continuum; and the struggle between human desire and the longing for spiritual evolution. The series ‘Human Nature’ suggests that the only constant in human experience is Change,” said Martha Madigan. — Source

Who is Emily Smith?

An Atlanta native, Emily Smith was enthralled by fashion from a very young age, which led her to Savannah College of Art and Design, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts. Following internships at Eskandar and Bill Blass, she joined Lafayette 148 New York in 2002 as a Design Assistant. Since then, her warm, collaborative design approach, technical mastery, and gift for perfecting a garment from the inside out propelled her rise to Creative Director for the brand and member of The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). From trend forecasting to developing each collection, to traveling the globe in search of the finest fabrics, Emily has helped guide Lafayette 148 New York to a new level of luxury—and built a gifted team to chart the brand’s next chapter. Source

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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Inviting the audience to feel, touch, and experience art in its most dynamic state is “When Forms Come Alive” at Hayward Gallery.
Susan Chen's first solo show at Rachel Uffner is on view now through April 20 in New York, including works in clay and ne paintings.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.