Two weeks after winning the CFDA Award for Emerging Designer of the Year, Emily Adams Bode has another major achievement behind her belt: her first-ever Bode runway show, in Paris, not in New York. That’s a smart move. Men’s New York fashion week has an extremely low visibility, while Bode, a brand that possibly has the brightest, sustainability-forward concept behind it in the entire industry, needs a fair spotlight. The label’s off-kilter pieces reinterpret antique quilts and domestic textiles in a workwear context to create new narratives. Each collection harmonises disparate elements, repairing and preserving materials that would otherwise be lost, thrown away. The designer produces modern heirlooms that nod to folkloric craftsmanship with hand-stitched accents and panelled constructions. For spring-summer 2020, Bode focuses on the same idea, but with a different background. As she explained backstage, ever since launching her menswear label three years ago, she has been waiting for the right moment to present a collection inspired by her familial ties to a bygone wagon workshop based in Cincinnati that produced ornate creations for Barnum & Bailey and the Ringling Brothers. “It’s about being able to tell that narrative of the historical techniques and fabrications and then [figuring out] how we can bring this to market in larger way,” she added. An intricately embroidered coat or a suede jacket with hand-stitched florals might have been the nods to her season’s reference. The clothes that impress with detailing were put together with Bode’s classics – vintage-y, short-sleeved shirts, striped, cropped pants, over-sized overalls. I’m a huge fan of Bode and its philosophy, and it’s not the first time when I’m saying this. Big hopes for winning the LVMH Prize in a couple of days!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.