For autumn-winter 2023, Bode is back on the runway, and back in Paris. But there’s also a debut coming from Emily Adams Bode Aujla: a gorgeous womenswear line. At the Theatre du Chatelet, her American family storytelling took place. The models came out of the house and walked stage left, close enough so that every detail of the embroidery and embellishment could be appraised close up. There was a lot of it, and it looked great, from edging men’s suits to decorated with gold and green beads flapper dresses. The Bode program notes spoke about how the designer looked for inspiration to her mother’s side of the family – the four Rice sisters. Janet, her mom, had a college job in the 1970s on the Crane Estate at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, with a 90-year-old lady who kept to the old social formalities of her class, and would descend for dinner in dresses which went back to the 1890s through the 1940s. Somehow, that story got mixed up with Emily’s memories of family life, from every day dressing to celebrations over the years. By the time a dress came out that was clearly a Christmas tree, hung with baubles, the Parisian crowd was won over. Most of all, the success of the show was to prove what a range Bode has as a brand. The gliterry shimmy dresses apart, she also pulled out some drop-dead American-glamour 1930s/‘40s evening dresses in emerald green sequins or red velvet. On top of that, her all-gendered, novelty-type knits are already real stand-outs in stores. If Ralph Lauren is looking for a successor, Emily Bode Aujla is the right person to reach out to.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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