Every so often a label appears out of nowhere that piques my interest. Well, maybe not that out of nowhere. I’ve discovered Medea the moment Petra Collins and Dev Hynes took it to the streets. And what is it precisely? That tiny, little bag. “We always were into bags and would spend money on those instead of clothes, so we thought, why not make a very fine leather bag that is shaped like a shopping bag?”, recall Giulia and Camilla Venturini for Vogue. The twin sisters have the bags crafted from matte calfskin leather in Verona, Italy. The Prima has just launched at Dover Street Market, Opening Ceremony and Selfridges, while the collection is expanding. For now, the bags come in eight colors and four sizes, ranging from micro (big enough for your phone) to an XXL version. The designers are also about to release a collection this September, made in collaboration with an artist. Expect the unexpected from this Milan-based label.
While the fashion industry struggles with overproduction and its self-destructive pace, the New York-based designer Emily Adams Bode goes against the flow. Her label, Bode, is mostly fabricated from vintage textiles: antique table linens, patchwork quilts, grain sacks – the list can go on. But don’t think her work comes out as looking overly D.I.Y. or crafty-arty. We’re speaking of button-up shirts with romantic pussy-bows, delightful coats and striped boxy trousers, treated with the finest dyes.
Her spring-summer 2019 collection is a beautiful nod to India. Part of it was produced from khadi, a handwoven cloth, produced by Indian craftsmen. But there are as well incredible Bengalese embroideries all over the shirting; a t-shirt with a flag of India print that has a cool, vintage-y vibe; pastel-blue short shorts; a rugby jacket in the brightest shade of orange; loosely fit suits. It’s like Wes Anderson’s ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ cast wardrobe, available in real life. But coming back to Bode and it’s phenomenon, it’s incredible how the label stays true to ethical and sustainable way of doing things (noting that Bode is based in the Big Apple, where everything should be ‘now and here’ lately). “We’re still largely focused on vintage textiles,” Emily says, “and then we work to find something that is reproducible from them. We have mills and producers in India, actually. And, when buyers come, they shop on the rack, and say, ‘How close can you get to this piece?’ Some want each piece exactly the same, and others want only one of a kind. We’re calibrating it, but it’s working.” One more thing: even though Bode presents her clothes on men, all of the pieces can be as well worn by female fans of the brand.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.