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.
To present a brilliant collection, no major celebrities are needed in the front row, and there’s no need to pay thousands of euros for the show venue. Ask Grace Wales Bonner, who has just released a look-book with her spring-summer 2019 collection for men (and women). The main point behind the season was spirituality and the seek for inner peace, something the designer has been interested in for a while. Wales Bonner found Ram Dass, one of the first people who brought ideas of yoga and meditation to a Western audience, as the key for that relaxed, yet oozing with mystique line-up. Inspirational texts from the spiritual teacher’s book appear printed on loosely fit t-shirts, cotton shirts and over-sized yoga pants. Some read such profound quotes as: “The stillness. The calmness. The fulfillment. When you make love and experience the ecstasy of unity.” But the collection as well has a less laid-back, more celebratory side. Some of the pieces were hand-embellished with shiny sequins and were a nod to craftsmanship originating from India. Beautiful.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Stella Jean is the queen of ethnic fashion. Her women’s collections are always way better than many other Milan-based designers fancy shows. For AW15 season, Stella referenced her work to India and Nepal – sunny colours, enchanting embroideries and oriental silhouettes appeared not only at her women’s collection, but also at men’s. I mean, these guys look so good in all that bold, print splendour! The kaleidoscopic jackets, hand-stitched pea-coats and turquoise trousers rule. Although I am not a print-loving person, I would love to wear a few of those pieces on myself.
Hello Milano! And hello beautiful, sunny Stella Jean which sends us kisses straight from India! At the beginning of February, I went to Milan to preview Stella’s AW15 – the embroidery, the prints, the colour combinations are just genius. And what’s interesting, thanks to mixing classical, Italian heritage to the Bollywood-inspired theme, the AW15 collection is not so… kitsch? There’s nothing to add or to subtract. Basically, the collection has a healthy amount of wearable pieces decorated with rather silent ornaments. The coats are gorgeous; the dresses are breath-taking. And these tweed voluminous skirts look so great with these ethno-patterned knits! We definitely need the warmth and cheer that Jean brings to fashion world every season.
While in Milan, I am visiting various fashion showrooms for a future project, and I really enjoyed Stella Jean’s preview of AW15. The full collection is going to be presented at the end of February, so here is your “exclusive” look at it! As the showroom notes said, Stella Jean brought Bollywood magic of colours, prints and boldness to comfortable, stylish silhouettes. You might think the clothes are kitsch- absolutely no! Although there a lot of Bollywood accents in here, we’ve got a beautiful selection of knitwear, tweed skirts and gorgeous flannel shirts. Also, the spotlight was stolen by the hand-stitched coat and skirt combo, representing amazingly embroidered patterns… by looking over and over again at my photographs, I just can’t wait to see the full collection during Milan fashion week!