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.
Dries Van Noten knows how to steal a woman’s heart (and man’s too). He proves that once again in his newest collection for summer 2016. Marilyn Monroe and Salvador Dali. Two major inspirations combined in one collection. And with such a grace! Over-sized shirts with minuscule red lips embroideries, Marilyn Monroe’s face on coats and t-shirts, knits with lobster image – and all of that kept in a very romantic, super Parisian way. Dries remade the famous clichees (sorry Marilyn) into something new and surprisingly fresh. Keeping his signatures present throughout the collection.
Christophe Lemaire‘s SS16 for guys is not really a collection, but a full wardrobe with all must-have essentials. Black tank-tops? Check. Beige coats? Check. White shirts? Check. With a minimal splash of pistachio green there and there, Lemaire‘s summer offering is not about introducing new trends but rather discusses whether your casual, everyday wardrobe is ready on the go. And this makes the collection unruffled and tranquil, without much spark in it.
“Detournement is the art of taking some parts of the past and using them in the present with a contemporary approach and away from their original contest” is what Alessandro Michele of Gucci said before his SS16 show for men. “I love to work with the past to translate the future,” explained Michele, and although his designs are certainly rooted in Gucci’s heritage (those horse-bit loafers, the green and red equestrian stripes, bee motifs and famous GG logos) they update the house’s codes in a way that’s unrecognisable, thanks to his desire of not wanting “to stay a prisoner inside of the brand.” There are many retro references, with suede jackets and wide collars adapted from classic silhouettes of the 70s, but there is, as Michele puts it, no room for nostalgia – his focus is on youth. “They really are the future – when someone asks me what the future is? The future is now, between us, between young people,” he says. Also, the dynamic, new creative director of Gucci has a truly amazing point of view on beauty for men fashion. “My idea of masculinity is beauty,” Michele said after the show. “If you want to be beauty you can be beauty how you want; it doesn’t mean that you are not a man or woman.” That is strongly visible in this collection – hand-made embroideries, royal looking textiles, tudoresque jewellery and that Italian “dolce vita” attitude towards life is felt all over these clothes.
As it is in Michele’s philosophy to have female models in his menswear collection, the mesmerizing robes and silk scarves were jaw-dropping for both genders. And even though, many of these clothes feel like out of this era, they are all looking far into the future. It is a great pleasure to have a peek at all that artisanal beauty and reflect on it in the same, poetic way. Maybe because Michele himself is a great poet?
Bally‘s SS16 felt like a nice comeback to menswear reality. Great trousers, desirable jackets, super cool pajama suits – and all of that styled in a chic, modern way. With always chillded-out Clement Chabernaud as the face of the brand, the Swiss house instantly became a hot spot for guys which search for comfortable clothes with stylish twist. Pablo Coppola, the new creative director behind Bally, knows what men want.