Emily Bode, an Empress of China in New York

Fashion designer Emily Bode in her New York apartment on July 29, 2022.

The Bode store, located on Hester Street in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, is well worth a visit. This den clad in copper millwork (coffee-stained Douglas fir wall paneling) offers a summation of the ethos of the ready-to-wear brand founded in 2016 by Emily Bode. The place, decorated in every corner with antique objects and dried flowers, overlooks an 1890 fountain, found in an old Chicago building. The water gently flows, rocking the space with a bit of zen music.

On the ceiling, we discover a fresco created by the artist Lukas Geronimas. The decoration is signed by Green River Project, the design studio of Aaron Aujla, the designer’s husband, and her partner, Ben Bloomstein. Here and there are black-and-white photos of Emily Bode’s mother and aunt in romantic Virginia Woolf blouses. “They have always liked antiques; very young, accompanied them to markets and markets. They had a very artistic streak, with a passion for handmade things that influenced me a lot”, explains the designer from Atlanta who has managed, in a few years, to impose her unique touch of craftsmanship and Americana (the emblematic clothing of the United States) in the landscape of men’s fashion.

“I want to create pieces that encapsulate memories, that recall old ways of life, family traditions, times gone by. » Emily Bode

A double major from Parsons School of Design in New York, in design and philosophy, Emily Bode collects old fabrics – 1920s sheets, old ticks, lace tablecloths, vintage saris, patched quilts – documents their history, their memory, then transforms them into clothing. Unique pieces also represent 30% to 40% of the brand’s sales.

“Design is intimately linked to culture, to the way we live and were educated, but also to our way of thinking. Why do we think this or feel this? Philosophy allows me to question my work”, specifies the designer, who also develops her own fabrics, reproductions of old samples, striving to preserve ancient craft techniques. Jacket studded with enamel charms from the 1940s, coat made with traditional Indian embroidery from the 15th century.me century, tank top inspired by a crochet blanket from the sixties…

Each piece has its share of stories. ” I want to create objects that encapsulate memories, that recall old ways of life, family traditions, bygone eras.” concludes Emily Bode, who opened a second boutique in Los Angeles earlier this year, also clad in wood. On a coat rack, a sculpted dodo skeleton is a casual reminder of the misdeeds of excessive consumption.

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