Bode makes 20th century clothes for 21st century people

Written by Nick RemsenCNN

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A few weeks ago, Mick Jagger posted a Christmassy message to his Instagram account while wearing a deep red cashmere shirt, its pattern swirled with canary yellow and inky black details. There was something nostalgically glamorous about the piece: decadent yet comfortable, it was as in keeping with Jagger’s bohemian rock star aesthetic as it was with his timeless presence. “Maybe he got it for Christmas,” joked Emily Adams Bode Aujla, creator of the garment and founder of his namesake label, Bode, via Zoom call from Paris.

Since launching her New York City-based label in 2016, Bode Aujla’s designs—often repurposed from meticulously curated vintage garments—have been seen on a variety of trend-setting celebrities, including Harry Styles, Jordan Peele, Bruno Mars, the Jonas Brothers and many more. . “With his tour,” said Bode Aujla, “(Harry) signed with Gucci, but he’s one of our most loyal clients in Hollywood. He wore us down a lot offstage. We’d wake up to paparazzi photos.” In tandem, Bode has gained a substantial base of fashion fans and style-savvy consumers around the world, all for clothes that gravitate, he said, to “sentimentality about the past.”

Harry Styles wore a lace shirt by Bode while dating Olivia Wilde in New York City, 2022. Credit: Images by Robert Kamau/GC

These, for example, include: colorful puffer work jackets, 1940s Hungarian-appliqué blouses, lightweight shirts with prints reproduced from 1920s French textile mills, and whimsically hand-decorated corduroy garments (such as one seen in Styles in Vogue in December 2020). Much of what Bode sells is one of a kind, with garments reimagined from dead fabrics and vintage clothing. The rest feature some sort of historical reproduction, right down to what she calls “hyper-intentional” details, like buttons or stitching.

However, while taking a relatively down-to-earth approach, Bode is in the luxury category when it comes to pricing. Puffer jackets currently cost between $1,000 and $2,000. A pair of socks, two-tone with embroidered flora, will set you back $250.

“We talked about material and technique,” said the designer. “What we do really focuses on the idea of ​​preserving craftsmanship. You wouldn’t necessarily think of silhouettes as old-fashioned, but there are labor-intensive techniques that we put into clothes that are definitely from a different era.”

Bode evokes emotions through reworked vintage garments and historical reproductions of 20th century clothing.

Bode evokes emotions through reworked vintage garments and historical reproductions of 20th century clothing. Credit: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

an emotional connection

Her clothes reverberate with deeply personal and emotional references: much of her creativity is based on an exploration of memories, family dynamics, and home environments, and how she has experienced each of these themes, much of it in the eastern United States. USA, for 32 years. Bode Aujla was born in Atlanta and spent a significant part of her childhood in Massachusetts (an old family home on Cape Cod, no longer pictured, looms large in her memory bank). She had an interest in vintage clothing from a very young age and was deeply engaged in the stories of the past told by her mother and her extended family. She is visible in her creative output. For example, for her spring 2018 lineup, Bode Aujla traveled to Peymeinade, France to meet with her uncle’s mother. The woman told Bode Aujla about the attic (le grenier in French) in her own childhood home. Bode Aujla was engrossed, and the room would inspire that season’s overall collection, which used terry cloth, old quilts, and more. This is one of many examples.

Her designs are heavily influenced by her own life and family history.

Her designs are heavily influenced by her own life and family history. Credit: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Simultaneously, Bode Aujla’s work perfectly taps into the current zeitgeist: a forerunner when it comes to ethically conscious fashion design (recycling, for example, is now much more common than when he started his brand seven years ago). , also timed the trend. meter perfectly, though her clothes aren’t designed with trends in mind: Gen-Z’s tailoring aesthetic draws heavily and heavily from decades past.

Bode Aujla has news for 2023, too: It’s just added womenswear to its brand’s offerings, unveiling the new designs alongside its latest Fall-Winter menswear collection at Paris Fashion Week on Saturday.

This new line included historical reproductions of 1920s-era dresses and 1940s-era gowns along with replicas of 1970s-era garments that Bode Aujla’s mother, Janet, kept and handed down. “This first official womenswear collection is about my mother and a very specific time for her during her youth in Massachusetts,” says the designer. “She had a job as part of the seasonal staff at a house on Cape Cod. The house was owned by an old lady who dressed in full nightwear every night for dinner.”

The brand presented its first women's fashion line at Paris Fashion Week.

The brand presented its first women’s fashion line at Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Misrepresentation/fake images

More of yesteryear’s grandeur was seen in an all-over gold sequin coat, a simple champagne-toned bib-collar dress, lovely vintage embroidery on cardigans and jacket lapels, and even a Western twist with fringed suede. It was an ambitious concept that spanned a decade. And it will surely expand the Bode group.

While Bode Aujla has long drawn on personal experience and observation for inspiration, she recognizes that emotional connectedness, born from looking inward and fueled by the power of family, is universal, regardless of your specific ancestral intimacy.

This familiarity can be felt, in part, in its brick-and-mortar boutiques, one of which operates in New York City and the other in Los Angeles. They are studios and living rooms, with Los Angeles being a bit more academic and New York being a bit more intimate. Retail is the second strand of Bode Aujla’s 2023 plan: it aims to open a third store, this time in the UK or Europe.

“We have experienced tremendous growth thanks to our retail stores,” said Bode Aujla. “I think a lot of people have become loyal to the brand because of how personal a lot of the clothes look or feel once they touch them.”

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