I think of Emily Adams Bode Aujla as a sort of pioneer in menswear. She was the first female designer to show at New York Men’s Week in 2018. And she was the first to lean into quilting, embroidery and pastel pieces that are generally associated with the feminine (or more specifically women’s work) in men’s collections. Something that was first questioned and now frequently imitated.
But unlike her imitators, the designs of her namesake brand Bode have history and heritage built in. She is known for creating pieces from horse blankets or deadstock material. And always paying homage to what came before –often mining family history in the process.
Despite –or perhaps because of– her unconventional approach, she has met with much success in the fashion world. This includes winning the Menswear Designer of the Year not once, but twice. (Only John Varvatoes, Thom Browne and Tom Ford have done that before.) And winning the 2019 CFDA Emerging Designer of the Year award and the 2020 Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation at the International Woolmark Prize.
Now Bode has evolved into womenswear as well. –During Men’s Fashion Week in Paris! Like with her menswear the past informs the present. But if you were thinking it would be the same aesthetic translated into skirts and dresses think again.
Called The Crane Estate, the collection was inspired by an older woman her mother worked for in the 1970s that dressed for dinner. She wore dresses from the 1890s to the 1940s every evening. It is this past that we see in this collection.
Some of the best pieces are inspired by the roaring twenties, such as a green drop waisted dress with beaded accents, and a gold A-line dress with a rounded neckline and beadwork hand crafted in India.
Sheer beaded tops, handcrotched knits, embellished trousers, a butter yellow windowpane suit, and lots of fringe are all part of the sexy, cerebral and eccentric look. Long dresses that look like they stepped off the screen from the1930s were also favorites. And along with this is the embroidery and embellishments that Bode is perhaps best known for. Emily has said in interviews that knowing there is history in the clothes creates a connection to the wearer. This sense of connection has always been strong in Bode and we’re excited that we no longer have to “borrow from the boys” to experience it.