A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Woman

Esquire|The Big Black Book - Fall/Winter 2019

A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Woman
EMILY ADAMS BODE, ONE OF THE GREAT NEW AMERICAN DESIGNERS, USES VINTAGE FABRICS LIKE QUILTS AND TABLE LINENS TO CRAFT ONE-OF-A-KIND PIECES THAT ARE NOT SO MUCH CLOTHES AS THEY ARE COLLECTOR’S ITEMS
Christine Flammia
Emily Adams Bode is an artist. Sure, clothes may be her medium, but to call her a fashion designer would be to undervalue the craftsmanship that goes into her pieces. Bode, the brand, is born from Bode, the woman, and her love of fabrics with a story. She’ll make jackets out of old milk-bottle caps or cigarette-burned bed quilts—anything that was produced to be discarded but, for whatever reason, stuck around.

“I grew up antiquing in and around the South and in New England, where my parents are from,” says Bode. “We sewed and made collages regularly; I thought that was normal.”

While the fashion world is saturated with clothes not meant to last longer than a season, Bode’s work is intended as more than an impulse purchase. The fabrics she uses—antique quilts, old lace tablecloths, vintage saris—are far from the synthetics of fast fashion, and people are noticing. Her designs won her runner-up in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2018 and, in 2019, the CFDA Award for Emerging Designer of the Year.

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The Big Black Book - Fall/Winter 2019