For Fash­ion Week, the fam­ily ar­chiv­ist emerges from the at­tic

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - MATTHEW SCHNEIER NEW YORK — New York Times

If much of fash­ion op­er­ates at hec­tic warp speed, Emily Adams Bode of Bode is the slow-go­ing ex­cep­tion to the rule.

She is 28, but an old 28. While many of her peers, in­clud­ing those show­ing along­side her this week dur­ing New York Fash­ion Week: Men’s, are scram­bling, Bode’s pace is slower. Five floors above Clin­ton Street, in her war­ren­like stu­dio and apart­ment, Bode has her stock­piles and her scis­sors, and op­er­ates more like a mid­cen­tury dress­maker than many of her fel­low de­sign­ers. Her busi­ness, only a year old, is still heav­ily weighted to­ward pri­vate clients; she has, at the mo­ment, de­signs in two stores in Ja­pan and one in Van­cou­ver, Bri­tish Columbia. She has to keep her reach small, she ex­plained: her col­lec­tion is built around vin­tage, an­tique and dead­stock fab­rics that she finds, from heir­loom fam­ily quilts to African coun­try cloths, and they are not in­fin­itely ex­ten­si­ble.

“This is an early-1900s quilt,” she said, tak­ing one jacket by the sleeve. “This is it. It’s just one. Peo­ple love that. There was not a ma­chine stitch in this quilt be­fore we put it to­gether.”

Bode grew up an­tiquing with her mother and aunts. There is not much that she won’t con­sider as raw ma­te­rial for her col­lec­tion: bed linens and vinyl up­hol­stery, quilts and ta­pes­tries. For her new col­lec­tion, shown Thurs­day, she road-tripped through the south of France, stop­ping at flea mar­kets and coun­try houses along the way.

“We ripped mattress cov­ers off,” she said, point­ing to a pair of striped jack­ets. “They had all the fill­ing in them — the feath­ers and ev­ery­thing. It was a night­mare, it went ev­ery­where. But they have this beau­ti­ful weight to them.”

She has also be­gun us­ing the clothes to tell fam­ily sto­ries. Her new col­lec­tion takes up the life of an 83-year-old great-aunt in the south of France, whom she vis­ited in her coun­try home, stay­ing in the at­tic.

“I have aunts that call me the fam­ily ar­chiv­ist,” she said.


De­signer Emily Bode in her Lower East Side stu­dio.

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