February 1, 2023

Bode makes 20th century clothes for 21st century people

4 min read


written by Nick Remson, CNN

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A few weeks ago, Mick Jagger posted a holiday message. His Instagram feed Wearing a deep red paisley shirt, his pattern swirls with canary yellow and inky black details. The piece had something nostalgic about it: decadent yet comfortable, it suited Jagger’s bohemian rock star aesthetic as much as it did his timeless presence. “Maybe he got it for Christmas,” joked Emily Adams Bode Ojala, the dress’s creator and founder of her eponymous label, Bode, on a Zoom call from Paris.

Since launching his New York City-based brand in 2016, Bod Ojla’s designs — often repurposed from meticulously sourced vintage garments — have graced the likes of Harry Styles, Jordan Peele, Bruno Mars, The Jonas Brothers and Many have been seen in a range of celebrity tastemakers, including more. . “With his tour,” Bod Ojla said, “(Harry) was signed to Gucci, but he’s one of our most loyal Hollywood customers. He wore us a lot off stage. We paparazzi.” Will wake up to pictures of.” Together, Bode has garnered a substantial base of fashion fanatics and style-conscious consumers around the world — all for clothes that evoke, he says, “a sentimentality for the past.” around

Harry Styles wears a lacy body shirt while out with Olivia Wilde in New York City, 2022.

Harry Styles wears a lacy body shirt while out with Olivia Wilde in New York City, 2022. Credit: Robert Kamau/GC Images

These include, for example: colorful quilted workwear jackets, 1940s-era blousons with Hungarian appliqués, lightweight chemises with prints reproduced from 1920s-era French textile mills, and whimsical Delicately hand-embellished corduroy (as seen in Styles in December 2020. ). Much of what Bod sells is one-of-a-kind, with clothes recreated from deadstock textiles and vintage garb. The rest features some historical reproductions, what she calls “hyper-intentional” details like buttons or seaming.

Yet, while relatively down-to-earth, Bode is in the luxury category when it comes to pricing. Currently, quilted jackets cost between $1,000 and $2,000. A pair of socks — two-tone with embroidered plants — will set you back $250.

“We speak to materials and techniques,” said the designer. “What we do is consistent with the idea of ​​preserving craftsmanship. You don’t necessarily think of silhouettes as dated, but there are laborious techniques that we put into these garments that are definitely from a different era. are.”

Bode evokes emotion through repurposed vintage costumes and historical reproductions of 20th-century clothing.

Bode evokes emotion through repurposed vintage costumes and historical reproductions of 20th-century clothing. Credit: Victor Virgil/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

An emotional connection

Her clothing resonates with deeply personal, emotional contexts: much of her creativity is informed by explorations of memory, family dynamics, and domestic settings—and she has lived in them for 32 years, mostly in the eastern United States. How has each been experienced? Bod Ojla was born in Atlanta, and spent a significant part of his childhood in Massachusetts (a former family home in Cape Cod, no longer pictured, looms large in his memory bank). She had an interest in vintage clothing from a young age, and was deeply interested in the past stories told by her mother and her extended family. This is visible in his creative output. For example, for his Spring 2018 lineup, Bod Ojala traveled to Pimenade, France to visit his uncle’s mother. The woman tells Bode Ojala about the attic (Le Grenier in French) in her childhood home. Bode Ojala was enthralled, and the room would inspire the overall collection this season, using terrycloth, vintage duvets and more. This is one of many such examples.

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

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

At the same time, Bod Ojla’s work taps neatly into the current zeitgeist: a precursor when it comes to ethically aware fashion design (for example, upcycling is more common now than when it started his own label seven years ago), he’s also timed the trend—the meter is just right, even though his clothes aren’t designed with trends in mind: Gen-Z’s sartorial aesthetic is from decades past. Borrows heavily and clearly.

Bod Ojla also has news for 2023: he debuted new designs with his latest fall-winter menswear collection at Paris Fashion Week on Saturday, adding womenswear to his label’s offerings. added to

The new line included 1920s-era dresses and 1940s-era gowns, as well as replicas of 1970s-era dresses that were kept and given by Bode Ojala’s mother, Janet. “This first official womenswear collection is about my mother and a special time 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 elderly lady who wore full evening clothes every night, for dinner.”

The label unveiled its first womenswear line at Paris Fashion Week.

The label unveiled its first womenswear line at Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Astrop/Getty Images

More bygone glory is an all-over gold sequined coat, a champagne-hued simple bib-collared dress, beautiful vintage embroidery on cardigans and jacket lapels, and even fringed suede for a Western twang. Seen together. It was an ambitious, decades-long concept. And the bod pool is sure to widen.

While Bode Ojala has long mined personal experience and observation for inspiration, she acknowledges the emotional connection—which stems from introspection, and the power of family— – is universal, regardless of its specific ancestral proximity.

That familiarity can be felt, in part, in its brick-and-mortar boutiques, one of which operates in New York City, the other in Los Angeles. They are studied and like living rooms, with LA being a little more academic, New York a little more intimate. The retail bode is the second part of Ojala’s 2023 plan: she plans to open a third store, this time in the UK or Europe.

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





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