Bode: Menswear AW23

The enchanting scene of a shingled Cape Cod home served as the backdrop for Bode’s co-ed AW23 catwalk at the Theatre du Chatelet. Unfolding amid a yard with a picket fence, a garden gate suggesting the sea in the distance, Emily Adams Bode Aujla’s show felt utterly delightful. 

When the curtain went up, out came her quintessentially nostalgic, country-side inspired mens looks, but what no one expected were the women’s looks. That’s because this was Bode’s first-ever womenswear offering. But it didn’t feel like a rookie range, instead it was artful, poetic and polished with all the same folksy, all-American family-oriented storytelling she’s known to have mastered. 

Looking to her mother’s side of the family for inspiration – the four Rice sisters – she explored a variety of vestiary eras and ways of life. Janet, her mum, held a college job in the 70s on the Crane Estate at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, with a 90-year-old lady who kept to the old social formalities of her class. The graceful elder would descend for dinner extravagant gowns dating back to the 1890s through the 1940s – here those dresses re-emerge as a drop-dead gorgeous emerald green gown dipped in sequins and a luscious red velvet version, playing with notions of 30s or 40s style American glamour. That story, mixed with the designer’s cherished memories of family life over the years, brought a carefully considered, luxe cottage-core aesthetic into bring. Think novelty knits and beautiful men’s tailoring edged with gilded embroidery and embellishments that appeared almost Persian; green beaded flapper dresses and delicate mesh varieties that were simultaneously sexy and sophisticated; and Western fringed suede jackets.

The show closed with a joyous holiday celebration; a tulle Christmas tree dress, hung with eclectic baubles, appeared before an elegant velvet suit with multi-hued rhinestones along the lapels was revealed. Next, a satin tux with shimmering champagne, grape and star badges sewn all over, cheerfully rang in the New Year. The last look was a simple, 40’s style wedding dress. Bode AW23 was seminal. 

Photography courtesy of Bode.

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