Paris Men’s Highlights F/W 2023 Part 3

At Bode it’s a family affair

Emily Bode is the designer of the moment. While this season saw artist Daniel Arsham’s first show of his elevated workwear label Objects IV Life and rapper Kid Cudi’s Members of the Rage debut, one couldn’t help but wonder why on earth they are entering the fashions system. Vanity issues? And then there is Emily Bode with her vintage fabrics and other pre-existing materials that she transforms into one-of-a-kind pieces like her opening look of a camel double-row fringed leather jacket with pin striped pants in yesterday’s show. Or what about a sweater featuring a cow under a hand embroidered suede jacket? Bode has opened the world’s eyes to how beautiful and unique sustainable fashion can be. That’s why she won this year’s CFDA menswear award for the second time and is maybe the most interesting designer coming from the United States as she is so unapologetically American. Our editor Evelyn Tye attended the show at the Théâtre du Châtelet like many others during this hectic week but was so touched to write down a personal account.

Emily Bode’s sentimental F/W 2023 collection

One of the things I treasure the most when I go home for the holidays to Mexico is to see the family photo albums. Those analog pictures almost yellowish by time, among them several polaroids, including personal handwritten notes at the margin and in the back, and emitting that unmistakable smell of old glue. It must be said I am lucky to be the daughter of a very stylish couple whose personal taste for clothes and style always made them stand out. Clearly, no photo is as valuable as the story behind each of it.

Bode’s show was precisely about that (again): precious family memories with a spin. For her Fall/Winter 2023 collection, Bode introduces womenswear, and she did it by paying tribute to her mother’s family, the Rice sisters: Jackie, Nancy, Diane and Janet born between 1948 and 1956, with her mother Janet’s eccentric memories of working at The Crane State in Massachusetts being the focus.

Emily Bode introducing womenswear for F/W 2023

“My family feeds my head, but that is always. It is my family history and the history of my mother and my father and their siblings and their parents. It is going back up the family tree. That is where my head is”, Bode recently told ACHTUNG for our The Album book project with Mytheresa. I first met Bode in 2019 at the LVMH Prize shortlist. I remember I asked her: “How would you describe your current momentum in one word?” To which she answered: “Fast”. Her slow fashion is rising fast in 2023.

Emily Bode taking her bow after her F/W 2023 show

The show started with a short speech by Bode’s uncle Franck sharing the inspiration behind the collection. Then the theater curtain rose unveiling a scenography representing the family’s estate. Models came out from a little house walking slowly to the tone of a quiet background melody.

The large collection (60 looks in total) included historical reproductions from Bode’s mother’s stories at The Crane State, featuring a vast material spectrum. From velvet or sequined gowns, embellished suits with champagne bottles, silk lingerie and knit to a camel hair overcoat, micro floral printed corduroy sets and crocheted or beaded leather and suede fringed jackets like the opening look. They were all perfectly styled with accessories recalling those you find at your favorite vintage store or in your grandmother’s drawer. Even the Christmas tree inspired cocktail dress felt right.

Christmas tree inspired cocktail dress

On a cold Parisian winter night, Emily Bode made our minds travel to our most treasured family memories while delighting us with a collection of some of the best American golden age styles. After a series of shows where trend repetition starts becoming quite boring, Bode was a truly refreshing sightseeing. Elegant, sexy in the right dose and relevant. Every look was aspirational. I rarely say this but thank you Emily for this meaningful moment. I could even smell the glue parfum from my family’s old photo album at the end of your show.

Polaroid of Emily Bode’s mother