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Bode returns to Paris with fashion inspired by family



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Award-winning US designer Emily Bode returned to Paris on Saturday after a pandemic-induced break with a vintage collection inspired by her mother and aunts.

One of the most talked-about new designers, and one of several young women making a mark in menswear, the 33-year-old's eponymous label branched out into womenswear for the first time as she recreated a scene from rural America on stage at the Chatelet Theatre.

The show started movingly with an introduction by Bode's uncle, who spoke of recently losing his wife, a photographer who took many pictures of the family from which the night's collection were drawn.

"We used details from some of my mom's clothes taken from photos from the sixties and seventies," Bode told reporters backstage. "We have an entire board of pictures that my aunt took of the family."

Bode's handcrafted clothes, often made from recycled antique fabrics, quilts and grain sacks helped win her Menswear Designer of the Year at the CFDA Awards in 2022.

Her new vintage-inspired collection included tuxedos with rhinestone lapels, suits embellished with sequin Champagne bottles and classically-tailored camel hair overcoats.

Titled "The Crane Estate", it was based on her mother's time working for an eccentric, patrician old lady in Massachusetts who dressed each evening in lavish gowns dating back to the 19th century.

Her new line of womenswear included everything from silk tops and lingerie to chunky jumpers, ornate jacquards and crochet berets.

Bode told Vogue Business recently that it was a natural move for the brand, since women already accounted for half her sales.

"I wanted to be able to offer something more than just putting men's suits on women's bodies. It was imperative that we launched new silhouettes for that purpose," she told the magazine.

There were some humourous nods to "novelty American traditions and holidays", as Saturday's show notes put it, with one model dressed up as a Christmas tree.(AFP)

Paris Fashion Week