People outside of the industry tend to think of Fashion as tight leather pants, cleavage, and towering heels, but actually Fashion is a jacket your grandmother made out of old tablecloths, cheap jewelry you wore in middle school, and the the most hideous sneakers an algorithm could imagine. At least, that’s what it is in 2021.
“Bad” fashion is nothing new. Miuccia Prada long ago staked her name and several billion dollars on un-sexy clothes, inspiring the term “ugly chic.” But what was ugly chic in the ’90s has trickled into the mainstream and, over time, lost its ugly. What qualifies as “bad” fashion today reaches for references that could seem pastoral or clumsy when held up against the fastidious standards of an Italian sartoria.
Emily Bode’s name is in everyone’s mouths lately for ushering in this very folk revival. Her unisex jackets, shirts, pants, and shorts (and a just-launched baby line) are executed using salvaged and deadstock fabrics out of her New York studio, using laborious, handcrafted techniques like quilting, embroidery, and appliqué.