A Vintage-Obsessed Fashion Designer’s Guide to Antiquing Around the World, from Massachusetts to Paris

At New York Fashion Week: Men’s this season, one of the most exciting new brands was one that actually looked to the past for inspiration. Bode, which was founded by the 28-year-old designer Emily Adams Bode in 2016, takes vintage, antique and deadstock fabrics and gives them a second life. A hundred-year-old quilt, for example, could be turned into a luxurious jacket, or she might transform your grandmother’s curtains into shorts. No matter where they come from, though, each piece embodies fashion’s most sought after luxury right now: authenticity. Bode sources all of the fabrics herself from around the world, which explains both the brand’s pace and price-point. It’s no easy task, but she’s learned from experts along her travels about the best ways to rehabilitate fabrics, as well as where to find them. For the Spring 2018 collection, she took trips to the Brimfield Antiques Show in Massachusetts, as well as the many markets of France, both in Paris and in the outskirts. Here, she shares her travel diary and photos.

Photo by Sarah Willis.

“This was around 6:00 a.m. on the fields at Brimfield. If we don’t shop the night before, we make sure we are the first up on the fields, sometimes by 5:00 a.m. I bring these XL canvas army duffles to carry my finds.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“Mid-day at the flea market.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Sarah Willis.

“At Brimfield, trying to decide. I ended up making this quilt top into a shirt that was purchased by a man in Texas.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“Here is a photo of one of my favorite dealers I work with to find my textiles. He began his career as a botanist, and it is still very much a part of his life.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Sarah Willis.

“I have my favorite vendors I shop with during Brimfield, including this tent of young dealers, and keep in touch with them throughout the year.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“I use quilt squares to mend quilts, applique onto shirts, and as inspiration for quilts I reproduce in India. Some of these are very special, as they were made by my dealer’s mother and sister.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“This is a photo of a box of antique swatches up for auction in Massachusetts from a museum collection. Some of these fabrics and textiles from the auction date back to 1840. I use pieces this small for future fabric inspiration and for mending quilts of a similar time period.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“This is a photo of a dealer I work with unloading his truck of quilts and linens. He likes airing them out like this after being packed away all winter.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Aaron Aujla.

“I could sit for hours and listen to this man speak about the origins of his quilts. I have learned so much about dating quilts and the history and trends of the colors used.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Sarah Willis.

“After Brimfield, we go through all of our finds and document the story, origin, and price of each item.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“At the vide-greniers in France, I dug through bins of textiles and home goods to find fabric for Spring 2018.” — Emily Adams Bode.

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“I tend to go to the smaller brocantes and vide-greniers in Paris around the outskirts. This was a box of ephemera of fruit and food packaging. I collect pieces like this for color, print, and packaging inspiration.” — Emily Adams Bode.

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“This swatch is from a magical fabric store in Paris. They have rolls of antique and deadstock men’s suiting, and it is still owned by the same family.” — Emily Adams Bode.

Photo by Sarah Willis.

“This book is part of a private collection of a man I met in Paris. He runs an appointment-only showroom of antique clothing, selling mostly to collectors and designers for inspiration.” — Emily Adams Bode

Photo by Emily Adams Bode.

“After going the the Paris fleas, I drove around for a week in the South of France to source antique textiles. Pictured here are antique linens that some dealers over-dye to appeal to current trends. I loved this worn fabric tape measure that the vendor handed me to check yardage.” — Emily Adams Bode.