Photo Essay: Emily Bode & Aaron Aujla
“If it’s not tied to something personal and meaningful, then what are we even doing?”
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Emily Adams Bode has been called “the woman who saved menswear.”1 She has dressed everyone from architect John Pawson to actor Michael B Jordan to musicians Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z.
Aimee Farrell writes that Emily is “compelled by a desire to preserve the history and the craft techniques, such as appliqué, embroidery and patchwork.” She weaves these elements into vintage textiles dating from between the 1800s and the 1960s that she finds and upcycles, “harking back to a time when women stitched their own original garments in domestic interiors.” Emily herself has said “Being innovative doesn’t mean coming up with new techniques,” and “The brand is grounded in family-owned mills and historical techniques…[Fashion] doesn’t always have to be new, we can look back.”2
Emily Bode collaborates closely with her husband, Aaron Aujla, who runs Green River Project, a design studio driven by a similar impetus: to create interiors that are rich with personal histories. His firm designs her storefronts—including a tailor shop with Indian coffee service in the Lower East Side and even a bar—as well as the sets for her photo shoots and runways. (Of Aaron, Emily has said “His is the only opinion that really matters to me” and “Every garment I make, have always made, has been for [Aaron].”)
Aaron speaks eloquently about Emily and his shared creative philosophy. I particularly appreciated these quotes:
“That’s something that’s missing in the design world. People are interested in trends or what colours are in vogue, but they miss the point about trying to carve a place that’s meaningful to the person,” he told the Financial Times.
“If it’s not tied to something personal and meaningful, then what are we even doing?” he told The New York Times.
Both Emily’s designs and Aaron’s interior works are informed by their own family histories, and the pieces they create act as an archive, documenting their lineages for posterity. (Each Bode garment even includes an instructive label detailing the provenance of the piece.3 ) They call their approach “biographical design.”
So it’s no surprise that their beloved dog, Monday, would show up in their work.
Monday has been featured in Bode’s lookbooks.
And his likeness has even been sewn and painted into Bode clothing.
Monday isn’t the only dog getting shine from Bode. Celebrities have asked to include their dogs in custom Bode garments. (Wouldn’t you do the same?)
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Taken from every angle, the story of Bode is the story of family. That extends from the mills they work with to the fabrics and imagery they use in their designs to their plans for the businesses. Emily and Aaron intend to keep the Bode brand family owned and pass it onto their children.
But unless laws change, Monday won’t be inheriting a portion of the family business.
Perhaps that’s ok with him. Monday, like all dogs, is simply living in the present. Unlike us silly humans, Monday isn’t nostalgic about the past or scheming about the future.
And what a luxurious present his is—no worries about money or food. Hours spent puttering around Emily and Aaron’s bespoke home and stores, stopping for naps on vintage textiles or in his custom Bode bed (see video below). This dog’s got it made. I bet even Harry Styles’ life isn’t as good as Monday’s…
Until next time, Bailey
Watch a tour of Emily and Aaron’s home, with a Monday sighting at 4:45
Read Emily Bode’s interview on Substack with