In the last three or four years, fashion made us dreaming with clothes and accessories studded with Swarovski crystals, feathers, gold leaves, pvc scales or covered with colorful kaleidoscopic prints. Taking a look at the old collections and accessories I discovered that wood inspired several niche and research brands.
|Alexander McQueen – Spring Summer 1999 – Wooden Balsa Wings|Alexander McQueen was definitely one of the pioneers inspired by this natural material. In the Spring Summer 1999 collection he proposed sculptural angel wings and huge fan skirts made of balsa wood, as well as the famous carved wooden legs specially made for the Paralympic champion Aimee Mullins. For the Spring Summer 2009 collection he also designed a very particular kaleidoscopic pattern made with digital process, combining several wood textures, then declined on romantic demi-couture draped dresses.
Alexander McQueen – Spring Summer 2009 – Wood print detail
As a precursor of fashion trends, he has inevitably influenced the Spring Summer 2011 collection of the visionary Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte and the Fall Winter 2011 by the provocative conceptual designer Phoebe Philo, creative director of the brand Céline. Both the brands have used similar wood planks prints, according to their own stylistic codes: ruffles and layers for Rodarte, minimal lines and squared shapes for Céline. Same basic idea, but very different interpretation.
Rodarte – Spring Summer 2011 – Wood dresses
Celine – Fall Winter 2011 – Wood dresses
Maison Martin Margiela brand stood out in the accessory field with the Spring Summer 2011 collection thanks to the wooden effect printed on leather lace-up shoes and a particular series of real wood items such as the card wallet and the folding wallet.
|Maison Martin Margiela – Wood wallet – Spring Summer 2011|
2010 was the year of the “wooden accordion clutch” by Stella McCartney: a small minaudière made of radially arranged wood pieces, connected together with cotton threads, looking like a lantern with a colored removable bag inside. An iconic piece that fully represented the minimalist style and the eco-friendly philosophy of the designer.
|Stella McCartney Wooden accordion clutch bag – Spring Summer 2010|Among the latest innovations inspired by the wood it is impossible not to mention the Winter 2012 capsule collection of the French luxury footwear brand Guillaume Hinfray. The soft leather with the trompe-l’oeil effect reproducing the oak’s grain is declined on pumps (290 €), slipper shoes (€ 195) and ankle boots with hand-polished dark wood heels. The limited edition is completed with the “Hotel Particulier” leather clutch closed by a maxi piercing reminiscent of an old door knocker. Definitely a sophisticated, minimal and ironic bag.
In the last Milan fashion week, the Tuscan designer Greta Castelli stood out in the Temporary Showroom for young fashion designers at the Camera della Moda Italiana venue. Her African inspired Ethnographic Collection seemed to re-establish a primordial contact with the Mother Earth: she transformed a fallen tree of the Abetone woods (Tuscany) into a series of bracelets and necklaces, suitable to enrich and customize not only the ethno-chic outfits, but also the minimalist ones.
|Greta Castelli – Ethnographic collection|Finally, concluding this journey through the wooden fashion you can’t miss the eco-fashion Ligneah line by Aldo and Marta Antonelli, father and daughter, who have devised a futuristic sustainable and cruelty free material, derived from the laser processing of ash, birch or walnut wood, that will replace the animal leather. A very interesting experimental project destined to change the perception of sustainable materials, giving them the due importance they deserve.
Alessandro Masetti – The Fashion Commentator