Wearable wood


Written by Rebecca Fulleylove, Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Robert Caron, Livio De Marchi
18 Monday 18th July 2011

Main image: design by Amaya Cárcamo

Trench coat series by De Marchi

First things first, a lot of the wooden clothing out there doesn't seem to be hugely wearable. You know, something about the movement of the human body and non-inflexible nature of our joints and muscle makes it a little hard to jam our frames into a wooden trench. Still, if we could we'd be all over this styling piece from Italian designer Livio De Marchi.

Vest and 'jean' shorts by De Marchi

He's already made quite the name for himself online, cultivating an image of a sort of woodcraft master from Venice. I mean, the guy's made a floating, driveable wooden car for crying out loud. But for those with a smaller budget and greater capacity for the impractical, we give you his selection of clothing items. Whether a bomber jacket, jean jacket or pair of totally immobile 'jean' shorts, De Marchi's obviously got a trained eye for design. We reckon his most wearable piece is this hat. Accompany it with his umbrella and satchel combination and you've got yourself a wooden winner. His may not be the sort of jackets you can shrug right onto your shoulders, but Di Marchi's attention to detail in sculpting the natural slump of cotton is pretty admirable.

Decorative underwear photographed by Robert Caron

For the saucier options, wood's been creeping into the lingerie world too. Robert Caron snapped up photos of these decorative lingerie pieces and our main image comes from a lingerie design competition from last year. It's particularly noteworthy because it is in fact wearable. Granted, you probably can't throw anything on over it, but the bustier designed by fashion student Amaya Cárcamo was one of 27 shortlisted for undie mavericks Triumph in their Inpsiration Awards contest. Supermodel Helena Christensen ended up donning this one for a shoot, so we're guessing even with its humble source materials, it won't be going cheap.

Wooden watches by WeWOOD

For something that is both wearable and affordable it might be time to switch to a wooden timepiece for your wrist. We’ve found these stylish ones from California based company WeWOOD, who make eco-friendly, splash-proof, good-looking watches made from scraps of hardwoods such as red wing celtis, ebony, maple and guaiaco. With miyota movements as well, you can be hi-tech while feeling good about yourself for helping the environment. It’s win-win.  

More designs from WeWOOD

Wood has even made a bid to house our trotters too. A couple of years ago clog wearers and sports lovers were united when French designer Paul Coudemy designed a series of wooden shoes for footwear brand K-Swiss, which basically look like clog trainers. Well why not hey? In a limited edition of only 25, the hand sculpted collection called ‘Woodwalk’ does contain some arty buzz words like ‘temporal contraction’ and ‘original essence’ and ‘reconsidering urban lifestyles’. All we really care about though is whether they’ll be releasing another series of these impractical shoes and whether a pair of wooden brogues is on the cards.

'Woodwalk' wooden footwear by Paul Coudemy

Working in the corporate world can be a little serious so why not pass the time by upping the stakes in the novelty tie world and make yourself a wooden tie or bowtie. With several how-to guides out there on the internet, this is probably the only time fashion will go hand in hand with a trip to B&Q. 

Wooden ties to wow the office with

Finally if your eyes are feeling tired and neglected from looking at all these wooden treats, then fear not, optical wear has also been given a woody makeover. Designer Matteo Ragni is behind the collection ‘w-eye’, a series of wooden spectacles where the frames are made from seven sheets of curved plywood and two sheets of aluminium sandwiched together. Durable and strong, these glasses also conform to the face of the user with its facial shape memory. Who knew wood could be so clever?

Wooden glasses from the 'w-eye' collection by Matteo Ragni

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