To Clog or Not to Clog?

By Jennifer Trak

Once the mainstay of any 1990s wardrobe, the clog has had a revival in the past three years. This is in part thanks to the recent uprising in popularity of cult shoe label, Swedish Hasbeens, and in part to Karl Lagerfeld, who made impossibly high clogs for his Chanel SS10 collection. Once Alexa Chung was spotted wearing them in the front row of the Chanel Couture show in Paris, all hell broke loose on the high street.

So where did this humble shoe come from? This wooden beast of a shoe was originally worn by factory workers as protective footwear (a naive ancestor of the indestructible steel toe boot I imagine) in factories and on farms. And who hasn’t received Dutch wooden painted clogs from any friend or relative who happened to holiday in the Netherlands, Denmark or Sweden?

The tale is one of a working class wooden shoe who aimed high and now has reached the very heights of fashion collaboration heaven with an upcoming collection at H&M. Mark your calendars, clog wearers, they go on sale in selected H&M stores this Wednesday, April 20 and cost £34 to £39.99 each. Normally, Swedish Hasbeens retail for at least £130 and upwards.

I can’t think of the last H&M collaboration that actually made me want to stand in line ahead of time and wait patiently to spend my cash. Oh wait, that was the Viktor & Rolf and H&M collaboration back in 2006 where I was stabbed with a hanger by an overzealous trench coat collector (hmm the trench DID have a heart shaped buckle). 

I swore that I would never darken the doors of another frenzy such as that but after having a gander at the merchandise, I will wear a helmet and bring my steely determination to the queue this coming Wednesday warning. Behold the three wooden-soled styles that have been created for H&M. There is a gladiator style strappy wedge with three ankle straps (cream, tan and black), simple summer sandals with an ankle strap (cream and red) and a peep-toe slip on with lace-up detail.

Swedish Hasbeens

Swedish Hasbeens began organically with co-founder Emy Blinxt stumbling upon a closed down clog factory in her childhood village in Sweden. She found 300 old clogs from the 1970s and decided to start her own clog company with friend Cecilia Wingard Neuman. They are environmentally friendly and made with untreated natural grain leather and lime tree and alder wood. They’re made of high quality loveliness and I can’t imagine the H&M ones to be equal in craftsmanship but for £39.99 a pair, I’m willing to overlook my utter loathing of crowds and have a peek for myself.

Wed, 20 Apr 2011 16:00 (GMT+01)
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