At the beginning of the design period for this collection, Mjölk moved permanently into a
new studio in the Chinatown section of Manhattan. As designer Lars Stoten rode his bike
up the East River to the studio every morning, he was faced on one side with the majesty
of the East River, and on the other with the grit and pungency of New York City in the
summertime. The space occupied while designing is essential to concept development for
the Mjölk collections, and this season it is the clash of generations and cultures, the
dichotomies of old and new, the smells, colors, and textures, the beauty and sadness of
downtown Manhattan and its history, that show through in the range. These sensory
observations led to intensive, eclectic conceptual research. The history of industrial New
York and Coney Island, Depression-era photography, aerial views of farmland, stained
glass windows, and contemporary art all inspired the balanced and distinctive range of
colors and shapes this season.
Palette, proportion, and sense of line further dictate the theme and personality of the
range. An exercise in color theory and the art of design, the Mjölk Spring/Summer 2011
collection draws from the mechanics and history of visual art, focusing on relationships
between colors and shapes, and the affect these manipulations have on the viewer. Bold
primary colors give way to subtle secondary and tertiary shades of green, burgundy, soft
brown, and warm grey, allowing magnanimously disjointed looks to come together in
chromatic harmony when the collection is viewed as a whole. Carefully calculated
combinations and distributions of hues, patterns, and textures pay homage to aesthetics
and the visual sense, creating a spirit of subtle affability, visual coherence, and focused
artistry throughout the line.
In Mjölk’s ongoing commitment to craftsmanship, the collection features hand-finished
leather detailing, antique leather buttons, hand-knitted lambswool, Liberty prints, tailored
garments in Japanese cotton, and rain macs developed with a family-run company in
Boston who has specialized in coats for area fishermen for generations. The spring line
also features hand-cobbled Italian shoes, and a full series of leather goods. One of New
York City’s only remaining belt-makers hand-crafted this season’s belts using leather
also sourced in Manhattan and buckles forged in Rhode Island. Location, palette, and
craft converge in one of Mjölk’s most distinctive collections.

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