Milena’s clothes have been a big part of my life since her collections began. I have walked, danced, worked, dreamt, travelled, practised yoga and attempted to dazzle in her t-shirts, dresses, snake belts, scarves, vests, sheepskins and shawls. The pieces never go in or out of fashion they just exist in their own individual dimension and they always feel special. Because Milena is so meticulous about every stage of the design, sourcing and production, each piece has it's own story and journey. The beautiful scarves and ponchos from AW12 are all made with organic angora and wool. The colours are made from plant dyes. The look and feel of these shawls have a powerful yet subtle effect on all the senses.. mine makes me feel glowing, protected, superhuman.
I recently went down to visit Milena near the forest where she now lives. She has been used to me taking pictures of her over the last eleven years so it was good to photograph her again, catch up, drink coffee, walk and have a sneak preview of the dreamy and beautiful SS13 collection (more of that soon).
She also very kindly answered some questions for me – thanks Milena!
Do you have a routine and if so how does it help you?
I have a studio at home, and can spend days without speaking to a single soul (not including cat and plants). In order to keep sane and focused I try to do things that help me break my daily routine and get me away from the computer, like visiting the allotment and running amongst the nearby fields. I also tend to the compost heap which I have become quite maniacal about, fixing its nitrogen levels with my pee, amongst other things.
Since living in the countryside I cannot count on the coffee and chat with a friend which is so vital for the sanity of every creative person, so all these activities keep me kind of grounded, and help me limit my daydreaming to just about a couple of hours per day.
How has moving out of London changed your working process?
Living in the countryside hasn't quite changed my work, but it has added a layer. I have been working with natural pigments for a while but I am now learning where they come from, what part of the plant, how to extract them. it's not a skill that I will be able to apply to production for obvious reasons, but it's nice to think of my work as an opportunity to learn and connect with nature.
What three things can you not live without?
Yoga, music and making.
Who would be your dream customer?
A Eurythmy dance group.
What inspired this collection?
I just wanted to make huge comfort blanket type shawls to wrap myself into. I wanted the fabric to have a serious good vibe and I worked with a man that breeds rabbits on the Himalayas and then gets local women to spin the yarn and hand weave the fabric. The dyes are all natural and grown in the wild, and it was a pleasure to mix and match the colours in my patchworks.
What is your favourite piece of clothing right now and can you tell me why?
Baggy 501s. I love wearing them with heels, flats, clogs. I wear them to work in the garden and to go out. uhm, maybe I need new clothes.
And finally.. do you have a thought for the day to pass on?
Eat more vegetables.
See more of Milena's work and inspirations here and her shop here