Starting From Scratch

20. 03. 2020

A new year paves way for a new collection theme and that is how we’ve done it at Maloja since day one.  From our founding in 2004 we have managed to create 15 completely new collections spanning a wide range of inspiring designs.  For our 16th collection, “Laya - Where the Mountains Are”, we took a deep dive into the culture of Bhutan, the “Place of Good Fortune” and set out to combine analog and digital mediums in a completely new way.

A new year paves way for a new collection theme and that is how we’ve done it at Maloja since day one.  From our founding in 2004 we have managed to create 15 completely new collections spanning a wide range of inspiring designs.  For our 16th collection, “Laya - Where the Mountains Are”, we took a deep dive into the culture of Bhutan, the “Place of Good Fortune” and set out to combine analog and digital mediums in a completely new way.

Back To The Basics

What creative soul wouldn’t love to just sit and start weaving the day away?  When we started working on the “Laya” summer collection our designers had the chance to do just that and for two days, time was spent cutting, drawing, tracing and tinkering.  This hands-on design process ultimately led to a multitude of design ideas that could then be digitally rendered and further developed.  Needless to say it was an absolute blast and some of the ideas that at first glance were considered out of the this world actually became essential design elements to the overall collection.

Lasagne Mountain

If someone had told us before we made our workshop with Martin and Thomas Poschauko that the collection logo for “Laya - Where the Mountains Are” would ultimately originate from lasagne noodles we would have probably laughed.  Realistically speaking that is actually what happened.  Lasagne noodles + overhead projector + creative designers = logo.

Collection Colours

A yak grazing in the light of the setting sun.  Monks whispering mantras.  Centuries-old Himalayan Cypress trees enduring the test of time. The colour of the sky at twilight over the mountains.  A basket of chilli peppers from the local market.  These were some of the images used to compile the colour card for the collection: yak, golden sun, red monk, cypress, night sky, chilli, lotus, tiger, snow, vintage white, moonless…

The Road to Our Collection

The most important inspirational elements that we discovered during our extensive research of Bhutan were all compiled and placed on a mood board.  Doing so helped serve as reminders through development of the collection and helped answer such questions as: What roles have plants and animals played in Bhutanese culture?  What does their traditional clothing look like? How do they design and value architecture? And what are the national dishes and beverages?

Bhutan Heart

Stars have been a recurring design featured in our collections for several years now.  For this collection, hearts have taken priority for the women’s items and can be found printed, embroidered, knitted, braided or enamelled.

Jacket Wrap

The Kira is a traditional garment of Bhutan that is worn by women and wrapped around the body in colourful layers.  it’s design is what inspired us to revamp the look of a traditional Bavarian-styled jacket and our Dirndl.  The Bhutanese women use a wide woven belt tied together with a simple knot to close their jacket and we felt this style should also be adorned on our Dirndl.

Ethno Print

„Zorig Chusum“, the thirteen traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan, still hold place and pride amongst the countries people. For us, and like the mother of Bhutan’s current king who is also the founder of the „National Textile Museum“ we found particular interest in weaving and embroidery. Our ethnic print combines many details spanning a wide variety of fabric patterns. Some elements were even sourced from Bhutanese home decorations.

Natural Inspiration

Over 70 percent of Bhutan is forested. Therefore, is it such a coincidence or simply meant to be that Maloja, a company with the tagline “Soul in The Woods” found an abundance of inspiration for its latest collection in the magical realm of Bhutans forests?

The Snow Lion

The four venerated animals of Bhutan are intended to help people along the way and bring them luck. We felt immediately drawn to two of them in particular: the snow lion moves effortlessly through the Himalayas and is a symbol of ease and cheerfulness. The Garuda, half man and half bird of prey, is the ruler of the skies and stands for fearlessness and strength. Both animals are used as elbow patches, which can be found on our long-sleeve shirts.

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