My move from New York to Sweden unfortunately coincided with a mass exodus of my Swedish friends in the opposite direction. While my friend Lars Andersson did not relocate to New York very recently, he is one of the many who moved to the city to study, and ended up settling down to stay for good. Even though he never finished his degree at F.I.T., he still managed to carve a niche in the fashion world with his dark, dreamy, and highly labor intensive knits. In his work, Lars has managed to fuse two very distinct and fundamental sides of Sweden, which seem diametrically opposed. His hand-knit work draws on one of the nation's many homely traditions, and conjures up the comforting, cozy, and grandmotherly aspect of Sweden that is commonly peddled at the tourist shops lining the streets of Gamla Stan. At the same time, his dark, and subculturally influenced designs harken towards the mysterious and haunting countryside, while simultaneously touching on contemporary Sweden's more recent love for progressive fashion, draping silhouettes, and a predominately black/grey color palette. In the Lars Andersson Fall 2012 collection, I see both old Sweden and new Sweden at once, inflected, of course, with a bit of New York.