Having published a book, Colorful World, last season, Mira Mikati is already racking up new experiences that could, in theory, become the start of a new one.
For her last birthday, she stayed up all night to catch the northern lights in Lapland. Shortly thereafter, “like the universe was calling,” the designer seized a chance to visit the North Pole, heading straight to the airport, un-researched and unprepared, for Svalbard, Norway, some hours later.
“It’s not as colorful, but it has a different magic,” Mikati said over tea on a recent morning in Paris. “In Lapland, you have the greens and blues and purples, while a cruise to the North Pole lets you walk on ice floes.” Yes, there were polar bears, but sadly they are all too skinny these days, she reported.
Blue skies, unremitting sun and a fresh perspective on the urgency of caring for the Earth converged in a collection inspired, the designer said, by white—most charmingly on a sweater with a detachable polar bear—and sunrise/sunset hues. Fleece overalls printed in those colors come with a matching bag. Tang orange corduroys were strewn with bright flowers. A new focus on tailoring produced a sky-blue jacket festooned with beaded mushroom, heart, flower and star appliqués. Key pieces borrowed from the menswear lexicon—a grey-green herringbone wool suit, a tailored wool coat—sprouted flowers. A fresh collaboration with Javier Calleja—who is currently headlining an exhibition in his native Malaga—resulted in a bomber that proclaims, “This is Your Lucky Day,” as well as elongated cardigans with rainbow crochet sleeves and a first foray into home wear, with a limited run of hand-crocheted cushions made in London.
Other outerwear options included a trench with daisy-strewn knit pockets in front and a knit back, and skiwear with colorful pink, orange, and yellow pockets. Now that Mikati is hooked on the Arctic, she has her sights set on Antarctica, aka the Land of the Penguins. Here’s betting that some colorful stories will surface down there, too.