Glass interviews London-based designer Mira Mikati
“NOW more than ever, joy is something people are in need of,” said Mira Mikati over Zoom, wearing a multi-hued cardigan and an infectious grin.
The London-based fashion designer has just unveiled her AW21 collection, which she hopes will “put people in a good mood.” “It’s light and it doesn’t take life too seriously,” she added. “That’s always been part of my collections.”
A great lover of glamping, this season, Mikati sought inspiration from the shapes and colours of the great outdoors. The lookbook – an 18-look explosion of psychedelia and hand-spun knits – was shot in the off-the-grid California community of Slab City.
“If you want to buy a bottle of water, you have to drive 45 minutes,” said Mikati, emphasising the location’s remoteness. “All the people that live there are very colourful. I met one guy and, his hair was in dreadlocks with colours threaded throughout. They all live in a community, yet they are so far away from everything and anything.”
During her time in lockdown, Mikati watched the 2019 documentary Fantastic Fungi, which explores the mysterious world of fungi and how they contribute to the sustaining of life on Earth. “I’ve always loved mushrooms for their shapes and colours. Knowing all about the good they do for the Earth attracted me even more.”
Thus, a playful mushroom motif pops up throughout the line-up, splashed across tie-dye denim jackets, and delicately embroidered onto long cardigans in dopamine-raising colours.
Other pieces emphasise arts and crafts techniques; a duvet coat comes fringed like a blanket, tailored coats feature hand-made flower crochet, while an ombré faux shearling coat has been made using only recycled fabric. “I’ve used yarns that were sitting in knitwear factories,” explained Mikati. “We’re trying to become as sustainable as we possibly can. I think the whole world is moving in that direction.”
A collaboration forged entirely over Zoom and Instagram with Spanish artist Javier Calleja resulted in the launch of a separate capsule. “It was the first time I’d done an artist collaboration without meeting the artist. It was actually the biggest collaboration I’ve done because it has the most pieces in it,” said Mikati, on the manga-style characters that populate her line-up.
“There were tears when Calleja saw his pieces transformed into clothing. The whole collection was full of emotion.”