Despite everything, Mira Mikati has managed to squeeze in a bit of travel, and if the splashy, offbeat location for this lookbook hadn’t already existed, she might well have gone ahead and created it herself. “I wanted to be anywhere but home, glamping, camping, being in the wilderness, partying, and getting back to a world where social distancing is a thing of the past,” she said from her showroom in London.
That’s how she wound up on a three-hour road trip from LA to Salvation Mountain, a desert hideaway made by a dreamer, the late Leonard Knight. “It was a world away, like a different dimension,” offered Mikati, who took advantage of the fact that her daughter is in LA to make the trek.
Mikati describes her collection as a scrapbook of wilderness adventures filled with arts and crafts accents and techniques, and in this land of love and rainbows her clothes fit right in. It features more coats than she’s ever tackled before, in colors like bottle green and pink for a windowpane check, a bright plaid on a fringed blanket wrap with knitted sleeves, or fuchsia on a tailored floor-grazer decorated with a few hand-crocheted flowers. The final look is festooned with “a party of finger puppets”; a reversible piece with a fleece lining, it took up an entire suitcase all on its own.
Vibrant knits were essentially made from found materials: Stripes color a poncho with braided fringe, and sweaters were variously paired with jeans or a denim jumpsuit embroidered with flowers, hearts, and fungi, an inspiration lifted from the 2019 documentary Fantastic Funghi. Mushrooms also cropped up with ladybugs on a Fair Isle sweater and a tartan hoodie.
A collaboration forged over Instagram and Zoom with the Málaga-based artist Javier Calleja resulted in a full-fledged capsule. There are characters informed by manga including a likeness of the designer (but blonde), and a smattering of catchphrases that ring true to the Mikati world, for example “We can be heroes, just for one day.” And here’s betting those fuzzy red monsters with the big eyes will be catnip to the designer’s base.