The curator: Mikan by Madeleine Par


This post is the first in the CLASSIC series! Read all about the series here and let us know what you think.

Mikan is the story of a dream come true, a young girl’s artistic fairy tale with strappy dresses and wide leg jeans. The newly-launched website is the result of one literature student’s persistence to bring a vision to life, despite essays and all. On her own budget and with a little help from her friends – don’t we all get high with a little help from our friends – Madeleine Par has created a portfolio condensing the history of fashion into 20 modern pieces.

The website itself is a little œuvre totale, its every detail designed and planned to compliment the collection. Each one of the photos taken by the Australian photographer Jonathan van der Knaap is commented by Madeleine so that not only the texture and the potential of the garment are highlighted, but the choosing process and value of the piece to Madeleine also become apparent.

“Slow fashion” is what Madeleine Par wants to demonstrate here. This collection is defined by her personal, “elevated approach to the understated” as she terms it and contains only one of each item of clothing. Like you’d enjoy the canapés at a reception one bite at a time, the curator invites us to appreciate every pleat in the works of young French creator Jacquemus, London’s Rejina Pyo, Marni which we all know and a selection of Japanese brands such as Adore and Nagae+. “These pieces will accompany their wearer in many momentous occasions throughout their life – and will always be in vogue,” Madeleine guarantees.

Metal with white, white with red, red with jeans and clementine sprigs. The colour palette of this series shot between secretive walls in Shibuya for the still baby-young Mikan is defined neither by geographical nor temporal references and carefully mouths the word “inclusive” out of its thin lips. You’re included in a game of start and stop, a fashionable balancing act of tailored angles and the resume of women’s clothing reaching back to the first days of corset freedom. The pieces coat and support the model’s shoulders, creating an ebb and flow of thick fabric in the verticality of this marble-floor studio.

Mikan’s woman walks in with her serious-lady jewellery and an air of Flemish-portraiture calm, towering over the rest of her world. Round beads in clouded jade and silver hover over a turtleneck while a fold creeping down along the button line of the strong white shirt is brutally met by a lambskin belt. Madeleine makes economic use of accessories and adornments, letting the designer cuts appear raw and practically untouched. That is, until the memorable curve of Samuji’s “Vasella” bag introduces a spark of black straw humour to the patterns, and the elongated face no longer knows whether it wants to be a dame or a clementine, a “Mikan”.

In all the elegance this series features, the intimacy of the poses – some of which bring the focus to a single articulation of the arm or the back – brings us back to one creative director’s own vision of timelessness.



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