Mikasa Patterns, Collections Review: French, Italian Countryside, Antique White, Garden Harvest, Arabella, Other
The range of patterns discussed in this review represents several essential stylistic features of the Mikasa brand. It is thus not surprising that these collections also stand out as the company's bestselling: they outmatch many similar china and stoneware items offered by competition (Lenox, Noritake, Pfaltzgraff), becoming established industry titles. Mikasa manufacture a lot of other patterns, in traditional, transitional, decorative, and contemporary/modern designs – yet it is these china products that have proven to be most popular and enduring.
Mentioned stylistic features include: first, aristocratic white tone that is so characteristic of high quality bone china and stoneware (Countryside and Antique White dispense with color ornament altogether); second, strictly defined borders (Mikasa deploy both color and texture to enhance this particular trait, the latter contributing to interesting shape modifications); and third, relying on established aesthetic traditions – the colored edges of Garden Harvest and Arabella in particular hark back to carpet layouts.
Collections include several dozens of different pieces, including standard sets (dinner and salad plates, a tea cup, and a saucer), fruit, cereal, pasta, and other bowls, platters, trays, and dishes (crystal and porcelain), and stemware (flutes, goblets, and glasses). Let's take a closer look:
French Countryside, together with its Italian neighbor, presents one of the cleanest simplest china patterns that nevertheless retains a clear luxurious streak. Purely white, this scalloped design changes the architecture of the edges to impress its mark: the borders appear sculpted, as if inspired by ionic order columns.
Italian Countryside continues (or perhaps starts) the pure white, classic configuration, again exhibiting architecture inspired edges (sunburst-like) – though here fabric (cotton, silk) also may serve as a textural influence. Includes round, soft-squared plates that can carry a floral motif in separate items: a hollyberry, mistletoe, daisy, hyacinth, poinsettia, and other flowers.
Antique White creates an octagonal variation on French Countryside, allowing the embellishment to spill over the edge, and actually change their contours. Interestingly, the floral accents tend to press closer to the sides, complimenting the overall template.
Garden Harvest introduces colors (red berries, yellow fruit, green foliage) neatly and symmetrically organized across the rounds of the borders. Plates, bowls, casseroles, gravy boats (the pattern spreads across the center), and other china.
Arabella shows darker fruits and vines that bring to mind oriental and Middle Eastern styles, bolstering Mikasa's design versatility.