Fashion Student Spotlight: Madeleine McKibbon's Maison Margot finds beauty in imperfection

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      By Rinske Smith

      Deeply inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi—the acceptance of transience and imperfection—student designer Madeleine McKibbon created a new line, Maison Margot, for women who seek a pared-down wardrobe of exceptionally made pieces. McKibbon’s design sensibility is informed by previous experience in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s foundation in design and fashion marketing programs. 

      Maison Margot will be unveiled at 2016 The Show: The Final Cut, presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., on April 6 and 7 at the Imperial Vancouver (319 Main Street). Thirty-five other lines by Kwantlen Polytechnic University fashion design and technology students will also be showcased.

      All five shows have now sold out. For event details, visit, or follow @kpu_fashion on Twitter and @kputheshow on Instagram.

      Rinske Smith: Describe your collection.

      Madeleine Mckibbon: I developed this line based on the philosophy of slowness and the principles of wabi-sabi to create clothing for women who appreciate the subtle, natural variations present in handmade objects. The Maison Margot aesthetic finds balance through asymmetry, beauty in nature, and depth in simplicity. Maison Margot was created for women who want to buy less and wear more.

      RS: What was the inspiration behind your line?

      MM: The inspiration behind my line comes from women who appreciate clothing that is rich with narrative and soul. The Maison Margot woman is one who seeks an emotional connection with her clothing; she is not moved by the “cult of speed” and does not recognize meaning in mass-produced fast fashion. She sees value in pieces that can be worn, adjusted, mended, and kept for a very long time, pieces that get better as they age. In the spirit of designer Hiroki Nakamura, the idea is to create pieces that will become fashionable vintage in the future.

      RS: Can you tell me about your creative process?

      MM: My creative process begins very personally, with a great deal of self-reflection and exploration of the world around me. The process is further informed by art, architecture, design, film, literature, and philosophy. From the beginning, the process is intrinsically linked to the end-user and understanding their personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.

      RS: What have you learned at KPU?

      MM: Throughout my design education, I have learned how to listen to my inner voice and incorporate my own aesthetic while designing with sincere empathy for the end-user.   

      RS: What aspect of design are you most passionate about?

      MM: I want to create objects with intrinsic value, objects that enhance experiences, promote connection, provoke thought, and inspire emotion. I am always searching for harmony between pragmatism and aesthetic.

      Rinske Smith is a final-year fashion design and technology student at KPU’s Wilson School of Design.

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