While waiting to get into the J.Mendel Fall/Winter 2012 runway show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I knew that I was about to enter a world of ultimate glamour and luxury. It’s no surprise that the Parisian fashion house’s designs have graced numerous red carpets all over the world. Inspired by his mother’s Courrèges bouclé suit, designer Giles Mendel chose to combine intricate details that still echoed the brand’s signature craftsmanship. This collection was light, romantic, feminine, and modern.
The story began with head-to-toe frosty, winter whites – bold, statement-making looks. A white multi-fur sleeveless coat was worn over an ivory double wool crepe pleated skirt that had slash pockets and silk piping details. A silk chiffon long sleeve pleated blouse and ivory wide leg pants was topped off by a cashmere coat with a fox fur collar. An alligator paneled jacket had elaborate binding details. By constructing this panel effect, Giles Mendel transformed a very tough, masculine material into something soft and delicate.
To transition into the next color story, there were ombré multi-fur tilework jackets and skirts. Black dresses with cut-outs at the bodice were sexy without being too revealing. A plum v-neck dress with a pleated bodice and a full skirt was accessorized with matching plum elbow-length slouchy gloves. The audience gasped with delight when a black strapless gown with an alligator paneled bustier and a sheer silk chiffon pleated skirt complete with a fur stole was modeled by Arizona Muse. Rusts and camels added a bit more pop against the blacks and whites by way of short dresses, coats, and wide leg pants.
And of course, reserved for last, were the red carpet-worthy gowns and dresses. Sleeves were draped, small cut out details were present, argyle patterns were sequined or embroidered. Yellows and deep greens made an appearance. A green textured silk cloque one-shoulder asymmetrical dress with yellow elbow-length gloves were a definite favorite. The introduction of the brand’s first handbag line was fitting – an addition the J.Mendel customer will surely flock to. The juxtaposition of materials and the innovative construction of details made for a highly crafted and undeniably luxurious collection.
Spotted: Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing, Kelly Osbourne, and L’Uomo Vogue editor Giovanna Battaglia.