Free glamour. That’s how Gilles Mendel described his Fall 2015 collection, inspired in part by late-1970s New York City nightlife. He also looked at Richard Avedon’s portraits of Anjelica Huston from earlier in that decade, because, “every night owl needs a day dress.”

Mendel, like many designers feeling the ’70s this season, used skinny scarves as a styling prop, like the black embroidered version tied around the waist of a lingerie-inspired jumpsuit. But he also fashioned them into work-ready frocks, including a billowy-sleeved, below-the-knee shirtdress done in a paisley-printed silk jacquard that was paired with tall leather and suede boots. As he suggested, some of the best looks were indeed made for daylight.

For evening, Mendel proposed a gold lamé jacquard jumpsuit with a plunging neckline, which was sexy and just flashy enough. A high-slit wrap dress—done in that same jacquard, but this time draped alongside black crepe—had a similar appeal. However, some of the fairly modest styles, like a mock-neck black crepe column with a low, draped back, didn’t pack the necessary punch.

Mendel was relatively spare with the furs this season. But what he showed—particularly a mink intarsia cape featuring black-and-white-patterned flowers, as well as ruby red buds—demonstrated the arguably unmatched talent of his atelier. Mendel’s client likes to be seen, and many pieces from this collection will afford her an unforgettable entrance.

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