J.Mendel – Pre Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear
If in past seasons J. Mendel outings have felt a bit scattered, Resort found a more single-minded status as creative director Gilles Mendel pondered many of the house’s signatures: the graphic furs, tiered organza, pleating, and, of course, furs. Inspiration from the op art of Bridget Riley gave this collection plenty of punch by way of swirling, undulating prints. Mendel DNA may come with omnipresent associations of red-carpet flou, but this time there was a premium placed on separates done in a way the brand’s customer will appreciate. Tap shorts and blouses in a celestial combo of black with metallic silvery swirls will be a welcome solution to cocktail dressing concerns; ditto a mod little shirtdress in thoroughly modern, camo-esque lace with contrasting trim. (J. Mendel, though not always the most reserved of labels, had a notably splashy number on its hands with an electric coral crop top in that same lace.)
Still, evening was the real story here. Monsieur Mendel puts the company’s in-house atelier to good use, and there were some pretty exquisite fabrications, like the tiers of dégradé, raw-edged organza that fairly exploded out of a mermaid stunner. Best of all was a style not such a far cry from the black and gold gown that Mendel’s date Hilary Rhoda wore last week to the CFDA Awards. It comprised what the designer estimated to be 15 yards’ worth of sunburst-pleated, peachy nude chiffon, shot through with ice blue Lurex all over, in a simple V-neck shape. That one really brought the J. Mendel ethos of opulence to life.