“Feminine and full of texture,” said program notes at J. Mendel on Wednesday afternoon, where Gilles Mendel, the designer, presented a runway collection inspired, he said, by the Spanish architecture of Gaudi.
The first few looks in white fit the bill: stunning in their lightness but substantial. A multi-fur sleeveless coat belted and worn atop a pleated crepe skirt with – get this -- leather and fur opera gloves and white hose – was positively dreamy.
There was much more fur to follow – great big shaggy coats, a stunning techno jersey dress with a cut out bodice and fox, raccoon and -- add feathers --ostrich feather trim at the hem and even a black goat hair shrug worn over a sheer gown that featured an alligator bustier.
Though this was luxury at its height, there was still a bit of not-so-sporty but sportier looks…we guess. Like a black alligator jacket and vest combo, or a wide-leg wool pant worn with cashmere coat with a white shadow fox collar.
Gowns were stunning as well, though they lacked the textural balance Mendel was going for…just plain beautiful and red carpet ready, and while we rather liked the tailored short dresses with full-skirts and fitted bodices they seemed a bit sweet and out-of-place in this very sophisticated line-up.
Oslen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley seemed rapt front row.