J. Mendel AW 16 Couture

July 22, 2016  19:10  |  Fashion

J. Mendel AW 16

Photos: jmendel.com

Once upon a time, there was a boy in Paris who grew from a child swaddled in a basket of sable, to a young man learning from his father the art of living a luxurious life. That young man became an adult and left Paris for New York City to establish himself as a designer. Fast forward two decades and that man, designer Gilles Mendel, has returned to Paris to show his premier haute couture collection as a guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

J. Mendel

Our story unfolds in the most sumptuous of ways. Using the lessons first learned as a child, Gilles has created a collection of haute furs and gowns drawn from his own youthful memories.

Silk chiffon gowns mix the house codes of elaborate hand pleating and fluting with a mélange of Italian sequins, crystals, glass beads and seed beads. All handcrafted into abstract patterns based on the formal plan of the Tuileries gardens.

J. Mendel AW 16

“My goal with this collection was to integrate all the facets of beauty that informed my sense of style as a young man, mixing these with the contemporary codes of the house of Mendel,” said Gilles.  “This is the story of my life and the story I want to share.”

Take me to the palace of Versailles in ermine maxi coats and capes brushed with 24 karat gold and detailed with golden buttons. Shoulder baring cut-out details and oversized portrait collars on barguzin sable and lynx coats have been cleverly engineered with the help of invisible bead encrusted corsets.

J. Mendel

Black velvet chinchilla drapes from the shoulder, held only by cluster beaded and crystal shoulder straps. Natural white Russian ermine and white chinchilla are uniformly held together by matte black and 24 karat gold filled buttons. Pleated and fluted gold, bronze, and rose gold silk lame are mixed with art deco inspired crystals, Italian sequins and bugle beads in a palate of hues reminiscent of a box of laduree macaroons.

The gritty but glamorous world of New York City in the 1980s inspired Russian broadtail and velvet mink intarsia off-the-shoulder maxi coats, held in place by bead encrusted bustiers. Hand woven French lace has been carefully crafted to create delicate gowns patterned on the abstract art work of 80’s art star Keith haring.

Gowns created from velvet mink and broadtail tiles are an engineering feat to rival the Eiffel tower. A weightless geometrically cut Russian broadtail coat, trimmed in copper seed beads brings us back to the decadent glamour of the ‘go go’ 80’s but with a sleeker silhouette, just right for the here and now.

J. Mendel AW 16 Couture - SwO magazine

Three-dimensional metallic cluster beads in graphic garden patterns are scattered on silk crepe gowns and tunics. Velvet mink boots adorned with whimsical seed beed graffiti represent the junction of old world style and modern luxury.

It is really nice to enjoy this glorious fairy tale.