The J. Mendel Couture fall/winter 2016-2017 collection was Giles Mendel’s couture debut and it certainly had us questioning things. There was slightly more of a ready-to-wear aspect to it overall from the vibes we got but some of these pieces are definitely worth investing in.
The practicality of the pieces we might have a problem with though; who has ever heard of fur clothing that does not cover the shoulders? Normally that’s the first area of the body that we protect from a chill, and since fur is meant to protect said body, it has us scratching our heads.
And then of course there was the whole Russian sable infused with 24-karat gold that seemed to just float about as the models sashayed onto stage. It was quite artistic and the focus on fur was certainly something we can appreciate.
With this incredibly crafted and newsworthy debut couture collection, Mendel has also managed to create a bridge between the place he was born, Paris, and where he has built up his business today, New York.
What we saw on the J. Mendel Couture fall 2016 collection was a whole lot of goodness. From graphic beaded patterns on sheaths and evening gowns to hand-stitched labels featuring the Empire State building, Paris written in block letters as added detailing and a whole lot of fur, an ode to his furrier father who taught him the trade, there was a certain magnificence to it all that a simple ready-to-wear collection can never have, the hand creations apparent with nearly every design presented on the Paris Couture Fashion Week.
Mink and sable were a favorite fur of choice, the former used in shaved format and through small and smaller squares that were stitched together to pull off the Haring style swirls that came together as a grid. The extravagance of each pieces is not to be underestimated, nor the exquisite nature of the work done in bringing the imagination to life.
While they might not be there to keep you warm per se, the fur stitched to tulle ideal certainly has its appeal, particularly when it is used to create peek a boo evening coat. As for the use of gold, those buttons that kept the different parts of the fur together were made of brass and/or 24 karat gold, looking as if we had some studded fur on that stage.
Add in some invisible corsets with each off-the-shoulder look and we have beauty beyond compare. Of course, with those studded fur pieces, it was rather strange that arms and different windows could be technically peeled off – a little jarring perhaps among the rest of the lovely designs.
Perhaps the best piece of news received through this show though was that the couture collections are to be a permanent fixture, adding J. Mendel to the list of newcomers in this year’s Paris Couture Fashion Week. Now, we’re just waiting to see what lovely designs Mendel’s thought of for the spring/summer 2017 season, to be showcased in New York come this September!
Photos courtesy of Vogue