An important thing to note about J. Mendel’s spring/summer 2016 ready-to-wear collection is that things aren’t always what they seem. Through the first half of his collection, the fur designer played with abstract patterns in a black and white color scheme, without any hint of moving away from that aesthetic. However, the pattern was rudely interrupted by a nearly all-electric-blue ensemble – and it worked.
While his collection was predominately black and white, the colors mixed in did wonders for the presentation, and for the overall success of the collection. While Gilles Mendel didn’t do much as far as overall garment variety goes, I found no problems with his almost all-dress collection. He experimented with many different lengths in varying fabrics and patterns, presenting one show-stopping look after another.
Some looks unfortunately missed the mark, and it seems to be in the places that were, quite literally, underdressed. Mendel presented two wrap skirts paired with bandeau tops, and the skirts may have been very well executed, but they would have been able to be appreciated more if they had been sent down the runway with a more professional top than the apparent “club wear” vibe that seemed forced. Other than that hiccup, it’s hard to even note the highlights of the show. The prints were beautiful and utilized in smart ways, and would make anyone long for a day on the beach with a margarita in hand.
The first gown of the show featured a high slit with a larger, black and white abstract print, inspired by Japanese woodblock. The cleanness of the cut and the way the dress hung on the model made me wish I had the same dress in my closet – or on me, instead!
And the dresses didn’t cease to impress the audience, either. A black and white abstract print gown in a flowing chiffon wrapped around the model’s body, followed by yet another cleanly cut, floating beauty in blue. The second dress set precedent for a wave of same fabric, uniquely cut dresses that can be viewed in the pictures. If I could take the space, I would love to explain each one in detail, taking care to note the beauty and uniqueness of each one’s color, bust and hemline, and the way it moved on the runway. If the opportunity presented itself, I would gladly have many of J. Mendel’s garments in my closet.
As a fur designer, Mendel is really in a different realm for a spring/summer collection. But that didn’t stop him from adding in a touch of his niche. A turquoise and black fur vest topped a barely visible, pleated turquoise dress.
“For the plane?” Mendel said with a wink. Of course, he had to add in some fur to the J. Mendel spring 2016 collection. It would have been more surprising for the designer to have omitted it altogether, so in a way he is sating both himself and his clients. We’ll all just have to wait for his fall collection to pull out all the stops for fur coats (and whatever else he can come up with).
Photos courtesy of Vogue