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It’s no surprise that Gilles Mendel drew on a ballet theme for his resort collection for J.Mendel, but there’s nary a gangster or Forties riff in sight. “I create more emphasis on the ballet feeling,” he explains. “I’m using the same lightness and design principles.” The translation? Ethereal frocks cut from tulle, mousseline and organza that work a glam ballerina vibe. Ditto for the shoes. Whereas the “Call Me Ben” dancers are shod in Forties-style dance shoes, the Casadei for J.Mendel footwear collection is tutu sweet — beribboned and encased in pleated silk mousseline.

This story first appeared in the May 19, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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