Drawn to the deconstructed, bronze Lady Liberty works of artist Danh Vo, Gilles Mendel wanted to design a collection mimicking the different metal textures. But the collection wasn’t rigid or stiff — rather fluid and texturally rich — in various metal shades. Mendel took his signature pleating to silver, gunmetal and bronze gowns, giving them a lightweight, liquid look and feel, resembling the folds of Vo’s sculptures. He also referenced Grace Jones for the collection’s Eighties sparkle and shine — resulting in wonderfully beaded cocktail dresses, burnout velvet offerings and metallic beaded fringe dresses that mimicked chainmail. “You want to dance, you want to feel,” he spoke of the glistening array.
From high day trousers and a boxy, velvet, beaded blazer to mink bombers and coats, two of which were done in long-haired and sheared mink in new logo prints, to his festive evening gowns, Mendel’s collection was a strong portrayal of fun, modern glamour. And more to it, it was a collection that Mendel felt strongly about. “I like this one. I’m very proud of it, and at the end of the day, it makes me happy,” he quipped.