Inspired of the films of Anna May Wong, Gilles Mendel designed his resort collection around the decadence and elaborate details derived from the actress’ dress throughout her films. Alongside Marlene Dietrich in “Shanghai Express,” Mendel felt that Wong embodied femininity, seduction and strength through her clothes, especially her coats. The result was a collection of truly divine coats, like a double-faced cashmere with slits up the sleeves or multicolored fur trench, as well as fresh day and eveningwear in a warm palette influenced by the draped painting works of artist Sam Gilliam.
Every detail and texture matters when it comes to Mendel and the collection included many, from house signature micro pleating, zigzag stitching, hints of lamé, feathers and fringed beading to a new translation of “denim” a la terra-cotta and blue wave patterned canvas jacquard trenchcoat with mink trim and matching trouser. Both day and evening dresses held feminine, easy elegance with lace panels, confetti-style lame inserts, floral embellishments that nodded to May Wong’s films, and delicate ruffles.
“I always say, we’re so lucky to have an atelier and it’s something people don’t realize. Well they do with J.Mendel…but you know we are really unique for this. How many places in New York you can have…? This is made in an atelier on Seventh Avenue. It’s nonexistent. It’s such a luxury to see this still, that there are really a little work of art,” spoke proudly of his collection and atelier.
Whether it was in the strong details, like an airy black chiffon gown with brushed gold lame, or its easy-going elegance, as per a creamy day-dress worn under a varsity style fur pullover, resort was warm welcomed luxury.