Gilles Mendel went all out for glamour this season. Not that glamour isn’t always his signature — he designs consistently lavish furs and sexy dresses for J.Mendel — but for fall it had a toned-down elegance that, surprisingly, offered the highest impact.


The pin-striped sheared mink coats and jackets in black with white or red, and a spruce-hued mink coat with the look of corduroy worn over a shell and wide-leg pants, were some of Mendel’s best. His water-repellent silk parka with Russian lynx trim, shown over a white shirt and pants, underscored this season’s sportier spirit. Even evening’s glitter was kept simple, as in the golden micro-bugle-beaded T-shirt with Lurex georgette trousers.


Mendel showed some lovely embroidered gowns and crisp, sexy dresses, but after seeing how beautifully he worked his unfettered fare, the abundance of waist-high slits, tricky cutouts and all those signature pleats just seemed, well, like an exercise in excess.