For spring and summer, it makes perfect sense for a fur designer to offer more ready-to-wear than furs. And each season, Gilles Mendel seems to be more comfortable and creative with that reality in his eveningwear collection for J.Mendel. For spring, he paired short with long — a look that was virtually everywhere for night — showing gowns that were opened or slit to reveal asymmetric shorter skirts or panels; occasionally a short layer topped a long. Mendel also worked with lots of flourishes: tiers, cascades, flounces, ruffles, folds and metallic rings that looked like grommets and were used on far too many looks.
He had just the right touch with his graphic-print chiffon: a lemon and black Yagasuri-printed georgette halter gown with front cascades, a flirty black-and-white halter with a keyhole bodice, and a black and lapis graphic-printed chiffon look. The brush-stroked ombré organza shift with the low V back was also beautiful, but when the model turned around, there were those metallic rings again.
Were there furs? A few, including one of note — an intarsia vest in black and blue shown with a micro-pleated georgette skirt. It had Mendel’s inventive signature, but the ready-to-wear stood on its own this season.