News & Runway

J. Mendel Fall 2012 Runway Review

Things were surprsingly calm at J. Mendel given that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (sunglasses, The Row handbags, and all), as well as Kelly Osbourne were all seated front row at the designer's show…blame it on us nearing the end of New York Fashion Week. Whatever the case, the real star was this season's collection, which was stunningly beautiful — from the front to the back.

Designed by Gilles Mendel, Fall 2012 opened with an ode to winter white, which the designer says was inspired by Gaudi's work in Spain. The inspiration was reflected in the texture and flowing lightness of the looks, each of which, like with Gaudi's work, had elaborate construction working to make each piece appear effortless. Black slowly started to bleed into the collection making for two-tonal looks, a fur bottom and coat were particularly gorgeous. Later, sheer panels added lightness and movement to the ethereal collection, while cut-outs provided sculpted structure.

As the collection unfolded, the color palette expanded with gold, nude, ochre, plum, camel, and brown. No matter the shade, Mendel was able to achieve an air of lightness even when weighty fabrics, multiple textures, heavy embroidery, and fur were involved. The show ended with two silk chiffon embroidered gowns with tulle inserts that must end up on a red carpet.