News & Runway

J. Mendel Resort 2011

The 2011 Resort collections may be overwhelmingly promising thus far, but even among the stand-out collections (think Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney), designers have made some blunders that they will likely have to tweak when translating their pre-Spring collections into their Spring/Summer 2011 collections.

Gilles Mendel has created a flawless Resort collection, in which every look was exceptional. Most seasons, the J. Mendel collection is stronger in the Fall/Winter season than it is in Spring/Summer, thanks to the designer’s unrivaled use of fur, but we have a lot to look forward to, if his pre-spring collection is any indication.

It seems that J. Mendel’s cocktail dresses, gowns, and even the day looks have finally caught up with the brand’s outerwear.

Not to say that past ready-to-wear looks haven’t been gorgeous – they have, as evidenced by how many of them get picked up by stars who subsequently get voted best dressed – but they’ve almost always been eclipsed by the brand’s furs.

For Resort 2011, even though Mendel incorporated touches of fur into his looks, it wasn’t those looks that left the most lasting impressions.

Ballet influences are apparent in this collection – Mendel designed the costumes for Call Me Ben, which recently premiered at the New York City Ballet’s Architecture of Dance festival. Bustier tops, tulle, glittering chunky embellishments, delicate chiffon and clingy jersey that flowingly draped across the floor, back cut-outs, pleated peplums, and a careful mix of deep colors (blue, orange), metallics, and neutrals made for fluid, exceptionally detailed and carefully constructed looks. Now the questions is, who will be the first celebrity to wear one of these stunners on the red carpet? My vote goes to Kate Hudson.