A mere day after meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama and winning the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards, Gilles Mendel presented his Spring 2012 collection in front of an audience that included Selma Blair and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Rife with color-blocked separates and dresses in a mostly neutral palette of black, white, and soft nudes, there were pops of saturated blue, moss green, and sunburst yellow, and countless of the brand's signature ultra-refined looks.
Particularly notable in the collection was a series of vertically color-blocked looks, some of which came delicately pleated and fluttered down he runway.
Shirt dresses have emerged as a prominent trend this season and Mendel gave its own iteration along with prints, some of which were fashioned into contrasting block dresses. Never without its hint of glitz and glam, this season’s lineup included a geometric sequin gown and fur bolero/vest-like pieces along with more understated monochromatic looks cut high in the front and long in the back so as to show off their contrasting lining.
There was plenty to find appealing in the collection, not least of which was the fact that nearly every look came across as sexy and refined without ever revealing too much skin or feeling aggressive.