J.Mendel Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 New York
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J.Mendel Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 New York

The furtastic J Mendel show made a powerful plea for bringing pelts back into fashion. Granted the return of furs into the fashion fold has been well underway for a few seasons now. But if ever there was a collection designed to convince those still fur free women it was time to take the plunge and invest it was this fall/winter 2013 show.

Designer Gilles Mendel is, of course, no stranger to the world of furs. His family has been in the business for hundreds of years. The fact that he spent his entire life surrounded by this particular sartorial art form was found in every inventively cut pelt he sent down the catwalk. And there were a lot of them. In the forty-four look show there were only a handful of outfits that didn’t feature fur in a prominent way.

The collection was purportedly inspired by the German artist Gerhard Richter. And other than the generally dark color palette there was little to link this show to its muse. But to be honest this really didn’t matter when it came to the finely executed fur coats. Pieces like the knee length rust colored vest crafted out of a chevron patterned pelts (in raccoon and muskrat), or a sporty pearl white intarsia patterned turtleneck sweater with a pair of zippers slicing down the chest and along the sides, didn’t need a back story to look beautiful.

With so many stand out fur styles to chose from (including a beige Indian broadtail and double-faced cashmere parka with trapunto suede panels) it would be understandable to overlook Mendel’s other propositions. And that would be a mistake. His art deco embroidered dresses with fur details at the shoulders and the silk, velvet and satin evening gowns with their asymmetrical necklines making the shoulders look like a new erogenous zone that closed the show were equally worthy of praise.

- Jessica Michault