Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear
September 15, 2016
Gilles Mendel did not stage a runway show this season. Instead, he took over the penthouse at The Standard East Village and walked attendees through each piece—a refreshing act at a time when schedules are so aggressively crowded.
The collection was inspired by the work of photographer Emilio Jimenez. “He did those beautiful images of women that are basically dressed with shadows of nature, you know?” said Mendel. “It’s kind of amazing. There’s this idea in the collection of shadow and light. I wanted to play with different transparencies and different grids.”
This was interpreted in sheer, netted, body-hugging gowns fit with soft, geometric patterns, as well as with delicate organza numbers with hand-embroidered and beaded accents.
Several looks included light fur additions, either as stripes on the lace gowns, or as detailing on little jackets.
The work of Jimenez “was really the beginning,” explained Mendel. “I also think my clothes are personal and should make a woman feel very feminine. They’re like a second skin. There’s a lightness to them. So, doing this presentation, I felt it was great to expose what the house of Mendel is really about—the artistry, the craftsmanship.”
He placed an emphasis on contrast. “I like the combination of the softness and the gliding of shapes. Very feminine shapes with the hard edge of the geometric shapes. The combination is very special, I think.”