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Synonymous to J. Mendel’s ever-present feminine exuberance is perhaps one of Gilles Mendel’s greatest influences of the season—Japan’s sense of precision, rigor, and control.
For spring/summer 2016, influence of Japanese art, fashion and aesthetics on the West was seen in many of J. Mendel’s casual and outerwear. Flirty, short skirts were asymmetric with slits and pleats, and straight, ankle-skimming skirts made an appearance, too. A new sense of proportion made a name for itself as tunic tops were long, and oversized tees were boxy—a perfect transition to elegant outerwear.
A white mink intarsia cropped vest was paired with an abstract printed drawstring parka. A vivid yagasuri intarsia long mink vest donned high-slit sides, and anorak style drawstrings too. Through a variety of pairings and intricate cuts, fur became sporty, and in the puzzlingly beautiful ways.
As cocktail attire and long evening dresses made way, prints moved from Japanese textiles and wood-block prints to blurred florals and ombré chevrons. Gowns and organza ball skirts proved to be visually energetic, with pops of jonquil yellow, cheery blossom, iris blue, jade, and sweet brushstrokes of grey. To blend the lightness and movement of the material to the model, there were cutouts, dress straps, unique necklines, and stark, restrained bandeau tops galore.
Edge and elegance collided in this collection, too, when a touch of metallic, and a new micro-pleating approach, were seen on a variety of the decadent looks displayed. Metallic rings served as the perfect embroidery for a number of garments, including the silk georgette sleeveless micro-pleated dress, and the asymmetrical silk wrap skirt. To add, Mendel used a new micro-pleating technique to use sheer fabrics in a very structured, yet fluid, type of way.
Regardless of its beautifully contrasting and easy-going method, the perfect J. Mendel woman, is, according to the designer, just about any appreciative woman. “She’s a confident woman who really appreciates beautiful things. She’s strong, she’s also socially involved, and she understands the craftsmanship of the house. She also is feminine, and she likes to show her body. She’s… beautiful. To me, all women are beautiful,” he said.