Broadtail has become the fur of the season, but leave it to Gilles Mendel, furrier to the young and fabulous, to whip it into an icy-white princess coat complete with tiny ruffles and bullion embroidery. A ranch mink jacket with sleeves pieced together from strips of cognac-colored leather was less precious, but no less a feat of tailoring.
Mendel's furs are always luxethe hem of one coat, for example, was trimmed rather redundantly (and fabulously) with iridescent feathersbut his ready-to-wear shined for fall. Tweedy black-and-white jackets and bubble skirts were edged with silvery beading. For evening, he focused on draping, showing Empire-line dresses that cascaded to the runway in gazar or silk tulle. And he set his clients' hearts aflutter with lovely chiffon gowns, bloused below the knee and accessorized with Van Cleef & Arpels diamond clips on velvet chokers. The rest of the audience (those of us whose calendars are not crammed with black-tie events) left the tents dreaming of his supercool sheared mink puffer coat with hammered-metal belt.