February 09, 2005 New York
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.