September 10, 2008 New York
With the change in format came a new and welcome lightness. Fur coats and vests, nearly as thin as fabric, were detailed with satin piping. Fresh, too, was the cloth outerwear, done in colors like cinnamon, poppy, buttercup, and rose quartz, and worked with all the delicate finesse of a beautiful J. Mendel gown.
"My dresses are, in fact, like a flower," said the designer, who had been looking at the hyper-vivid petals and stamens of the botanical photographer Christopher Beane. Well, better make that an orchidbecause, let's face it: This collection aims at an exclusive audience. But as today's presentation proved, it's not a rarified hothouse atmosphere that draws customers to J. Mendel dresses or jackets but the skillful hands that make them.