September 12, 2012 New York
There were a few key recurring themes for Mendel this season: an articulated bodice construction, lace overlays, organza flowers sprouting on dresses, floral-print jacquard. But the real story here was color. The palette started soft and watery and ducked into navy and earth tones, but ultimately it emphasized what can only be described as hi-vis, construction-cone orange. (The show notes called this, rather prettily, "Tiger Lily.") For whatever reason, this color worked better on the statement pieces, in particular the flashy micro-pleated gown with handpicked cording and organza flowers. Maybe the reason was: If you're going to make a statement, why go halfway? In daywear, Mendel did better with a subdued orange floral print, which he used to best effect in a sharply tailored suit. As a full look, the suit may be a little eye-searing for the J. Mendel girl, but this collection provided her a bouquet of other, unabashedly pretty florals to pick from.