Sitting at the J. Mendel show, I was completely stunned by the effortless beauty of the designs and dresses. Inspired by his costume collection for the New York City Ballet, Gilles Mendel took the natural ballerina tones and feel and modernized them. Bright coral tones, muted pinks and nudes, beaded silk, soft Tibetan lamb and fox boleros glided smoothly down the runways as if they were floating on air. Pleated mousseline gowns that were gorgeously glamorous, layerless dressing and soft sophistication marked the shows high points.
The etheral feel and style of the collection brought haute couture to the “average” woman, making them feel both wearable and easy. I should be so lucky to wear one of his pieces one day.
Backstage at the show, I was able to talk with the masters behind the hair, makeup and nails.
Bobbi Brown used most of the product from her Pretty Powerful Palette, blending two shades for the lip color and two layers of mascara, without using any eyeliner. “Gille’s clothes are so beautiful. The makeup is so simple, it’s got purity, but it’s got to have something. The inspiration started with the lips and the rest of the face is just really pretty, ethereal and natural. (Makeup) is so much more about the undergarment than the actual dress.”
Hair stylist Ted Gibson was focused on creating beautiful, sexy, effortless hair for Mendel’s collection. “What’s great about this particular look is that it is modern and cool but really every girl in America can wear it”. He used L’Oreal Professional Product, Professional Texture Expert Expansion Body Activating Mousse, Texture Expert Infinium 2 Hair Spray, and Architecture Studio Architect Styling Wax to create the tousled look.
Pattie Yankee of Dashing Diva, who covered thirty shows at Fashion Week, wanted something to blend with the ethereal, natural collection. “Today we are using our polish Charolotte’s Wedding. We’re using one coat of this which is a nice sheer white with just a little shimmer in it. It’s a pretty, neutral shade that’s going to fit nicely”.
(Designer Gilles Mendel)
The models walked the show to The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, and was attended by the likes of Gabrielle Union, Melissa George, and Lisa Arian.