NYFW: J. MENDEL S/S 2014

If you’re going to try on any of the J. Mendel designs next spring, you might want to grab a slip and a camisole before you go. The J. Mendel line is beautiful, exotic, and sexy, and can be summed up in one word: sheer.

Yes, we’ve seen a great deal of sheer already this season, but most of it has been in layers so as to maintain some sense of modesty. What we get from fifth generation designer Giles Mendel doesn’t bother with any layering and in some states may be illegal without a little help over or under.

The spring/summer 2014 collection is a strong departure from what we saw this time last year. Instead of dark colors and heavy fabrics, the greater portion of this season’s show is given to a very light palette of pastel yellow and peach along with the requisite white. When a dark green leaf print did finally make an appearance, it was almost shocking by contrast. There were a few oxblood colored pieces as well, but those were carefully interspersed with pink versions of the same or similar designs.

Mendel has chosen to use a great deal of lace in this collection. At times he even goes so far as to merge the lace, which works off a leaf pattern as well, with the laser cut mesh pattern that has been so popular this season. While my eyes have grown rather tired of seeing so much mesh, the manner in which Mendel puts it to use is so unique as to not feel like he is copying everyone else on the runway.

And there may be where J. Mendel really comes out the winner. His designs are fresh, striking, daring and sexy. A couple of his early gowns are so tightly tailored I’m surprised the model was able to walk. By contrast, when the final piece left the runway I had seen so much skin I felt like one of us needed a cigarette … and I don’t smoke.

J. Mendel is available in boutiques and department stores all across the country. Just be sure, if you dare try it on, that you go prepared.

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