New York Fashion Week: J. Mendel

J. Mendel Fashion Week - H 2013
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J. Mendel Fashion Week - H 2013

Designer Gilles Mendel took casual chic to new levels, pairing tall leather daytime boots with glitzy, mink-trimmed evening gowns.

WHO: J. Mendel

WHAT: Fall 2013 runway show New York

WHEN: Feb. 13, 2013

THE FRONT ROW: Katherine Heigl, stylist Tanya Gill, Jena Malone, who wore a subtle printed dress by the designer that was actually two pieces. "That's what I liked about it," said Malone to THR. "It's a top and you can tuck it in with a skirt. It gives you so many more options! And it's a surprise – I love that."

THE MOOD/INSPIRATION: J. Mendel designer Gilles Mendel was inspired by German painter Gerhard Richter’s multi-layered colorful abstracts for Fall 2013 — he mixed various colors, textures and materials. The show opened with a two-tone mink coat that featured a black front and white back with zipper detail. There were also tweed and quilted leather motorcycle jackets and mink-trimmed silk chiffon gowns.

COLORS/FABRICS: Earthy tones of copper, moss, rust and Bordeaux with scarlet, fuschia and royal blue accents. Fur (mink, silver fox and shearling), leather, double-faced cashmere, velvet, tweed, silk chiffon, silk crepe and silk suiting.

KEY TRENDS: Leather. Slim-cut, ankle-length pants. Pointy-toe cobalt heels. Gorgeous winter coats for daytime and evening. Mink accents, including collars, sleeves and cuffs, on beaded dresses and evening gowns. Pleating. Color-block dresses and paneled jackets with fur and leather. Tall boots with modern-looking copper heels worn with beaded cocktail dresses and evening gowns for a new take on effortless glamour. It makes sense in New York, where temps are freezing and you want to cover up. But we’d rather see Mendel’s stunning off-white silk-crepe embroidered V-neck mink-sleeve dress paired with a sexy heel instead of cognac knee-high leather boots.

RELEVANCE TO HOLLYWOOD: J. Mendel has a very young, cool and fashionable following — Kerry Washington, Emma Stone, Nina Dobrev and Emma Watson. The designer’s killer eveningwear pops up regularly on the red carpet on Faith Hill and Taylor Swift, most recently at the Grammys; Amy Adams at the Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon; and Sally Field at the SAG Awards. Heigl, who attended the Fall 2013 show in a long-sleeved print grey, white and orange J. Mendel sheath, wore the wildest neon orange Louboutin stud shoes we've ever seen. Accompanied to the show by her Hollywood stylist Tanya Gill, she told THR, "I went to Bergdorf's – my favorite place on the earth – and I was looking for shoes to wear with this outfit. I saw these and went into a panic, thinking — "Can I REALLY pull these off?" So, I called Tanya for support – and she ran over and said, "Go for it!" They're fun, and I guess if you're ever gonna wear ‘em, Fashion Week is the place to do it!" "A little bit of neon - with a subtle dress – it's the only way to go," added Gill, who sat next to Heigl in the front row.

RED CARPET WATCH: The burgundy silk chiffon embroidered high-low gown with burgundy mink trim was breathtaking. We’d love to see fashion’s "It" girl Kerry Washington (whose stylist Erin Walsh was at the show) wearing it.