There is a volcanic explosion of fabric on too many runways these days; dresses boasting tsunami waves of ruffles, ballooning sleeves, endless trains, obliterated waists, and necklines ending just under the chin line. Gilles Mendel is having none of it. The Paris-born, fourth-generation designer (his great-grandfather was furrier to the royal house of the Romanovs in Russia), prefers to swath women’s frames in sinuous, diaphanous, intricately pleated, draped and gracefully detailed gowns and dresses that make them appear as if they’re being carried by the wind. It is hardly surprising that such diverse stars as Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, Claire Danes, Celine Dion and Heidi Klum look like eager fools for love when wearing J. Mendel’s romantic creations (the “J.” is in honor of his father, Jacques). Mendel has labeled his clothes “modern heirlooms”. When you see these pictures, you may want to start a collection of keepsakes.
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