J. Mendel Spring 2014 Collection

Posted on September 15, 2013


Designer Gilles Mendel wins the prize for most oddly specific inspiration for his spring 2014 collection, the 1971 Serge Gainsbourg song “Cargo Culte,” which is sung from the point of view of a man mourning his lover who died in a plane crash, and refers to indigenous peoples of New Guinea, who pray for plane crashes to deliver them cargo from the sky. Yes, really. From that, we get dresses. Maybe they don’t quite feel like they dropped out of the sky, but they do inject a bit of Euro Style into New York Fashion Week. Modern designers have yet to get over their seasons-long fascination with lace, but we appreciate the lightness and occasional deftness with which it’s used here; especially the pale yellow. We also like the bronze metallics paired with that dove grey, and the cute little skirts with the ruffled hems. It’s all very feminine, with a hint of old-fashioned mixed in with modern luxury and shot through with a very French sensibility.






[Photo Credit: IMAXtree]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • Oooooh la la love!

  • MilaXX

    Not loving the fur & glitter dress but otherwise another very pretty collection

  • KaytJ

    Simplicity without dullness. I love the basic shapes and colors, then you look closer and see more! Very nice, especially the little red leather-looking dress. Can I have it?

  • hughman

    Chloe Sevigny

    • Any Chole in particular, or all of them?

      • hughman

        The whole murder of them.

        • Perhaps though we need a special term for a group of Chloe Alters.
          A Pose of Chloes?
          An Eruption of Chloes?
          A Stand In of Chloes?
          A Close Up of Chloes?
          An Understatement of Chloes?

          • Lucía Gavello

            A Clusterfuck

          • ankali

            I think we have a winner.

          • SuzyQuzey

            A Clutch

          • decormaven

            An alter-ation

          • demidaemon

            A schizophrenia. Or asylum.

  • Isabel

    Silver / White Lace Dress – if they got rid of the two white stripes and made a deeper v-neck, Christina Hendricks would rock this dress.

    The next outfit (just the green lace blouse), with some modifications, she could rock it!

  • R. L.

    Beautiful. What do you think of Kristin Davis or Michelle Williams in these?

    • charlotte

      And Julie Bowen?

  • kirkyo

    I feel like I should love this but I’m a but underwhelmed.

    • ankali

      Yeah, I usually like J. Mendel, but this collection leaves me a bit cold. Overworked in terms of number of different materials used per garment, but at least there’s a nice simplicity to the lines, Marchesa.

  • That pale yellow is gonna be a mighty tough sell. Only about 1 woman in a crowd will be able to wear it well.

    • Little_Olive

      Diane Kruger?

    • MissAmynae

      Viola Davis. Or the gorgeous newcomer from Pitt’s movie…12 years a slave i think is its name? her name is Lupita Nyong’o.

  • crash1212

    Very pretty. I love the shoes.

    • kimmeister

      Me too – they are interesting without deforming the feet.

  • LaSylphide

    Some beautiful fabrics used well, even though overall it’s not really to my taste. Interesting though.

  • Jacquelyn

    I liked the last half more than the first.

  • YoungSally

    That’s a pretty obscure reference – wonder if he saw Mike Daisey’s monologue a few years ago entitled “The Last Cargo Cult.”

  • JDreesen

    LOVE the inspiration, specific as it is. that kind of springboard theme gets the most respect from me – no falling back on literal interpretations, no real opportunities for being referential (not that it’s not possible to do either of these things while creating the collection, but such a pinpointed crux as a starting point does make the chances far less likely).

    not as in love with the collection itself, but that’s mostly because i don’t have the skin tone to get away with most of these looks. or the budget. or the self esteem.

    but still – awesome.

  • formerlyAnon

    Wow. A lot of it is not to my tastes but I like and admire anyway – there are such lovely and specific “looks” here – the woman who wears them will look well-turned out even if I’m not in love with what she’s turned out in.

  • E. D.

    Interesting mesh pattern and details.

  • conniemd

    I see Olivia Wilde wearing a lot of this collection with its clean and mostly up and down lines.

  • Trickytrisha

    Very lovely collection. Nice to see that he had an original inspiration, but I’m not seeing the tie in with the actual clothing, beautiful as they are. I’m really appreciating the mostly muted color palette and the sleekness of many of the designs. The styling is simple and effective, and I, for one, am truly grateful that I don’t have to wade through tons of visually extraneous frou frou and ciggie butts to appreciate the clothing.

  • sleepycat

    the lace dresses, for the most part look like tablecloths. the rest is cute, I am not a big euro/french design fan though (I tend to like upscale, urban American design.)

  • That last gown is a stunner. Some truly interesting things going on here in the interplay of color and texture, with very thoughtful piecing. It will be fun to see who takes a swing at it for the red carpet.

  • Akmall Razlan

    I do love this collection! I love it very much, J.Mendel really put a lot of efforts to make this collection a big hit. Love it.

  • rage_on_the_page

    Loving the deep greens!

  • anneland

    Cargo Cult was the theme of Burning Man this year. (announced in Sept 2012). The burn was amazing!

  • Sara Brams-Miller

    I feel like this is one of those collections where you had to be there to really appreciate the details. amiright?

  • I’m not going to pretend I get the inspiration but…I love this whole collection. It’s very chic and classic but still new and fresh. I sound like a broken record but seriously, I never thought of J. Mendel as one of my favorite designers but I do now. I certainly hope we see some of the more adventurous ones (i.e. NOT the white ones) on the red carpet(s).

  • kategs

    I think there are some lovely things here but what I adore are the POCKETS! I really wish more designers would incorporate them.

  • decormaven

    So the natives’ answered prayer is old lace tabecloths, repurposed into high fashion? I’m confused. Despite the wack backstory, many of these are quite nice in their own right.

  • lilazander

    I’m fed up with the whiteness on the runway, REALLY! But J. Mendel’s creations never diappoint; they are fabulous, feminine, posh, rich and beautiful. He’s the master.

  • oohsparkley!

    I can’t wait to see who wears the dark red/wine colored gown. I really, really love a lot of this collection.

  • demidaemon

    I don’t get the inspiration’s connection to the collection. It is all very pretty, though, with one major klunker to me (#40) and one that looked like it wandered in from another show or possible a motorcycle club (#43).

    And, jeez, there are a lot of clothes here.

  • Jane


  • marlie

    I love this! Everything is so pretty and feminine, and the brocade fabrics are just stunning.