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For his Fall 2013 collection, designer Gilles Mendel’s goal was to strike a “harmonious balance between decadence and discipline.” He did just that with this luxurious offering. A designer’s struggle always lies in making clothes that are beautiful, yet wearable. Mendel was up to task for Fall.

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As to be expected there was fur, and lots of it. Mendel, from a family of furriers, added sumptuous touches to sleeves, lapels, and even necklines. Standout furs included his first look, a gorgeous color-blocked mink coat, and later in the lineup, a show-stopping burgundy trench. Exquisite. One does not have to be a fan of fur to admire Mendel’s supreme talent with the material.

Another strong theme present in this collection was leather. One standout look- a black leather dress worn under a beautifully quilted jacket showed Mendel’s knack for making leather sleek and sophisticated, rather than reminiscent of a biker gang. Other key looks included model Jourdan Dunn in a sea moss jacket and skirt combo, a crisp off-white draped turtleneck dress paired with tall cognac boots (a product of Mendel’s collaboration with Manolo Blahnik), and lastly, a beautifully tailored navy metallic suit. His selection of evening dresses did not disappoint and I think Beyoncé would be a fan. My favorites were a blue silk crepe asymmetrical draped gown (the color on this was divine) and a deep grey silk velvet one shoulder masterpiece. Both perfect for the red carpet.

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BEST IN SHOW: 6 Luxe Looks From J. Mendel Fall 2013 Collection  was originally published on