I Heart Gilles Mendel
A little while back, I saw two small photos of bachelor Gilles Mendel’s apartment and was dying to see more. Luckily for me, the October 2007 issue of Elle Decor has a whole spread dedicated to the designer and CEO of J. Mendel, his family’s company that was founded in 1870. Talk about chic!
J. Mendel began as a furrier and a very exclusive and fabulous one at that. Gilles great-great-grandfather swathed Russian aristocrats in sable and now he gets to dress celebrities and socialites not only in fur, but in the most beautiful and feminine evening dresses and daywear.
It’s so surprising that the ready to wear collection has only been in existence for three years and came about as a need to clothe the Madison Avenue mannequins at night to protect the expensive furs from the wrath of PETA. The women of the neighborhood would walk by the store after hours and see the little dresses in the window and come in the next day to buy them. It’s really no surprise that Gilles’ home reflects his day job and his love of travel, a theme that seems to run strong among all fashion designers who often travel for design inspiration.
The bedroom is a deliberate departure in the color department with the blood-orange walls and is meant to evoke more of the Asian influence, as well as Africa with the zebra skin rug. I’m still trying to find a reasonably priced zebra skin rug now that they’ve become all the rage. Perhaps, my South African friend will pick me up one on his next visit home…hint hint. I’d actually prefer a trip to Africa but since that’s not happening any time soon, I’ll settle for the zebra skin rug.
So here I sit sighing over another uber-chic home of another uber-chic and stylish fashion designer wishing I could not only afford his clothes, but his apartment! I guess I will have to make due by walking past his shop and drooling over the clothes like I’ve been doing since I moved to New York. Sigh.