10 Minutes With: Gilles Mendel

Designer, J. Mendel

Don’t let Mendel’s geeky-cool Parisian presence fool you; this is one man who knows how to flatter a woman’s body. Find out the one thing he thinks every bride needs on her big day.

Taking the lead as the fifth generation of famed family furrier J.Mendel, Gilles Mendel makes us feel warm and fuzzy all over. Specializing in luxe furs that are super light and worked like precious fabric, Mendel made the leap in 2003, expanding into a full-fledged RTW collection of chic day and eveningwear looks. As a natural extension of Mendel’s glamorous gowns, exquisite white wedding dresses started to surface in 2008.

The J.Mendel bridal collection is a true luxury line that caters to brides who demand style, precision of cut, fit and flawless fabrics. Red-hot celebs like Heidi Klum, Kate Beckinsale and Claire Danes are all devotees of the J.Mendel look. Will you be next?

How did you end up in your profession?
It was my family business. I was always artistic but didn’t consider following in my father’s footsteps to become a designer until after my dream of becoming a rock star fizzled.

What is the best part of your job?
The moment when everything comes together and I know that a dress is perfection. Also, it’s pretty great being surrounded by beautiful women.

What is your favorite look right now?
I love a structured dress that gives a woman an hourglass shape. It makes every woman look and feel like a movie star.

Who, what and where inspires you?
I find inspiration everywhere – in everyday life, nature, art, architecture, films. I’ve always been inspired by icons of my youth, Jane Birkin and Romy Sneider.

What do you love about brides?
They are always beautiful.

What is the one thing every bride needs?
A gown that makes her feel special. Remember, this is a day that only comes once in a lifetime and every bride should feel her best on her wedding day. This is the one dress you should never skimp on.

Can you give us a bridal DO?
DO have your own personal dress rehearsal before the big day. It’s important to get as much done ahead of schedule. That includes hairstyle and makeup tries, manicure, and of course the final dress fitting. The morning of your wedding should be as relaxed as possible. Have a massage or do yoga, whatever will keep you calm and happy.

What about a bridal DON’T?
DO NOT spend the night before your wedding out with your bridal party. Get a good night’s rest and drink plenty of water. You need to look and feel your best on your big day.

What’s next?
Home, fragrance and jewelry. I look forward to growing the world of J. Mendel.

Finally, tell us a style secret that can make a wedding look magic. (We promise we won’t tell.)
Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than confidence. Feel good, stand tall. Posture is everything. But most of all enjoy yourself. A glowing smile is always magical.

Thank you Gilles.

--Juli Alvarez

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