He’s a former champion skier and fifth-generation furrier, but even designer Gilles Mendel needs a break from the cold.
Mendel made a brief trip from his home in New York to Los Angeles last week to attend a lunch held in his honor at the Sunset Tower Hotel.
“I think we’re in for a long winter,” said Mendel’s partner and muse Kylie Case. “Good for fur, bad for New Yorkers.”
The couple and lunch guests relished the temperate L.A. climate — many of them were clad in pretty pastel J. Mendel dresses.
Co-host Minnie Mortimer wore an ethereal mint green dress, while co-host and Mendel business partner Rochelle Gores Fredston impressively pulled off a body conscious white number just three weeks after giving birth to her second child.
“L.A is a second home and a natural extension for us because we dress a lot of celebrities,” said Mendel, whose creations are a staple with Taylor Swift, Kerry Washington and Claire Danes. “I love designing evening wear and gowns. It’s pure enjoyment and takes me away from the pressure of having to deliver collections.”
Besides his ready to wear, accessories and home collections, Mendel will have another project on his plate in the near future. He and Fredston plan to collaborate on a collection to benefit her charity PSLA (Philanthropic Society Los Angeles). Mendel will be the first to create a line with a portion of proceeds going to PSLA. Fredston added that she hopes more designers will follow and the collections will become seasonal.
“We’re still deciding if the line will be accessories or ready to wear, but we’re both really excited,” she said. “My long term goal is to do a PSLA line with different designers doing something each season and the proceeds going to the charity.”
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