News & Politics

Not Grandma’s Mink

J. Mendel's Mongolian lamb shrug and dyed red-fox jacket. Photographs courtesy of Gilles Mendel.

You use fur in unique ways, slashing or shearing mink and sable. Why?

We work with fur like we’d work on a dress. The idea today is to treat fur like a fabric. It should be light and supple and feel like a cloth coat.

Why do you think that will work well for Washington women?

It is luxurious but not ostentatious. You might not even recognize that a coat is mink or sable. But the look will be classic—classic with a twist.

What is the most practical length for a fur coat?

The seven-eighths length is the most popular. You can wear it with a gown or with a suit. We’re coming back to the 1960s, when a woman often wore a coat-and-dress ensemble.

Are there any trends in fur this season?

Mixing furs is very popular—mink with Persian lamb or fox. Mongolian-lamb coats and shrugs are everywhere. We’re also mixing colors when we mix furs—black and brown, for example.

This article first appeared in the October 2008 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles like it, click here.