When I dropped by the invite-only portion of this sample sale today, the venue was filled with everything that Gilles Mendel is known for: uptown opulence. The walls were fully covered with racks of Mendel's coveted furs & evening pieces that were all primed and ready to be taken home by some lucky shoppers. To delve into details, everything was 75% off retail. The majority of the coats available were either minks, sables, or chinchillas. I spotted a knee length chinchilla coat for $13,750 (originally $55,000), a basic mink jacket for $7,000 (originally $28,000), a half-length Russian sable coat for $6,500 (originally $26,000 & 2nd photo below), and a black alligator jacket for $8,250 (originally $33,000 & 3rd photo below). As you can see, the merchandise was heavily discounted but nowhere near wallet-friendly. But there is good news for bargainistas. If you're budget doesn't allow for anything over $500, don't worry as there were plenty of affordable pieces to satisfy your indulgence. I was able to find plenty of scarves, shrugs, and shawls in fox fur for $290 (6th photo below) or $437.50 (7th photo below).
Furs weren't the only items that were available at this event. J. Mendel's red carpet worthy gowns & cocktail frocks were simply stunning. Discounted 75% off retail, I saw many Mendel fans furiously browsing the apparel section. Within the racks, I found a hand-pleated silk crepe sleeveless gown priced $962.50 (originally $3,850). It was beautiful! If you're looking for something more affordable, there were 2 sample racks that consisted of $300 floor-length gowns and another 2 sample racks of $50 daytime RTW. These sample racks were nothing to scoff at. I'd suggest you start your shopping here if you plan to attend tomorrow.
Now, let's move onto shoes and accessories. You'll be happy to know that there was a small selection of footwear which included $275 Manolo Blahnik ankle-strap pumps in black, white, or gold. I also spotted J. Mendel's strappy sandals for only $75 (14th photo below). The bag section was comprised of fur-lined totes and luggage bags. A tourterelle luggage was $960 (originally $3,200 & 18th photo below) and a mink lined alligator tote in black was $9,450 (originally $31,500 & 17th photo below). Adjacent to the handbags was a table full of J. Mendel jewelry. Necklaces, cuffs, and earrings were mostly priced under $50.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, the doors will be open to the general public tomorrow. If you're worried that you'll only be digging through leftovers on the last day of the sale, don't fret. I've been informed that a new shipment from Europe is expected later today and inventory will be replenished for tomorrow's public day. YAY! J. Mendel is the master of craftsmanship and his coats are well worth the investment. Even though this winter is quickly fading away, this J. Mendel sample sale is the perfect opportunity to get your hands on pricey furs at great bargain prices. It's the only way to get a jump start on next fall's fashion trend while saving big bucks.