Posted on September 30, 2012 by Teresa Cannata'

The use of real fur in fashion is often a taboo: designers tend to use faux fur when needed and only a few keep on using the real thing. Among them, the American designer J. Mendel, who has never shown the intention to stop doing what he has done since he was a young apprentice at his father’s fur salon in Paris.
His designs are luxurious and classy, ideal for Park Avenue princesses, and his accessories have the same unique glamour. Fur often has the function of emphasizing details on garments and accessories: some of the bags recently seen on his spring/summer 2013 fashion show are good examples of this.

The Petit Croisiere small shoulder bag is a triumph of refinement and exotic materials. It’s a flap bag made of ostrich and leather in a beautiful pale pink shade (the designer calls it “sandshell”); the shoulder strap and the front flap are embellished with mink in the same shade. The first thing that came to my mind after seeing this creation were the quirky Alexander Wang sunglasses from the fall/winter 2011 collection and the Simona sandals from the same collection, not to mention the gorgeous sandals designed by Christian Louboutin for Michael Van Der Ham’s spring/summer 2013 collection.

A similar style is the Ketty camera bag: the shape is the same of the Petit Croisiere, but this one is bigger. It’s made of box calf leather with canvas insets; there’s no fur on the flap but only on the shoulder strap. The delicate grey/taupe of this bag is called “moonstone”.

I love both bags even if I don’t like the idea of using fur and exotic leathers in fashion. Carrying a bag like the Petit Croisiere sounds like a deadly sin, but it’s so beautiful!

On the catwalk the bags were paired to crushed velvet dresses in pale pink and sage green. I would wear them with a Peter Pan-collar black sheath dress or with a fluffy black angora wool sweater dress.