Photos: Getty Images (3)

DESIGNER: Gilles Mendel of J. Mendel

INSPIRATION: Ryan McGinley's "Moonmilk" series. From the natural and psychedelic photographs of caves, Mendel took away, "saturated colors--for the red for a degrade dress-textures, decay, browns and earth tones."

TOP LOOKS: Red ombré mousseline cocktail dress; Prussian blue mousseline cocktail dress with draped sweetheart bodice; Slate blue organza gown with pleated bodice and draped skirt; Bleached silver fox with hooded vest, chocolate tweed and black faille dress, black mink mittens, and fur messenger bag

ACCESSORIES: Gunmetal pyramid jewelry by Christine McPartland; vicious black platform leather boots and booties by Christian Louboutin; fur handbags, mittens, muffs, and berets

WHO WAS THERE: Brooke Shields, Mary Alice Stephenson, Amanda Ross, Suzy Menkes, Melissa George, and top retailers and editors

WHAT WE THOUGHT: This inspired collection was strong and focused. The house of J. Mendel is known its furs and this season the brand's namesake designer created several innovative versions that suited his wild cave man inspiration. Luxurious furs like swakara and racoon were combined in unusual ways, but the looks were still effortless and clean.

Evening wear was subtly colored and cut with the utmost sophistication by Mendel's atelier. The French designer's sense of poetry, artistry and technique keep developing. He is blurring the line between uptown and downtown deftly, and the clothes look better every season.