Once upon a time, J. Mendel was a venerable fur house, passed down through five generations, known for whipping up fanciful creations in exotic skins for Upper East Side ladies. Now under the helm of heir apparent Giles Mendel, the house has taken fashion by storm, expanding into a full ready to wear collection in 2003. Losing little of its whimsy, Mendel now specializes in fresh, youthful silhouettes, and show-stopping gowns that have become a Red Carpet favorite for young Hollywood. The furs have been reinterpreted for a modern clientele, and offered cropped, sheared, and dyed in unexpected hues.