MANDALI MENDRILLA is a conscious vegetarian luxury fashion house with a pinch of avant-garde.
The house was founded in 1995, by Mandali Mendrilla, a Croatian born American artist and designer who remains the creative director, head designer and owner of the house. The house includes an art atelier and a made to order luxury fashion studio called MANDALI MENDRILLA ATELIER, serving select clients, staging performing art fashion shows and creating fine art installations.
In 2013, the house expanded to include a pret-a-porter clothing and jewellery line MENDRILLA LIMITEDITION, as well as a haute sports label LALALALI.
The house of MANDALI MENDRILLA dwells on happiness, beauty and celebration intertwined with explorations in human psychology as well as a contrasting play in predominantly primary colors and experimental patterns that explore multicultural influences and borders between the masculine and the feminine, the worldly and the transcendent, executed with attention to non-violent craftsmanship.
MANDALI MENDRILLA collections received several “Fashion Week Grand Prix” awards, “Best Young Designer” award as well as a “Migliore Creazione Alta Moda” award.
The house regularly shows at the official ‘Fashion Week Zagreb’. Collections and art created by Mandali Mendrilla appeared in several galleries and museums around the world, especially in the USA.
Museums such as the China Art Museum in Shanghai and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo at the Conde Duque in Madrid, as well as the Burning Man festival in the USA are some of the platforms that hosted Mandali’s work.
The MANDALI MENDRILLA company is registered in the Netherlands and, since 2015, its principal sculptural couture atelier is based at Chateau de Petite Somme near Durbuy, in Belgium.
Mandali Mendrilla grew up on the Croatian coast, receiving classical education at the gymnasium school in Rijeka, attending bespoke tailoring sessions with her mother’s impeccable seamstress and lessons in fine art by Croatian sculptor Tatjana Kostanjevic and architect Igor Rukavina, spending holidays travelling the world.
Her presence in fashion started in 1995, when her collection was selected as the theme collection of the Croatian Fashion Week – Fashion News and awarded a special Design Excellence award.
From 1995 to 2006, Mandali designed several avant-garde haute couture Fashion Week award winning collections, was featured on MTV Europe and other international media, organised and attended numerous fashion shows, performance art happenings and art exhibits, as well as worked with a host of Croatian celebrities and artists such as Damir Hoyka, Stephan Lupino, Rino Gropuzzo, Virgin Helene, Dave Jam, Dino Dvornik, Damir Urban, Davor Gobac, Matteo Cetinski, Let 3 and Putokazi.
In 1996, supported by senior designer Goran Lelas, Mandali was recognised by the representatives of the house of Missoni, as well as the prestigious La Quinta agency in Milan, but opted not to fully concentrate on fashion, design only for select clients and complete her studies at the Rijeka Faculty of Philosophy, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Croatian Language and Literature.
In that period, and until 2014, Mandali also studied yoga and traditional arts of India under tutelage of Kenneth R. Valpey, Ph. D, University of Oxford, author of ‘Attending Krsna’s Image: Caitanya Vaisnava Murti-seva as Devotional Truth’ (Routledge, 2006), concentrating on deity dressing, altar decoration and deity dress design. The studies also included periodically experiencing life in bhakti yoga ashrams in India, USA, Europe and the UK where Mandali lived as a monk.
The studies inspired several art projects, like the first historical Croatian translation of the Indian epic Ramayana, and a collaboration with British anthropologist Chantal Boulanger on “Vrndavana: The Sari Experiment”.
In 2006, Mandali joined the American fashion and art scene and has since become one of the most beloved conscious artists, as featured in the March 2014 issue of The Yoga Journal. In the USA, Mandali Mendrilla is known for her collaboration with late husband and artist Elisha Drury on performance art installations in Black Rock City, Burning Man, photographed and filmed by Andre Wagner and Rasa Acarya, as well as fashion shows, exhibitions and clothing collections with profound, chic messages that attract a host of international celebrities, fashion forward thinkers and cosmopolites across the globe.
In 2014, Mandali re-established her European atelier and has since produced conscious works of art and luxury clothing collections that received worldwide appreciation and appeared in prestigious museums and galleries across the globe.
In 2015, Mandali has collaborated with the late Dutch sculptor Bert Van Loo, who offered valuable inspiration in the designing of her sculpture dress Mandala of Desires (Blue Lotus Wish Tree).
Since 2014, Mandali has collaborated with the Dutch Samadhi Dance Company and her work was featured in the finale of their 10th anniversary show “Between Worlds” at the DeLa Mar theatre in Amsterdam.
With a desire to better assist new talents in the fashion industry with mentoring, in 2016, Mandali completed the European Union’s Erasmus program for young entrepreneurs as well as a certificate course with the PARSONS school of design in New York, USA.