Feb. 13, 2017
by Liana Satenstein
Yeohlee Teng has always applied math to her collections, whether using geometric shapes as prints or mapping out the set of her show. (For Spring 2016, models stood on 36-by-36-by-12 platforms.) One theme in her design style is “zero waste,” in which she uses fabrics to their maximum capacity. For example, this time, four pieces, including palazzo pants and a matching tunic, only used four meters of shibori. A vest-meets-scarf was one of the smartest additions both in appearance and clever utility: It could easily be thrown over the shoulders, had pockets, and was made out of the leftover quilted nylon from a vest in look 1. “I thought I would make something useful from the scraps,” said Teng. “It is multi-functional. It sits really well.” That same sort of functionality also came through in a poncho with a pocket and a natty blazer-style jacket with a hood.
That same sort of precisely calculated aesthetic translated into the overall sharp look of the collection, a quality that Teng is well known for. A camel hair cocoon coat jutted out so it created a structured shape, while a pair of pin-striped trousers had just the right amount of slouch. A boyish gray cotton wool and mohair plaid jacquard was a standout. Even better? That, too, was also a zero waste piece.
Feb 13, 2017
by Bobbi Queen
Yeohlee Teng’s finest hour is always during her fall collections, perhaps because her brand of creative intelligence usually comes across strongest in her coats and jackets. The venue was the apartment of art collector, Andrea Woodner, which was hung with paintings by Rodin, Seurat, Braque and Matisse.
Subtlety is what underscores each Teng exit. She returned to her fabric archives to revisit the luxurious camel hair she used years ago. This season, she cut the cloth into a cozy wrap topper with sleeves that were dramatically rendered beyond a dolman cut. A long cocoon coat had the ease of a robe, tossed over a brown, cleverly stitched nylon quilted vest, navy Gibson top and yoke pants in navy and white wool ticking. The designer worked with sleek proportions, fabric and color mixes, layering shorter jackets over longer ones, all with a chic nonchalance. The beauty of a Yeohlee silhouette is that this ease is visible; the craftsmanship and her “no waste” approach to fabric is not. Right now, this “no waste” policy has come to mean more than just a designer’s economic use of fabric. “I see it in terms of conserving time and energy as well,” says Teng. “I’m having a very thoughtful time. Where are we going? What do we need? What clothing will empower and comfort?” Hmm. I could point to a couple of Yeohlee’s terrific looks, though I’m not sure if they hit a high empowerment bar or not: a black felted knitted wool jacket with kimono sleeves that snap at the wrists, creating a narrowly constructed shape; the wool and mohair jacket and wrap coat in a gray and black plaid jacquard melange of tweeds and twill over wool-crescent pants or jersey jogging versions. “I want these clothes to have a presence,” Teng said. That they do.