February 1, 2019
by Andrew Shang
“Yeohlee throws herself a challenge,” the designer said of her namesake fall collection during a preview at her store. Never mind the mathematical or geometric undertones of her deceptively minimalist designs. She was speaking to the season’s sustainable arc, where she dived into years worth of archival fabric and inventory to create a wholly upcycled range.
Sustainability is arguably the most widely discussed issue facing the fashion industry today, and it’s become an umbrella term for a range of good practices. For Yeohlee Teng, it means endurance, and being able to reinvent old fabrics for the modern day. There were a host of standouts, including a neon day-glo fabric from 2003 cut into an athletic-leaning jacket and joggers, plum melange silk taffeta from 2008 rendered into languid pants cut on the bias, and silk duchess satin from the Nineties reimagined into a voluminous yet lightweight baseball jacket that maintained a great ballooning shape.
Cohesion was Teng’s biggest challenge, and she managed to unify looks with a sculptural and modernist hand that held a gender-ambiguous thread. Outerwear highlighted these elements best, and included a wide-neck coat with high-low hem that was actually one width of square fabric, and a regal black-and-silver duchess satin jacket with box sleeves that would serve as a great proposition for relaxed evening attire. Other inventive evening looks included a “memory” dress that took on different imprints when touched, and a chic dress featuring a sculpted built-in wrap from a 2016 graphic printed jacquard.