February 13, 2020
by Liana Satenstein
Part of the joy of visiting Yeohlee Teng is seeing how she uses every bit of fabric. Even the smallest of scraps are somehow integrated in her clean and boyish designs. She’s been doing this for years; zero-waste and sustainability have been the driving forces of her company since its beginnings, long before the excess the fashion industry produces was a hot topic. This season, inspired by the British boarding school she attended with her brothers, she riffed on school uniforms. To create the pieces, she used fabric that she’s had in her stock room since the late ’90s. (She also used leftover materials from her resort 2020 collection.)
In a way, Teng has always been developing a uniform. Season to season her pieces are polished, linear, razor sharp. Beyond basics like a hand-knit sweater vest and and flared pants, there were some fantastic oddball pieces for fall. One standout was an elongated jacket that skimmed the knees, which lengthened the silhouette in a monastic way. Another quirky piece was a wool check jacquard holster belt. It came with a matching jacket and was made to be accessible from the pockets of the coat. (In other words, a woman could slip her hands through the jacket pockets and into the holster’s pockets.) She called it the “pickpocket’s puzzle.” Funky, cool, and, yes, zero-waste.