new york autumn winter 07/08

by Marilyn Kirschner | photographed by Yannis Vlamos

Yeohlee Teng's "deceptively simple" architectural designs which naturally evolve from one season to the next, prove she has more than just looking great on her mind (although that's always the beautiful bi product). She has a permanent spot at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute and the late Richard Martin, former Chief Curator, referred to her as "one of the most ingenious makers of clothing today." She received the prestigious National Design Award for Excellence in Fashion Design, in October 2004 and her designs (and those of other major names) are currently being celebrated by a major show, "Skin & Bones, Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture", at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). It goes through March 5th.

Her fall 2007 collection, which exemplifies all the above, was all about 'going back to basics', the hallmarks of Antoni Gaudi, the genius known for his undulating forms. It played out in a rigorous and signature color palette of gray, black, ivory, taupe, translated into weighty and substantial fabrics like stretch wool felt and wool angora. Yeohlee focused on the idea of "enveloping" the wearer and creating versatile pieces that can be changed and manipulated by the wearer (something she is indeed known for).

The best pieces were the simplest and most streamlined (the lean and narrow high waisted and elongated trousers; slightly curved hem dresses, high waisted coats and coatdresses with self belts and sculptural collars, jackets whose peplum waistlines are formed from two crescents. Yeohlee's vision of a new suit was exemplified by the very first outfit out: grey stretch wool felt 'ovoid' jacket worn with lean and elongated grey stretch wool felt empire trousers and a white cotton 'femme Mao' shirt (which appeared throughout). For evening, the continued the same theme and shapes but translated the grey flannel into a mercury lame.

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