Whether she’s minimizing production waste or single-handedly staging her own fashion show, Yeohlee Teng’s resolute efficiency is admirable. The designer believes in the economy of geometry and uses shapes as the building blocks for each of her carefully considered collections. For Spring ’15, Teng collapsed squares, crescents, ovals, and triangles into a structured, distressed cotton top paired with Cubist printed shorts. Describing another shirt that appeared to be cut from crackled paper, she said, “I wanted to make it look like a flattened box and constructed it out of 34 inches of fabric total. Saving material like that is the olive in the martini for me.” Among the other highlights in the linear lineup were microfiber palazzo pants, hooded jackets with red and white paint splatters, and a graphic jersey cocktail dress featuring contrasting triangles that overlapped at the bust.
While a lot of thought goes into Teng’s clothes (everything is created with an eye toward sustainability and manufactured in the Garment District), the overall effect is terrifically simple, comfortable, and urbane. For example, it was easy to imagine the girl in look 11 walking down the street in her basic white T-shirt and black skirt-shorts hybrid. And walk down the street is exactly what she did. While Yeohlee’s shows are usually intimate affairs attended by Teng’s friends and family, this time around the designer opened things up to the public by having her models parade the sidewalk outside her boutique on 29th Street. The spectacle caused a foot-traffic bottleneck, to say the least. Teng’s longtime pal Bill Cunningham even staged an impromptu photo shoot outside a construction site nearby. Talk about street style.