LOS ANGELES — Designer Yeohlee Teng evoked architectural images in discussing fashion during a presentation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art last Wednesday.
In a black jacket, sturdy boots and jeans, Teng presented 15 looks from this year's spring and fall collections as part of the museum's series of talks on costumes, textiles and jewelry.
Unlike previous speakers, such as designer Tory Burch, Teng doesn't sell any of her clothes locally. She described them as "portable architecture" that evoke egg-like shapes and the curves associated with catenary bridges and are made with cutting-edge materials such as Teflon-coated cotton.
A key reason the museum selected Teng as the last speaker for this year's lecture series was because "she had a lot of diversity in her designs," said Nicole Sokolow, chairwoman of the Costume Council board.
The museum decorated sugar cookies with a yin-yang pattern in tribute to the Malaysian-born Teng's Chinese ancestry.
"I love coming to L.A.," Teng said, noting that she has made five trips since November, when she attended the opening gala for "Skin + Bones," the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibit on parallel practices between fashion and architecture, in which she displayed nine outfits.
She also donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art a white gown with a train that can be looped over the arms for its fashion exhibit titled "Breaking the Mode," which will travel to Florence, Italy, and Indianapolis this year.
The architecture in Southern California inspires Teng. For instance, the white A-line cheongsam (pronounced chong-sam, a traditional Chinese dress) and other designs from this spring's collection conjure the modernity of the concrete, glass and wood used in the famed Schindler House built in 1922 in West Hollywood.
"I thought it would be interesting to explore that connection with architecture further and continue that dialogue'' at the museum, Teng said, adding: "I was always fascinated by image, personal image [and] how you project yourself.…L.A. is the perfect town for this idea."
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