“I was thinking about sustainability and what a huge buzzword it is; I thought to myself, true sustainability has a lot to do with endurance. When I thought about endurance, I thought about my clothing,” designer Yeohlee Teng said over a Zoom appointment regarding her fall 2021 collection.
The designer’s knack for continually creating sustainable, stylish and versatile fashions was a distinct point for her latest collection; many styles for the fall 2021 season were ones reimagined and modernized from her prior collections over the past 20 years.
“Figuring things out again, thinking about things upside-down and inside-out; it’s challenging but also engaging,” Teng explained.
The look: Modern interpretations of archival Yeohlee looks in black and white; the history behind each piece enriched its story and added to its inherent versatility within its design.
Quote of note: “Since last season, when I watched the neighborhood come to life, I thought that I would illustrate the neighborhood. I thought that the story could be told through imagery of the street that I’m on,” Teng said of her look book backdrop, which featured sketches of New York city scenery, later adding, “When things started opening up, I did have clients visit who came to town just to see their kids; I had a client come in from Dallas…she actually showed up in the same vest that I had on. So the whole collection is really about sustainability, endurance and how hard the clothes can work for you. Within the collection are things that were made for fall 2021, but the collection spans over collections within my career, they span at least 20 years. The fact that they can be presented as one, in the year 2021, spoke a lot to what sustainability is.”
Key pieces: Stellar trousers with intriguing, voluminous details (angular, accentuated pockets or harem-style in jacquard silk taffeta); a black holster pocket coat; a simple white T-shirt with small, circular “Y” logo T-shirt (designed for the CFDA’s “Fashion Targets Breast Cancer” initiative); a black dress with criss-cross ties across its cutout back in original Jasco jersey (designed in honor of Howard Silver of Jasco Fabrics, who passed away in March).
The takeaway: On the day of her fall 2021 look book photo shoot, her longtime model entered wearing a cashmere Yeohlee jacket she had discovered on The RealReal. “Her coat is a Yeohlee, and it is probably at least nine or 10 years old,” Teng said of the special moment over Zoom, which served as coincidence and true testament to Teng’s message and designs.