Yeohlee Teng is fashion’s quiet pioneer. She left behind the traditional wholesale model to focus on experiential retail years ago, and focused on concepts like gender fluidity and sustainability before they become hot-button issues. Her resort collection continued the conscious thread from fall, utilizing only archival fabrics that in effect produces less waste.
At face value, the collection was fluid and drapey, brimming with minimalist geometric details the designer has long championed. The flag drapes on a metallic dress were rectangles. The back of a high-waisted faille and satin skirt was stitched in a way that created a rounded shape in back. Stripes were a recurring motif, ranging from a textured seersucker top with malleable sleeves to a knit skirt meticulously cut in one piece that transitioned from a straight grain to bias grain to cross grain.
Conceptually, there were harmonious design contrasts that reflected life’s beautiful chaos, underscored by the idea of creating interest around sustainable fashion through thoughtful design. “The collection is built around not just the fabrics from the archive, it’s also a contrast of weight, texture and weave,” Teng said in her showroom, adding: “There’s soft and collapsible, hard and woven, plays on shine and matte; it’s about exploring what you own and studying their properties and mining their properties to get something new out of it.” The best example of that was a romantic blend of a linen lamé skirt and linen woven top with sheer linen drapes that defied the fabric’s crunchy connotations.
Just as important of a concept was longevity. “I think clothes should be seamless, because you should be able to have fluidity in your closet, where your clothes can go through all the different requirements and needs,” she added. The use of an archival couture-like zibeline fabric in a white cropped top and dark trousers attested to durability of time and taste, while a loosely draped silk navy dress with knotted front could easily transition both season and occasion.