New York Fashion Week is here, people! Can you feel the excitement? I can — because, if you’ll remember my post forecasting fall trends a couple of weeks ago, it loks like I was right (It doesn’t actually look like I was right so much as I am right, but there’s nothing lady-like about doing the i-told-you-so dance, now is there?)
Following the Academy of Art University Graduate show last Friday (Urban Knights represent! Never mind it being the most ridiculous mascot in collegiate history…) the last Bryant Park NYWF has really gathered momentum and is now in full swing. Veteran New York designer and pioneer of the “Urban Nomad” look, Yeohlee Teng’s Fall 2009 collection is another one of my top picks so far.
Born and raised in Malaysia, Yeohlee opened her own design house stateside after moving to New York City to study at the Parsons School of Design. If you’re unfamiliar with her signature brand of “Urban Nomad” chic (which is nothing to be ashamed of — she isn’t even listed on Style.com), it looks something like the love child of Rei Kawakubo and Helmut Lang might, if it were a young working professional who secretly loved Halston (if you’re not familiar with their signature styles, I simply can’t help you, and you should be ashamed). This Fall’s collection feels both new and classic at the same time, and totally appropriate for right now.
Color: Yeohlee’s usual fondness for neutrals became a mania for monochrome this season with a pallet of black, white, and gray, with three platinum metallic pieces and a lone top with a smattering of red polkadots.
Silhouette: Contrast was the theme in all aspects of this collection. In silhouette it manifested as a play on prportion. Voluminous coats covered slim slacks and leotard-tight tops were tucked into great draped dhoti pants. Although she took volume to the extreme, skillful tailoring, impeccable construction, and sensible color choices made almost every piece in this collection completely wearable.
Likes: Of course, I’m going to love this collection because it backs up my forecast and encompasses everything I love about fashion right now. On a more objective note, though, it feels like Yeohlee is really in touch with consumer attitudes right now, giving us a RTW collection that feels luxurious without being ostentatious, with wearable pieces suited for women of all ages and body types. She brought back the catsuit as a foundation for her sculpted outerwear, which to me, is evocative of Donna Karan’s attitudes towards working women in the 80’s, and absolutely appropriate for the working woman in today’s economy. She stuck to basic colors, because we’re all stretching our dollars these days — instead providing interesting contrast between textures and materials (including some suhweet double faced wool/angora, and expertly draped patent leather). Basically, if you’re a human being and you wear clothing, there’s nothing not to love about this collection (if you’re a nudist, you’re really missing out).
Dislikes: I’d love to say absolutely nothing here, but I will admit I could’ve done without the polka dotted number. I wish Yeohlee had gone balls-out and just said no to color all together, but I understand the inclusion of the look as a metaphorical middle finger in the general direction of prints and colors.
Now, while I’m lusting after Qianya’s knits from across the lab, I’ll be fanatasizing about what they would look like with a pair of Yeohlee’s slim slacks, nestled under a gigantic draped coat. Maybe Yeohlee’s willing to trade? I make a mean homemade bowl of ramen, but that’s about it — I am a quintessential broke college student, after all.