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The Architect of Fashion Goes for a Dip

Yeohlee – In a season where craftsmanship is becoming a major story- Yeohlee Teng stands a pillar and reminder that making beautiful clothes is an art form.

For Spring Yeohlee Teng offered a meditation on the globule shape of jellyfish juxtaposed with a surprisingly new take on the geometric rigidity of cubes and parabola shapes. The result- a collection that felt organic and ethereal but grounded.

Well known for her structured clothing this collection felt decidedly softer and I dare say, even feminine. The Yeohlee aesthetic is rooted in clean, strong linear lines and the exploration of form and structure, so this season’s softer direction felt especially fresh.
Popular to a sect of fashion intellectuals who count on her each season to provide, what have become Yeohlee staples- useful but intriguing separate including- trousers, capelets, and hooded coats. This collection featured jumpers paired with parka like jackets that looked modern and actually very wearable. Yeohlee is every bit a craftsperson and each season she takes on a new technique, this season it appeared to be shirring and tucking. I was particular fascinated by what Teng referred to as shirring- essential a bias torque ruching that would diagonally bisect blouses, dresses and skirts. Teng echoed the whimsical shapes of jellyfish with an ingenuity that is true of only a well seasoned architect. This technique of shirring produced the billowy look that is characteristic of floating jellyfish. Instead of collars, Teng framed the face with this amorphous shape on blouses and light weight jackets. This softer incarnation of the Yeohlee look was a masterful rendition of deductions and redirection.

The collection was rendered in a soothing palette and interesting fabrics. The combination of sheer or translucent jerseys mixed with starchy fabrics lent a sensual and tactile element to collection. For Spring ’09 Teng’s play on sheer and opaque fabric added an intriguing tension to the collection. Sheer blouses with linen skirts were the perfect balance of languid and rigid. Always a purest when it comes to selecting her color palette for spring, Yeohlee constrained her color story to soft sand tones highlighted with a bold coral underlined with lots of white.

For Spring ’09 Yeohlee invites us to take a dip with her and explore the weightless beauty of deep waters and easy dressing. True to her roots but reaching for the unknown this collection was an underwater dream. Teng stands a steady presence in the roaring sea of fashion trends and comings and goings- her work always retains a standard of quality and beauty that uplifts and moves the industry forward.

A. Coelho
Photos © Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, 2008, all rights reserved

Twinkle By Wenlan Spring 2009

Twinkle by Wenlan
Twinkle by Wenlan

Twinkle by Wenlan’s Spring 2009 collection takes inspiration from 1960s iconic actress Jean Seberg. Indeed, designer Wenlan Chia infused old Hollywood glamour in a whimsical and ultra-feminine interpretation of Seberg’s “school girl charm”.

There were vintage-inspired prints galore, including splattered, sugared diamonds, cross-stitch sparrow and blossom motifs, and even an animal print suggestive of a spotted Dalmatian coat. Creamy hues of terracotta, lemon yellow, and mint green brought an upbeat, bohemian highlight. Bouncy georgette, satin chiffon, and dry voile layered sweetly over classic, masculine textures of houndstooth and oxford.

Suits were trimmed down to double-breasted strapless dresses and pleated bustiers. Wide belts cinched the look together. A structured, beehive-style updo and stacks of fabric-covered bangles added an alluring touch to the free-spirited collection.

Always noteworthy is Twinkle’s signature knitwear, which took a daintier approach this season. Cotton/cashmere loosely draped, racerback halters and dolman-sleeved sweater dresses provided a luxurious feel to the trim silhouettes.

– Tiffany Chang
photos © Dan Lucca

Tracy Reese Spring 2009

Tracy ReeseTracy Reese’s Spring 2009 collection is a romantic, safari adventure with Oriental undertones. This season, the designer sought to present the “brilliant progression” of nature in the springtime through “delicate, yet sophisticated pieces”.

A garden fantasy was created by splashes of lime, nectarine, and peacock blue while sparkling chandelier earrings and beaded tassel necklaces evoked a majestic celebration. The silhouettes were organic and refreshing – even pin-tucked and ruched pieces gave way to open sleeves and relaxed hems. A tropical breeze emerged in the form of mini lantern skirts, “Macau green” dresses, as well as high collar eyelet blouses, reminiscent of a traditional chipau.

Onyx and cream were softened in a concoction of satin cowls and chiffon floral appliqués. The solid one-shoulder gowns and cinched trenchcoats provided a lovely harmony to the watercolor blouson dresses and Van Gogh-inspired prints. Overall, it was a cheerful and optimistic portrayal of the evolution of spring.

– Tiffany Chang

Photos by Stevyn Llewellyn

Alexandre Herchcovitch Spring 2009

Photo by Stevyn Llewellyn
Photo by Stevyn Llewellyn

Alexandre Herchcovitch stayed true to his affinity toward one world in his Spring 2009 presentation. The Brazilian designer aimed to juxtapose Western and Middle Eastern influences to create a “multi-ethnic” army. In the process, he conveys an inspiring and credible message of unity and peace.

The “Army of Love” collection represented a global village where a vision of integrated culture and compassion stood at the forefront. A legion marched down the runway in sheer, delicate “uniforms” of trim waistcoats with gold studs, patchwork tunics, and slouchy breeches. There was a hint of an aristocratic air, yet the floral embroidery and harness expressed a rustic sentiment. Tightly braided updos and buckled ankle boots completed the look.

I enjoyed how utilitarian details were reinterpreted in a more frivolous nature. Military influences became softened amid a sea of silk georgette, lace, and pastel shades of mint, lavender and taupe. Cascading ruffles replaced the ornamental epaulette and dainty paisley prints brought to mind insignias and badges.

-Tiffany Chang