Yeohlee Spring 2015: A Vision of Urban Essence

Burnt Umber Crackle Paper Triangulated jacket,
navy sateen cupro jersey tank,
cubist gym shorts

Yesterday afternoon I escaped the re-circulated air of the Lincoln Center tents for a while to hang out on the street of a still gritty section of the garment center with Yeohlee and her cast of loyal devotees. Well, not exactly hang out there, although it felt like that’s what we were doing at first, looking like some sort of older, somewhat eccentrically dressed street gang who were more ready to tumble than rumble. Upon arriving on this scene I attempted to descend the stairs to her jewel box store/studio on West 29th Street; a natural instinct as I saw chairs and drinks inside, but was quickly told that the “main event” would be happening outside.

Yeohlee is interviewed for NY 1 before the show

Yeohlee, in black and gray plaid shorts, gray shirt and flat espadrilles, stood directly in front of the atelier bearing her name while she chatted and welcomed her legions of longtime suspects/supporters including designer and CFDA past president Stan Herman and Fashion Law Institute professor and founder Susan Scafidi while everyone jockeyed for position on the sidewalk and snapped photos. Bill Cunningham appeared out of nowhere and the show began. The photographers grouped themselves in a compact area at one end of the sidewalk as the models walked out and were told in no uncertain words exactly how the lens men wanted them to walk the makeshift “urban runway.” I’m willing to bet they don’t prepare you for this in modeling school!

White/Black cotton jersey triangle dress

It all was actually kind of perfect as Yeohlee’s theme for Spring 2015 involves “conquering the complexity of living and working in an urban environment and looks for simple solutions of what to wear” according to her written show description. True to form, her building block shapes of cubes, crescents, ovals and triangles takes on a geometric, yet relaxed and simplistic precision in their construction, in the pattern on the fabric, as well as in the patterning of her garments such as her oval seamed dresses.

Her materials show a contrast of the organic and the manmade including cotton, cupro, microfibre, polyurethane and silk all with a silky hand and flow. Colors ran the gamut from stark black and white to vivid hues of cobalt and prussian blues with splashes of crimson. In one look, Yeohlee combined the severity of the black and white in a distressed cotton jersey box top with her cubist oval shorts in bursts of colors.

Pale gray cotton pinstripe oval dress

She also used ovals to give a light summery shape to a dress in pale grey cotton pinstripe lawn as well as to slim and streamline the body’s contours in brown and black microfibre and in a black cotton solid knit front dress with a black and white ovals back. In that particular dress, the photographers instructed the model to stand on profile so that you could see the juxtaposition and enjoy the surprise that the LBD held upon it’s wearer’s back being turned.

sateen box top, Prussian Blue/White Feather shorts (L),  Black/White Microfibre 

Triangle Gusset Blazer, White Microfibre Tank, Black Microfibre Ankle pant

Prussian Blue/White Feather Dress (R)

After the official show had ended, the models posed in front of an actual construction site against a painted green construction facade next door to Yeohlee’s building, demonstrating in real time how the clothes work in the urban jungle better than they would on any catwalk.

– Laurel Marcus

The Daily Bet by Rhonda Erb

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Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

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