From Maximalist To Minimalist
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
When the audience had settled in their seats at the Heatherette show Tuesday night, everyone looked hopefully toward the top of the runway, where the backdrop showed a prop plane against a tropical sunset. (The theme was “Passport to Paradise.”) Nothing happened. A good five or 10 minutes later, a blonde in an animal print halter dress appeared and swiveled her hips. The audience screamed, which for a moment seemed excessive, until I realized it was Paris Hilton. She sashayed down the runway, pulling a pink roller suitcase, tossing her huge mane of hair (I think it was a wig), and smiling beatifically.
What can be said about the clothes, except that they didn’t live up to the spectacle, which was, honestly, amazing? There were dance numbers, as well as appearances by Nicky Hilton (looking uncomfortable); Mena Suvari; the singer Kelis, and the famous transsexual Amanda Lepore.
Going from Heatherette to Yeohlee was like going from a club in South Beach to a Buddhist monastery on the top of mountain in Tibet. The show took place in a raw space on Madison Avenue. The models wore little makeup and their hair in simple ponytails. They walked up and down the makeshift runway to the rhythm of live Taiko drumming, which made the fashion ritual feel almost like a religious ceremony.
According to the publicity materials, Yeohlee focuses “on reducing the number of fabrics used and exploring to the maximum the innate potential within each of the materials.” The clothes were almost all white (and, practically, finished with Teflon). There were many simple shift dresses — repetitive, but lovely.
As the show progressed, there were blouses and dresses with huge, Möbius-strip collars. The final dress, called a “harness dress,” was long and white, with loops that went over the model’s shoulders to create a billowing, capelike effect.When she slipped out of the loops, it became a beautiful, strapless dress with a long train: the perfect gown for a Zen bride.