June 11, 2014 New York
Teng was taken with the Chestnut Hill home's kitchen, designed by Wharton Esherick, whose sister owned the house. Esherick's carved wooden pieces inspired the graphic lines printed on a painterly floral dress with a handkerchief neckline, and his amoebic coffee table helped to inform the curved pockets and hem of a black knee-length skirt.
There was a chic practicality to the collection that was best represented in the minor details. The back and front of a black-and-gray striped tank were cut from the same pattern so that it could be worn either way. (One side had wider stripes than the other.) A crinkle-cotton blouse—called the "Schindler" after the architect Rudolph, who often wore a white shirt—had a freeing hidden zipper up the back. If a piece had pockets, as on the back of a yellow pencil skirt, those pockets were deep, so that they could actually be used.
But while the tiny moments were many, it was a pair of billowy wide-leg trousers in off-white that stole the show. They were worn with a tank made of a highly touchable navy microfiber and a matching blazer trimmed in the same fabric. A tie-able sash was attached to the blazer, cut on the bias to reveal unfinished edges. Teng's skill is in draping and manipulating fabric in such a way that it hangs beautifully without the wearer knowing why or how. There's something pleasing about that kind of discretion.