Fashion

Who is Rejina Pyo?

Korean-born, Central St Martins star Rejina Pyo’s SS18 collection has landed on Coggles.

 

Born in Seoul, South Korea to a fashion designer mother, clothes are entrenched in Rejina Pyo’s DNA. Harbouring a fascination for her mother’s sketchbooks as well as art and architecture, Pyo was always destined to create and build.

Attending art school in Seoul, upon graduating Rejina worked for a large Korean fashion group. Finding the corporation impersonal and lacking creativity, the artist decamped for Central Saint Martins and after an intensive, year-long graduate diploma course — which she now teaches — Pyo was accepted onto the school’s MA fashion course.

Inspired by the Japanese wood sculptor Isamu Noguchi, her graduate collection caught the attention of the curator of Greek cultural organisation Atopos, who selected her work for inclusion in its 2011 “Arghhh! Monsters in Fashion” exhibition at the Benaki museum in Athens. A year later, Pyo won the Han Nefkens Fashion Award, a biennial prize for exceptional work by a designer working at the cutting edge of fashion and art.

Three years after graduating, in 2014 when Rejina Pyo left her job as Roksanda Ilincic’s first assistant to set up her eponymous label. An intersection between fashion and art, the brand features sculptural silhouettes that show the designer’s fascination with modern abstract art and architecture. When it comes to her passion, Pyo admits to taking inspiration from the way that sculpture can create an entirely new space to communicate an idea or emotion using colour, form, material and proportion. Applying the same principles to her own design, Pyo fashions shapes with architectural precision whilst ensuring that all areas of her collection are wearable and practical.

Thinking about what the modern woman wants to wear, her innovative designs are flattering to every woman’s body. A champion of diversity, Pyo makes sure to include all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities in her biannual presentations. Ahead of her SS18 catwalk show, Pyo put out a casting call for “confident, unique and inspiring women of ALL ethnicities and ALL ages to participate in a very special project”.

Unexpected volume and experimentations with colour and texture keep Rejina Pyo’s collections feeling fresh. With an aim to create special-occasion attire that can be effortless and elegant at the same time, as well as versatile enough for multiple occasions, the structured, statement pieces are unmistakably stylish, but they are designed for real women with real lives, not just for the catwalk.

Rather than seeing her brand as a business, Pyo looks at her label as a lifelong project. Understated elegance that is slowly mounting into a crescendo of luxury is the route of the namesake label. A calming wave of thoughtful elegance, quieter in temperament, but no less artful, beautifully executed with a meticulous attention to detail and an artful twist that isn’t brash or overwhelming.

Shop Rejina Pyo SS18 on Coggles

Words by Georgia Leitch



Georgia Leitch

Georgia Leitch

Writer and expert

A fan of maximalist fashion and all things fluffy, you can find me layering prints or looking for new earrings. A disco queen at heart, if I'm not dancing around the house to 70s soul, I'm counting my flares.


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