Rejina Pyo, is the woman behind the eponymous label, senior womenswear consulting designer for Christopher Raeburn and ex-designer at Roksanda Ilincic.
And since graduating MA fashion design at Central Saint Martins in 2011, you could add a few more awards and collaboration successes to her name.
The REJINA PYO label is formed from a very personal perspective; something of a record of oneself. The collections stem from subconscious notions of ‘images or feelings’, and are assembled through tireless research and hard work. Rejina talks to FLUX about the effortless, clean cut, pro powerful woman that is the REJINA PYO customer.
FLUX: You have your own label, REJINA PYO. Could you tell us what the brand is about and what type of woman you identify the label with?
REJINA PYO: The REJINA PYO aesthetic is effortless, intelligent and quietly confident. My woman is at the top of her chosen field, bright and interesting with a strong presence. Someone who knows what she wants.
FLUX: Who and what motivated you to build your own label?
RP: Building my own label has been a lifetime goal. What really helped me to launch my own label was the Han Nefken’s fashion award. After working at Roksanda Ilincic as her first design assistant for a year, I received the fashion award, which gave me a cash prize as well as a commission to do another collection and to be shown in the oldest museum in the Netherlands in a solo exhibition. It was a great opportunity. I thought I would be able to work on my own collection while still working full time with Roksanda, but in the end it was impossible, so I left and began working full time on my newly commissioned collection. I really enjoyed working for myself so when the exhibition was finished, I wanted to give it a go with my own ready to wear label.
FLUX: What is the inspiration behind the SS14 collection?
RP: I was thinking of a woman’s wardrobe, items that you could play with, that are interesting but that will last time after time. I used colour combinations that are a bit odd but beautiful at the same time, as well as a mosaic print, which I developed from my Morocco trip earlier this year. The mosaic tile patterns that I found there were stunning so I wanted to bring them into the collection.
FLUX: Could you talk us through your design process. What was the starting point?
RP: I think about certain images or feelings and I have a kind of subconscious notion of what the collection might be. I then carry out research, where I develop those feelings into something more real. I sketch and drape when designing. When I sketch, there is no limitation and you can be very imaginative and when you are draping, you can approach it in a more 3 dimensional way.
FLUX: As a fan of your work, I identify your collection through edits and cuts that form the architectural lines and shapes made with beautiful fabrics and prints. What truly defines your designs?
RP: I don’t design in just one formulaic way, I can shift quite easily between styles from classical to more off the wall, but for the ready-to-wear line it should be relaxed and simple with smart fabric combinations and discrete details that makes it unique and flattering to wear.
FLUX: How would you describe your personal style and do you think that transfers into your collections?
RP: It is timeless, effortless, elegant and in a way classical, but with a modern twist. I think my own style is reflected in the design and the designs become my style since I wear them myself.
FLUX: We know you’re from South Korea; does the culture inspire your style?
RP: Seoul, where I am from is a phenomenally design conscious city, so forward thinking in some ways and yet still quite conservative in others. So I am sure it has influenced me in one way or another.
FLUX: Your MA collection and exhibition is very structural and artistic whilst your collections are ready-to-wear. Which side do you prefer? Do you have any reserves for art over fashion as with art you don’t have to think about wearability?
RP: A lot of people have asked me about this and luckily I like them both equally, I think it is just a different way of expressing my message. I am not trying to make something like ‘wearable art’ or art as fashion. I think it is very different. The pure side of art is that it does not need to be used and design is different to that. It needs to be useful which is much more commercial. I do more artistic work when I have freedom to do whatever I like without the pressure of having to sell it afterwards. When I design for my own label, I think about the woman who will be buying and wearing the pieces. Eventually it has the same aesthetic as it is all coming from me.
Find our more information see www.rejinapyo.com. Rejina is also showing in the following exhibitions during 2013/2014:-
‘A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion and Chess’ at Hall of Fame, US. Artists includes Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier http://worldchesshof.org/exhibitions/exhibit/a-queen-within/
Monsters in Fashion’ Following success in Athens and Paris, the exhibition will be traveling to Centraal Museum in Utrecht between October 19th and January 19th 2014 http://www.atopos.gr/events/arrrgh-monsters-in-fashion-benaki-museum/
The Future of Fashion in Now’ at Museum Boijmans, Netherlands Artists include Hussein Chalayan http://www.boijmans.nl/en/10/press/pressitem/378
words by Samia Ngeow