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Bold, minimalistic and with an abstract edge is how the designer sees her work. At the age of 30 she contributed with the prestigious Contemporary Art Museum Boijmans after her graduation from CSM in the epicentre of bold fashion. Korean born fashion designer Rejina Pyo is currently working on her own label, which will be shown in February 2014. In this interview, Rejina goes in-depth about her work and inspirations.

that I wrapped the fabric around me!)Can you tell us more about your first experiences in the world of fashion?

My mother was a fashion designer, growing up I used to wrap the fabrics around me and I made my first dress when I was 14. Becoming a designer was more of a natural aspiration; I never decided I wanted to become a fashion designer.

Knowing that you are Korean, why did you pick moving to London?

When I was looking into studying abroad, Central Saint Martins seemed to be the best place to study. My time at CSM has never been easy, it is very intense and competitive but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m now teaching a course there and it’s great, as I can share my experiences with new students. I have been living in London for 6 years now and it has always felt like home. It’s an amazing city where something new happens every day. I get a lot of inspiration by living here.

What’s your main inspiration while designing? Is there a specific woman you think of?

I don’t design for one woman in particular. The Rejina Pyo aesthetic is effortless, intelligent and quietly confident. My woman is at the top of her chosen field with a strong presence. Someone who knows what she wants. I have always been fascinated by abstract art and this has been a constant inspiration for my work.

You designed a collection for Weekday, could you tell us more about this experience?

That collection has a more wearable approach than my other collections. I wanted to achieve something timeless so it could be adapted to everyday life. Abstract shapes and blocks of colors formed the collection that represents the women I design for.

Your work has deliberately blurred the lines between sculpture and fashion, is this something you wanted to accomplish as a designer?

No. I admire art for it’s purity but I am not trying to make ‘wearable art’. The pure side of art is that it does not need to be used and, in that way, design is different. Design has to be useful which is a lot more commercial. For my exhibition at the Boijmans Museum, it felt right to continue with some of the ideas from my graduation collection at Central Saint Martins. The boundary between art and fashion is always somewhat blurred, so I wanted to experiment with a direct approach. I did not want to create garments that could be worn; instead I wanted to create sculptural art that had been influenced by fashion.

What’s next for your label?

I’m currently working on the next collection. When I design for my own label, I think about the woman who will be buying and wearing the clothes. I see my label as a lifelong project and I’m enjoying every part of it.

WORDS
ILANKA VERHOEVEN
PORTRAIT
ALEX RODRIGUEZ

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