Early Sunday evening in London, fashion week attendees made their way into the London Aquatics Centre ahead of Rejina Pyo’s highly anticipated return to the runway. After showing digitally for the past two seasons, the event was the designer’s first real-life production since the pandemic began—and she wanted to make a splash. Kicking things off were theatrics by the Olympic GB Team divers Emily Martin, Josie Zilling, and Robyn Birch, who each wore Pyo’s new recycled nylon swimwear line in orange and pink as they dove into the water from the centre’s diving towers, which were host to the diving events during the 2020 Olympics.

From the first look sent down the runway, those who have followed the South Korean designer’s work since she started her label in 2014 would have noticed a directional shift taking place. Long a fan of structured fabrics and silhouettes, now Pyo is experimenting with a more relaxed style: loose-fitting garments, shirts tied around the waist, more feminine cuts and the addition of skin-baring pieces, like an entirely see-through sparkly black gown.

This collection is not only Pyo’s sexiest, it’s also her most sustainable: all the shirting is 100 per cent certified organic cotton – and so too is the denim. Pyo has always been fond of colour and this season was no exception, with draped dresses and shirts in sheer fuschia and sunset orange silk chiffon paired with tight tops in an acid green lace.

In an ode to travel and freedom—and a lust for the pandemic-free days—the collection included photo collage prints in full colour and monochrome created from photographs taken by Pyo on past travels to New York and Seoul and featured on wrap-around tops, pencil skirts, knit tanks and tees. Dotted amongst them were the illustrations of a mouse stealing a piece of bread, inspired Pyo’s young son’s story books.

The yearning for travel was evident elsewhere in the clothing, with pieces seemingly made with an Italian coastal holiday in mind: pink wrap mini skirts, dual-yarn tops and bottoms and unbuttoned linen shirts were dotted throughout with summer footwear styles including a squared toe leather flip flop, chunky rubber sole slides and an on trend two-strap platform sandal.

Until the world reopens for travel as Pyo, like the rest of us, eagerly awaits, we’ll happily live waterside at this aquatics centre draped in her new season.