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A century ago, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles received as a wedding present this extensive land on the heights of the city of Hyères, facing the golden islands, on which they decided to commission young architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for "a small, interesting house to live in". The villa became an extraordinary architectural adventure and, 20 years ago, composed the arts centre with the most vibrant energy at the Côte d'Azur. There, as the work Les Nuits d'Été shows, artistic experimentation took place in unique costume balls.
The place exudes inspiration. It is perfect for the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories, which since 1986 has been supporting young creatives to excel at the heart of the artistic and societal challenges in fashion. Once again in 2023, the faithful partners of the Festival are committed to support the next generation of designers: CHANEL, le19M, Première Vision, LVMH, Hermès, Mercedes-Benz, American Vintage, la Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, le Défi, Galeries Lafayette, l'Atelier des Matières..., all them were there celebrating the beauty of young fashion and arts.
In this edition, the social discourse and the use of discarded materials has been the common thread of most of the collections. Dresses created with old Russian propaganda parachutes by Petra Fagerstrom, styles that speak of intimate stories of the designers, such as "the feeling of not feeling yourself in your clothes" by Norman Maribe-Larguier, or "the architectural form of my non binary identity" by Tiago Bessa showing that fashion design is not enough, fashion has to tell stories. There were other beautiful stories such as the precious balance between East and West shown through the collection of the French designer of Chinese origin Fengyuan Day, or the recreation of animal fabrics in the collection "You are the most beautiful animal in the world", by the Korean Jung Eun Lee.
We also felt the commitment of designers to the recovery of their country's textile industry, such as Igor Dieryck, using Belgian textiles and headstocks from Belgian designers; and Alec Bizby recovering precious wool from Wales.
We lose ourselves in the Villa rooms, which tell us of a lifestyle ahead of its time, visionary fashion enraptured by Chanel, imaginary worlds that could have inspired Paco Rabanne, seductive nooks and crannies of Lanvin, connections between art and fashion with Schiaparelli. In the Salon de la Musique, the opera accompanies us among creations by Viktor&Rolf, Ester Manas, Marit Liston, Jean Colonna, Jean-Paul Lespagnard, Charles de Vilmorin... We would stay there all day, but there are too many creatives in the place to devote ourselves to our inspiration-hungry ego alone.
In one of the upper gardens, the ten finalists of the Prix de la Mode have come together to relentlessly explain the most intimate details of their collections, their dreams, their fears, why fashion is not just clothing, but a speaker for social, political and environmental changes.
Igor Dieryck was the big winner. He won the Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision, the Prix 19M Métiers d'art and the Prix du Public at the 38th Hyères International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories.
“My collection is to highlight those who, too often, are ignored and concealed by a system that does not give them the place to be powerful.” -declared the designer to Luxiders Magazine. Both formal and conceptual, his creations, with their bright colors and bold aesthetic, suggest a retro ambience, providing a captivating visual experience. "I wanted to support local economy through the use of textiles made in Belgium" - underlined the designer. Igor Dieryck received support from several Première Vision exhibitors: Labels & Things - L&T Caps, Libeco, Beppetex and Rifra Nastri.
The Grand Prix of the jury Première Vision consists of a grant of 20,000 euros offered by Première Vision and a high level of visibility during a Première Vision Paris event; a collaborative project with the Métiers d’art, worth up to 20,000 euros; the conception of a capsule collection that embodies the Galeries Lafayette’s values of inclusivity and diversity in the fashion world; an allocation of fabrics and dedicated support from Alliance for European FlaxLinen & Hemp to create one or several silhouettes to help the winner of the Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision in the development of the marketing of his future collection; an invitation from ICICLE to create a capsule collection; and 1-year mentorship to advise and counsel for career pathing by Sterling International.
The Prix 19M Métiers d'art rewards the best collaboration with ten of the Houses belonging to the Métiers d’art: Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte, Causse, Desrues, Goossens, Lemarié, Lesage, Lognon, Maison Michel, Montex and Paloma. The winner will receive a grant of 20,000 euros to make a new creative project that will be unveiled next year, at the 39th edition of the festival.
Petra Fagerström was the other big winner. She won the L’Atelier des Matières Prize and the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize. Petra Fagerström was awarded 10,000-euros worth of materials for her collection “Grand-mère Volante”, inspired by her grandmother, cut from materials that included an upcycled parachute and deadstock leathers.
L’Atelier des Matières, pioneered by Chanel in 2018, has the mission to revalorize obsolete materials and proucts from fashion and lifestyle industries. Firmly entrenched in the circular economy ethos, L’Atelier provides a tailored ecosystem. The Prize distinguishes one of the finalist in the fashion category for a creation made from its recycled and dormant materials made available.
Launched in 2021, this prize rewards the finalist who best incorporates sustainable production methods into their collections in aims to future proof the fashion industry. The prize awards innovation, creativity and responsible design.
The photography competition prize has been a feature of the festival since 1997. This year, the President of the photography jury will be Luis Alberto Rodriguez, a photographer and winner of the American Vintage Photography Prize in 2017. Rodriguez along with the other jurors met in Paris to make a selection, decided the winners for the photography competition.
Thadde Comar won the 7L Photography Grand Jury Prize. The Swiss/French photographer based in Paris, will receive support for the production of a book published by the Éditions 7L, launched in 2001 by Karl Lagerfeld; and the creation of a book launch event with the production of an exhibition. The winner of the Grand Prix of the Photography jury 7L will be offered an exhibition of his work at the villa Noailles during the following year's Festival. CHANEL is a partner of the Grand Prix of the Photography 7L, with a prize of 20,000 euros for the winner.
The Senegal based photographer Souleymane Bachir Diaw, whose work looks at the connection between the themes of masculinity and strength, won the American Vintage Photography Prize. He will receive a fashion photoshoot order worth 15,000 euros.
Kin Coedel won the Public Prize.
Gabrielle Huguenot is the newest Accessories Competition winner. With "Artificial Flowers Need Water, Still", the designer won up to 20,000 euros. Special Mention of the Accessories Jury went to Christiane Schwambach, from Germany, for her "Fragment" Bags, made of recycled plastic to symbolize flowers and flower leaves.
The Hermès Fashion Accessories Prize, went to the French designer Victor Salinier for an impressive leather architectural collection with creativity as leitmotif. Salinier will receive a grant of €20,000. He also received the Blic Prize - City of Hyeres, for his bag Katie, a piece of art.