All You Need To Know About Hyerès Festival 2018

All You Need To Know About Hyerès Festival 2018

From the Bettina Rheims exhibition and the Chanel pop-up to the winner of the photography prize, Vogue contributing style editor Gianluca Longo shares his highlights from the Hyères Festival 2018.

Last weekend the charming town of Hyères was buzzing again: the 33rd edition of the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories had started.

Designers, photographers, artists, students and creatives – all young, were hanging around the beautiful Villa Noailles, that, nested at the top of a rock, looks down the valley, from the medieval clock tower of Hyères up to the blue sea.

Hyères Festival: Where Young Talent Collaborates With Couture Artisans
Hyères Festival: Where Young Talent Collaborates With Couture Artisans
FASHION 1 day ago
Villa Noailles, one of my favourite modernist houses, was built in 1924 for art patrons Charles and Marie Laure de Noailles, and became home to the avant-garde artists of the twentieth century: Man Ray, Giacometti, Sonia Delaunay, Dali and Jean Cocteau all spent some time there. And it’s now a new art centre for fashion design, architecture and photography.
I started my visit attending Deep Water, a performance by Gregoire Schaller, who danced around in the Villa’s Salle Rose, constantly filling a pierced jug, inspired by the Greek myths of the Danaids. The set, a series of Yves Klein-blue water tanks, was designed by artist Arthur Hoffner, who won the prize of Design Parade last year. And it all looked serene.
CREDIT: REX FEATURES
After asking for a picture in the famous Cubist garden (I do the same every time I am there) I went to check out the Bettina Rheims exhibition, a series of iconic pictures that she took for Details Magazine between 1994 and 1997, when Bill Mullen was fashion director. The two were on the jury for photography.
Haider Ackermann, head of the fashion jury, had curated A Vanishing Act , an exhibition in the pool room of the villa with a beautiful selection of Alaïa, Undercover and Hermès by Martin Margiela looks, among others. Two original Madame Grès white pleated gowns looked timeless next to a couple of Rick Owens pieces. All embellished by punkish headwear by Haider’s favourite hairstylist Kamo.
CREDIT: CSILLA KLENYANSKI
Another room had been transformed into an art gallery: some of the most exquisite examples of the Lemarié Atelier craftsmanship were on its walls, as works of art, chosen by Christelle Kocher, creative director of the French maison. Lemarié is one of the five Metier d’Art ateliers that Chanel brought in a few years ago to preserve them from disappearing. That convinced me to join the workshop next door, where, with the right tools in hand, I contributed to decorating the big cloth on the table with a bee and a flower made of feathers and organza.
Downstairs, I spent some time looking at the pictures of the finalists for the photography prize: I liked the still life works of Hungarian photographer Csilla Klenyanszki, who used everyday domestic objects to create stunning – and ironic images; and got totally enchanted by Eva O’Leary’s series of portraits. I was pleased to hear she won the jury’s high prize at the Sunday evening award ceremony.
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Daragh Soden is an Irish photographer who won that prize last year. And he showed his new work, Tales of Toulon, in one of the rooms of the villa. The result was impressive: after three trips to the South of France, he captured young immigrants, soldiers, and sailors all in transit in Toulon’s harbour.
Off to the next show-space. What better than having a moving conveyor belt, with 12 pajamas hanging, to show the different astrological zodiac signs printed on them? That is the work of print master Pierre Marie, and long collaborator of Hermès.
CREDIT: REX FEATURES
Lunch was at Le Pradeau, one of the most beautiful beaches around Hyères, given by Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye, president of Chloé. There I met the very chic Audrey Azoulay, the educational and culture director of Unesco.
That same afternoon, I went to St Tropez and checked-in at the Chanel pop-up store. That sells all things inspired by a summer on the Cote d’Azur, the Chanel way.
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
The morning after, I walked back up to Villa Noailles to see the accessories designers, shortlisted for the prize. I liked the golden threads by Cecile Gray and the unique hearing aid jewellery by the young Kate Richard, Flora Fixy and Julia Dessirier. They were over the moon when they received the Swarovski fashion accessory high prize.
On my way down to see the fashion designers, I stopped to see a wall covered with some of the most iconic ’90s Versace catalogue covers. Some of those images have really made fashion history. I then met Tilda Swinton, who, with Farida Khelfa, Delfina Delettrez and Lou Dillon, had to make the hard decision on the winner for best fashion designer.
CREDIT: REX FEATURES
That evening I attended the final fashion show held in a big old barn by the sea. All the 10 participating designers presented great collections. I was intrigued by the big models wearing Ester Manas looks for “big” people; I was amused by the cartoon-like silhouettes by Sarah Bruylant; and I loved the perfect deconstructed tailoring by Botter, styled with sportswear pieces and some fun inflatable toys (their collection is called “Fish or Fight”). And they won the high prize of the jury!
Backstage, after the awards, both Rushemy and Lisi (the two designers behind Botter) were celebrating with all the models and their friends, as if it was a students’ party. That was creativity and fun at its best. And that is what fashion should be.

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