Until Sunday, the juries will decide between the 10 finalists in each category.
The Hyères festival, the oldest and most prestigious international fashion competition, a springboard for young designers, inaugurated its 36th edition on Thursday, prepared in the midst of the Covid-19 health crisis.
Until Sunday, the juries chaired by the Briton Louise Trotter, stylist of Lacoste (fashion), the French Christian Louboutin (accessories) and the French photographer Dominique Issermann will decide between the 10 finalists in each category.
For the founder and general manager of the festival Jean-Pierre Blanc, the period of confinement during which this edition had been prepared is “surely the most difficult” since the existence of the festival which launched more than one career in fashion in 35 years.
No French in the selection
In terms of fashion, it is the Nordic breakthrough with three Finns and two Latvians. No French is in the selection which also includes a Colombian, a Swiss, a Thai, a British and a Taiwanese.
Two of them, Rukpong Raimaturapong (Thailand) and Mengche Chiang (Taiwan), are however trained at the French Fashion Institute (IFM).
“It’s a surprising and electric season in the choice of colors and associations,” commented to Lucie Jeannot, of Première Vision, the leading upstream fashion show, which followed the finalists.
The selection is marked by “a very meticulous research on the materials, on the compositions, the quilts and something very visual, which is in the DNA” of young designers, she continues. “They are used to expressing themselves as much in photos as on social networks, to build a brand identity.”
“The story telling around their collection is very important as well as the staging. They do things more visual” than previous generations, she adds.
A Belgian winner last year
Last year, it was the Belgian Tom Van der Borght, designer of colorful and wacky clothes made from recycled materials “that nobody wants”, who won the Fashion Grand Prix of the Festival.
In the past, the festival has rewarded the Belgian Anthony Vaccarello, now stylist of Saint Laurent or the Dutch duo Viktor & Rolf.
Distinguished in 2018, another Dutch duo Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh were then appointed to the artistic direction of Nina Ricci and present the collections of their Botter brand in Paris.