Last weekend marked the 31st edition of Hyéres Festival of Fashion and Photography. Created three decades ago, by young student Jean Pierre Blanc, as a graduation project, the festival revealed marvellous talents, such as Viktor & Rolf, Anthony Vaccarello, or Julien Dossena, who presided over this year´s jury.

The industry acclaimed festival is an important event for Parisians, who escape the city in search of beauty and glamour, hosted by Villa Noailles: a stronghold of artistic avant-garde in the 20th century, now home to temporary exhibitions of design, architecture, photography, and fashion.

During previous editions, the jury chose to be quite eclectic in selecting the finalists, and this year's edition follows this tendency, giving a wide overview of contemporary trends. In its diversity, the jury selection is intriguing, as it points, at times, towards an exploration of social types and predispositions among fashion students: the nerd, the romantic, the arts-and-crafts enthusiast. Nevertheless, some creations managed to stand out and project unique ideas and values that permeate contemporary experiences.

LAURA BONED, FRANCE

The collection features a multitude of heterogeneous fabrics, including artisanal georgette silk, Crepe de Chine, and jersey, which create a playful impression of mille-feuille. Visually heavy silhouettes give an unexpectedly light, sensitive experience.

 

SHOHEI KINOSHITA, JAPAN

New York, 1937. A greedy fire has devoured the apartment of Mr. Wong, successful trader and zoot member. The result presents a subtle wardrobe in decomposition made of tailored wools fabrics, having survived the fire.

 

HANNE JURMU AND ANTON VARTIAINEN, FINLAND

Jurmu and Vartiainen introduced us to long haired dreamers, walking in confusion, with paradoxical wisdom. The collection adopts an ecological stance, challenging the decaying relationship between humanity and nature.

 

CLÉMENTINE KÜNG, SWITZERLAND

Californian skaters and First World War soldiers are brought together by Küng, who describe the men in her collection as "fighters of coolness."

 

AKINO KUROSAWA, JAPAN

Inspired by the endless, dark Scandinavian winter, Kurasawa's collection is an ode to quiet snow landscapes producing delicate melancholy. The softness of the sculptural silhouettes carries the viewer in the fictional mirage constructed by this designer.

 

WATARU TOMINAGA, JAPAN

Tominaga won the Grand Prize at Hyéres, and was chosen by Le Monde for its Hyéres special issue cover. The designer explores gender and the use of colour, as an attempt to illustrate an "alternative way of thinking for a better life."

 

YUHEI MUKAI, JAPAN

One of my favorites, Yuhei remained unfairly under-appreciated despite his extremely insightful and fresh exploration of the clash of the personal with the global.

 

Words: Laëtitia Mannessier and Elena Stanciu

Photography: Laëtitia Mannessier