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Hyères Festival to start on Thursday at hundred-year-old Villa Noailles

Translated by

Nicola Mira


Oct 11, 2023

For the third consecutive year, the Hyères international fashion, photography and accessories festival is being held in October and not at the end of April. It will kick off on Thursday October 12, and will close on Sunday October 15 with the award ceremonies for the prizes in the emerging designer competition’s three categories. As always, the festival’s public sessions will be hosted by Villa Noailles, which is celebrating its centenary this year.

Creativity will take centre-stage for four days in Hyères, France –

Thirty finalists will vie for prizes at the 38th edition of the festival founded by Jean-Pierre Blanc and presided by Pascale Mussard. The fashion category, won last year by Jenny Hytönen, will feature 10 finalists from eight countries – including Fengyuan Dai and Norman Mabire-Larguier from France – who will compete for the Grand Prix Première Vision, the 19M prize for craftsmanship excellence, the Mercedes-Benz prize for the most sustainable collection, and the Atelier des matières prize sponsored by Chanel. This year, the festival has an additional sponsor, Sterling International, a recruitment agency specialised in fashion, retail and luxury goods, which will offer coaching to the finalists and will mentor the Grand Prix winner.
Eleven designers (including a duo) from seven countries have been shortlisted for the accessories awards, including four from France: Mathilde Hiron, Thomas Manil, Victor Salinier and French-Spanish duo Marcel Mariotte & Jovien Panné. They are competing for the Accessories Grand Prize and the Hermès prize for fashion accessories. Notably, Swedish fashion category finalist Petra Fagerstrom and French accessories finalist Victor Salinier were shortlisted in 2022 for ITS, the emerging designer competition based in Trieste, Italy, where Salinier won the ITS Responsible Creativity award, sponsored by the Italian Fashion Chamber (CNMI). 

The 10 finalists of the photography category include Clara Chichin, Quentin Lacombe from France, Thaddé Comar (France-Switzerland) and Rebekka Deubner (France-Germany). They are competing for the 7L Photography Jury Grand Prix, a new designation for the main prize, sponsored by the 7L Bookshop, founded in 1999 by Karl Lagerfeld and acquired by Chanel in 2021. The other photography prizes are sponsored by French label American Vintage and by two production companies, Sheriff Projects and Kitten.
On Sunday October 15, the prizes will be awarded by the three separate juries of the fashion, photography and accessories categories, chaired respectively by French designer Charles de Vilmorin for fashion, jewellery designer Alan Crocetti for accessories, and Dominican-American artist Luis Alberto Rodriguez for photography. de Vilmorin, Crocetti and Rodriguez will hold masterclasses during the festival, which as usual features an extensive programme of parallel events.

The modernist architecture of the festival’s venue, Villa Noailles, celebrating its centenary this year – ph Olivier Ansellem

The programme includes exhibitions that will stay open until January 14, 2024, concerts, film screenings, creative workshops, and the 22nd edition of the ‘Rencontres internationales de la mode’ (international fashion meetings) organised by the French Fashion and Haute Couture Federation. This year, there will be three round-table debates on generative AI, covering major themes like the new tools available, the ethical, social and juridical challenges, and the creative opportunities AI affords.
One of the exhibitions will focus on the festival’s history. It is called ‘Hyères, 1986. The fashion festival’s origins’, and will showcase at Villa Romaine an unprecedented selection of archive material on the event’s early days. Finally, to mark the centenary of Villa Noailles, designed by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, the festival will feature an exhibition and documentary on the viscountess de Noailles, a pioneering philanthropist who, in the 1930s, offered support to artists and intellectuals, writing in her famous modernist villa a significant chapter of Europe’s 20th century cultural history.

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