PARIS — French designer Charles de Vilmorin, creative director of Rochas, has been chosen as president of the fashion jury of the 38th edition of the Hyères International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories.
The announcement was made on Wednesday at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, “a true place of fashion, with magnificent exhibitions” such as the recently closed one on Schiaparelli, said festival president Pascale Mussard.
“But it’s also fashion week and all houses presenting during this week certainly have someone who passed through the Villa Noailles, was a winner or a finalist,” she continued, thanking festival founder Jean-Pierre Blanc and his team for “having the faith in and the eye on” emerging talents.
The accessories jury will headed by London-based jeweler Alan Crocetti, who recently collaborated with Parisian label Ami, while Berlin-based Dominican American photographer and dancer Luis Alberto Rodriguez, a winner at the 32nd edition of the festival, will lead the photography one.
A major highlight of this year’s edition, slated for Oct. 12 to 15, will be the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Villa Noailles, the festival’s historic modernist home built by Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, patrons of the arts and friends to a number of influential artists.
Calling the festival a family that owes much to Marie-Laure de Noailles, Mussard described her as someone “who had what it takes to create: freedom, an appetite for life, an eye on the smallest thing and a taste for party and for creation in all its expression, even if it ruffles feathers.”
This anniversary will be a great opportunity to “remind that for [the couple], it wasn’t fashion designers on one side and artists on the other, but all artists they loved were part of the same family,” Blanc had said at a 2022 conference teasing the year-long celebration that will include an hour-long opera performed during the festival.
This year’s exhibition at the villa in Hyères will see Marie-Laure de Noailles’ wardrobe revisited by prominent fashion houses and emerging designers, under the scientific and historic curation of Émilie Hammen, who heads the “Chanel and le19M Chair in Fashion Savoir-Faire” at the Institut Français de la Mode.
If the youthful jury president came as a surprise to the audience, Mussard and Blanc agreed that they’d thought about what the late Villa Noailles owner would have done. “And she would have chosen someone unknown, someone whom she met on the street and connected with,” quipped Mussard.
“The creation of all three [jury presidents] celebrates our time,” said Blanc, lauding their generosity and enthusiasm as well as the constitution of juries that are “very representative of what our professions are today.”
To select the fashion winners, de Vilmorin will be able to count Antoine Gagey, managing director of Jean Paul Gaultier; Lesage artistic director Hubert Barrère; Numéro founder Babeth Djian; fashion critic and writer Sophie Fontanel; TV presenter and actress Daphné Burki; photographer and director Alice Moitié, and singer-songwriters Flora Fishbach, Pierre de Maere and Bilal Hassani. As is traditional, the 2022 Première Vision Grand Prize winner, Finnish designer Jenny Hytönen, also will join the fashion jury.
The 10 finalists of 2023 are Tiago Bessa (Portugal), Alec Rhys Bizby (England), Fengyuan Dai (France), Igor Dieryck (Belgium), Petra Fagerstrom (Sweden), Leevi Ikäheimo (Finland), Jung Eun Lee (South Korea), Norman Mabire-Larguier (France), Bo Kwon Min (South Korea) and Marc Sanz Pey (Spain).
They will be competing for the Première Vision Grand Prize, the main fashion prize; the 19M Chanel Métiers d’Art prize; the Mercedes-Benz sustainable collection prize, and the “Atelier des Matières” prize introduced in 2022.
Created under the stewardship of Chanel and supported by the “Atelier des Matières,” a social and environmental responsibility initiative working to give new life to unused materials and unsold finished merchandise, the 19M Chanel prize awards a selection of fabrics and leathers worth 10,000 euros to the designer who will impress the jury using upcycled materials.
The choice was made based on “creativity, their uniqueness and the way they could implant themselves in a real world, in a real industry,” said de Vilmorin. For the next six months, the finalists should “go for it, not ask themselves too many questions” if they want to impress the jury, he added.
Considered a major launchpad for designers since its creation in 1985, the Hyères festival has helped raise the profiles of talents such as Viktor & Rolf; Saint Laurent artistic director Anthony Vaccarello; Paco Rabanne’s Julien Dossena, and Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, who design men’s label Botter.
A new endowment will be added to the main fashion prize, in the form of a year of mentoring by recruitment specialist Stirling International.
To help select the year’s winning accessories, including a leather accessory for the Hermès prize, Crocetti’s jury includes GmbH and Trussardi co-creative director Serhat Işik; Chanel in-house model Amanda Sanchez; Beka Gvishiani, a fashion journalist best known as @stylenotcom on Instagram; Tyrone Dylan, fashion designer and stylist at Rick Owens; designer and sustainable consultant Maria Bernad; eyewear designer Mauricio Stein; stylist Laura Vandall; Nono Vazquez, fashion director of men’s magazine Icon El Paìs, and last year’s grand prize winner Joshua Cannone.
Starting with this edition, the photography grand prize will be known as the 7L Photography Grand Prize, in a nod to the library founded by Karl Lagerfeld in Paris who said he loved it so much “it is part of [him].”
The winning photographer will therefore receive its support for the creation and launch of a book edited by Editions 7L as well as the production of an exhibition. Chanel will also support the winner with a 20,000-euro purse.
Tasked with evaluating the year’s top photographers, Rodriguez will have alongside him a jury that includes 2022 winner Rala Choi; Marni creative director Francesco Risso; Sansovino6’s founder and artistic director Edward Buchanan; photography curator and writer Song Chong, and Adam Murray, an academic, curator and the pathway leader of Central Saint Martins’ Fashion Communication and Promotion MA program, among others.
Hassani, who represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 and has broken barriers with his androgynous appearance, said it was important to support emerging design “because there is nothing more important than creation.”
“Most of all, we have to tell a whole generation that it is allowed to create, to invent, that there is still something to create and to see tomorrow,” he continued. Describing candidates as “having a vision of a future that is certain,” he said that “it’s days like these that give hope.”