PARIS — The Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography will go ahead this week in the absence of key judges, including Jonathan Anderson, who will be hosting proceedings digitally due to ongoing travel restrictions designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
A key platform for emerging talents, the festival was rescheduled to Oct. 15 to 18 from April initially. Organizers have decided to maintain the physical event, even as France has introduced more severe restrictions on public gatherings in some cities to counter a rise in the number of reported cases of COVID-19.
As a result, the festival has pivoted toward a hybrid program with a strong digital component, including an online masterclass with Anderson, who is president of the fashion jury.
“The Festival d’Hyères is such an incredible showcase of talented young designers. Even if the jury and I can’t all be in Hyères to see their work together, it’s still incredibly important that we support new talent and I am proud to participate, even if remotely,” Anderson said in a statement.
“At the same time, I hope the online diffusion of the content will allow a maximum number of people from around the world to participate in the festival,” added the designer, who is in charge of both the Loewe and J.W. Anderson brands.
Most of the fashion jury — which also includes model Kaia Gerber, photographer Tyler Mitchell, sound designer Michel Gaubert, fashion muse Amanda Harlech and actor Arnaud Valois — will also be participating remotely.
In order to respect the updated health guidelines, the number of visitors has been reduced by 50 percent and reservation is required for all physical events, including the inauguration, catwalk shows and awards ceremony. Masks are mandatory and social distancing guidelines will be implemented throughout.
Highlights of the program include a performance by contemporary dance collective (LA)Horde, which recently made a splash with its appearance at the Isabel Marant show at Paris Fashion Week, in its role as head of the Ballet National de Marseille.
The dance event, scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. CET on Thursday at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, will be broadcast live on the @villanoailles Instagram and Facebook accounts, and on the web site villanoailles-hyeres.com. Anderson’s masterclass, on Friday at 6 p.m., will also be carried on the same platforms.
On Friday at 8 p.m., jury members and the public will be able to watch fashion shows by the 10 designers competing for the main fashion prize, named Grand Prix Première Vision; the 19M Chanel Métiers d’Art prize, and the Chloé prize.
Austrian designer Christoph Rumpf, who scooped the Grand Prix Première Vision last year with his men’s wear collection created entirely with upcycled and deadstock material, will also stage a show with the support of Chanel’s specialty Métiers d’art division.
Paolo Roversi, who heads the photography jury, and Hubert Barrère, artistic director of Chanel-owned embroiderer Maison Lesage, who is overseeing the accessories panel, are both expected to attend in person. Barrère is scheduled to give a physical masterclass on Saturday, with attendance limited to 100 people.
The festival’s exhibitions will be open to the public until Nov. 29. They include a show about French photographer François-Marie Banier’s unlikely friendship with art patron Marie-Laure de Noailles, titled “François-Marie Banier, Marie-Laure de Noailles, 1969-1970.”
The full program of events can be found on the Villa Noailles web site.