Natacha Ramsay-Lévi heads the fashion jury of the 34th edition of the Hyères Festival

PARIS — It smelt like spring at the French Culture Ministry on Wednesday night.

The entire reception room of the institution had been covered with fragrant sprigs of mimosa, the yellow-budded flower generally associated with the French Côte d’Azur, in honor of a cocktail celebrating the 34th edition of the International Festival of Fashion and Photography, set to take place from April 25 to 29 at the Villa Noailles in Hyères.

After an energetic performance by DJ Hervé and dance collective I Could Never Be a Dancer, Jean-Pierre Blanc and Pascale Mussard, respectively director and president of the Hyères Festival, officially unveiled the three jurys who will be judging the finalists of the 2019 edition of the competition.

As reported by WWD on Wednesday, Natacha Ramsay-Levi, creative director of Chloé, will preside over the fashion jury. Jewelry designer Charlotte Chesnais will head the jury for the festival’s accessories prize, sponsored by Swarovski and now in its third year. Meanwhile, Craig McDean will take the lead for photography.

The three jury presidents went on to unveil the 10 finalists in each category. “We made sure there was a real diversity of representation amongst the finalists,” said Ramsay-Levi, “both in terms of propositions and nationalities.”

Chosen from the 300 entries received for the fashion division alone, the 10 finalists competing for the Première Vision Grand Prize stem from nine countries: Enikova Dita is from Latvia, Emilia Kuurila and Milla Lintilä from Finland, Yana Monk from Russia, Roisin Pierce from Ireland, Christoph Rumpf from Austria, Tina Schwizgebel from Switzerland, Tsung-Chien Tang from Taiwan, Lucille Thievre from France and design trio Tetsuya Doi, Youta Anazawa and Manami Toda from Japan.

Each fashion designer sent out a silhouette, worn by a model mounted on white square pedestals dotted around the room, while the works of the 10 photography and 10 accessories finalists were laid out amongst the mimosa sprigs.

Designers Simon Porte Jacquemus and Ester Manas, who won the Galeries Lafayette Prize at the 2018 edition of the Festival and will be unveiling her namesake line of size-inclusive creations during the next Paris Fashion Week, were spotted admiring the creations. Manas was overjoyed to see that one of her collaborators, accessories designer Sarah Lévy, had made it to the final 10.

“We worked together to apply my concept of clothes adapting to every silhouette to accessories,” said the young fashion designer, gesturing to a red leather single-breasted bra designed by Lévy.

Once the full list of finalists had been unveiled, Blanc took to the stage to announce the program of the 34th edition of the festival.

After last year’s workshop by Lesage, an embroidery atelier also owned by Chanel, festivalgoers will be able to take part in a workshop organized by milliner Maison Michel, one of Chanel’s Métiers d’Arts houses.

In addition to the three exhibitions in honor of the jury presidents, the Villa Noailles will put the spotlight on the work of photographer Alain Noguès, who documented the filming of iconic Nouvelle Vague film “Pierrot Le Fou” shot by François Truffaut at the nearby town of Porquerolles.

The Festival will also show more than 100 artworks amassed by two collectors, antiques dealer Pierre Passebon and fashion designer JW Anderson, under the name “Liberté et Courage.” The exhibition will be held at the Villa Romaine in Hyères from April 25 to May 26.