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The Hyères Fashion Festival

Photograph : Anna Rakhvalova

As you probably saw in my first “Elsanalyse” video on youtube (and if you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the time to do so!), I was invited to the Hyères fashion festival by Petit Bateau, a partner of this ineluctable and international rendez-vous for fashion and photography. It was a beautiful experience that I want to share with you, especially since I was able to sneak into the backstages and ask experts for advice when entering the world of fashion. Even without a pass, coming to the Hyères fashion festival is a great way to immerse oneself in the world of fashion and understand its inner workings, not to mention that the environment itself is quite inspiring. Each year, creators, photographers, and other professionals of the fashion industry meet in Hyères in the South of France for three days. Ever since 1985, Jean-Pierre Blanc, director of the Villa Noailles as well as the festival, has set himself to the task of bringing young talents from all over the world to the festival. These young talents are given the opportunity to present their collections before a jury of fashion professionals – a golden opportunity to display their creations and ambitions. At the festival, I discovered the collections  of ten creators and heard them speak about their art. Each creator had a unique style, background… and also their own way of marketing and selling their creations. I found Marine Serre, one of the young creators, to be particularly interesting. I loved her contemporary style (she works with Balenciaga, not surprising!) and her speech was concise and compelling. I found this woman to be simply quite professional and inspiring.

The fashion shows took place in the evening: the creations took life to the musical sounds chosen by the participants. Vanessa Schindler’s work really touched me. Her creations were incredibly feminine and elegant, and her methods of creation were extremely modern (she welds her clothes with liquid polymer, for example…). I didn’t mention this beforehand, but each creator is judged by the public and the jury of professionals. So I voted for her, and she won both the prize awarded by the public and the one by the jury!

By the way, I read last week that Marine Serre had won the LVMH AWARD, another prize that recognizes and funds young fashion designers. I am thrilled for her. As I mentioned in my video, when beginning a career in fashion, it’s important to remain resilient and determined, do not give up!

I also want to take a moment to talk about Villa Noailles, the extraordinary location where the festival takes place. It was built in 1923 by Robert Mallet-Stevens for the Noailles couple who hosted and welcomed many artists throughout the 20th century. Mallet-Stevens chose this location because the exceptional lighting in the area was conducive to creativity. During the festival, all of the photographic exhibition were displayed in the open space and the small rooms that were once occupied by visiting artistes were reserved for the stylists and designers. I rediscovered the works of Elsa Shiapareli, whose collection was exhibited by the pool. I also discovered the work of the calligrapher Nicolas Ourchenir. It was impressive!

I will come back to the festival for sure, these 3 days were such a source of creative inspiration. I left with so many many project ideas in mind. In the meantime, thank you again Petit Bateau!


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