Sep 20, 2019 | By Athena Chen
Every year, the sleepy French town of Hyères is descended upon by the fashion pack, flocking to see the newest names emerging in fashion, photography and accessories at the legendary Festival d’Hyères.
With a reputation for launching some of the most reputable names across the industry, 2018 marks the festival’s 33rd year – making it the oldest fashion festival in the world.
Antwerp based duo Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh were awarded this year’s Première Vision Grand Prize, alongside a sizeable 15,000 Euro grant. The pair mused upon their Caribbean heritage and how the “beauty and the struggle” of their countries inspired a vibrant and much-hyped collection. Loud floral prints, statement logos and oversized tailoring came finished with piled-up headwear or netted accessories, drawing inspiration from local beach vendors and fisherman. A highlight for us was their footwear; sponsored by Nike Vapourmax, the duo paired a traditional Sunday church shoe they felt their grandparents would wear with a futuristic youth-centric sneaker – symbolizing a move away from cultural norms. As a starting label, sustainability was a hot topic. Their stance on it – collaborating collectively with local islanders to ensure they can give back to the place where it all began for them.
Regina Weber, Womenswear, Germany.
Regina Weber’s collection caught our eye immediately. Centered around the process of decay, Weber talked us through her romantic and thought-provoking collection, “Fleur Invader”. Hundreds of dried flowers came delicately encased within layers of molded silicone, with Weber using this as a visual metaphor for the inevitability of deterioration. The result was sensitive and deeply romantic, with Weber juxtaposing the fragility of the flowers against looks encased with glitter or lingerie dripping with silicone – giving flower power a whole new angle.
Winning the prestigious Chloé prize and the honorable mention of the jury, Marie-Eve Lecavalier’s collection, “Come Get Trippy With Us” was a digital dream. Growing up in a small town in the suburbs of Montreal, Lecavalier commented on her ability to “self- hallucinate” to break the monotony of suburban life. “We were really poor,” she stated, “fashion was a fantasy that only the privileged could attain.” The music of Frank Zappa played heavily into her vision, producing a series of trippy prints in acid bleach tones. Like many of the young designers competing this year, Lecavalier has an eco-responsible vision of fashion, commenting on the upcycled aspect of her collection, she said “all my jeans are made from old pairs of Levi’s – sustainability is no longer a choice.” LeCavalier is currently interning at Raf Simon’s and has a more than trippy future ahead of her.
Russian Menswear designer Antonina Sedakova debuted her graduate collection “Communication Tube”, winning the “Prix Exception in China” award for an achingly evocative collection around youth subcultures in the 1980’s. Inspired by both rock singer Viktor Tsio of Kino and also a theme closer to her heart, her mother, she effortlessly juxtaposed two very different experiences for Russian youth of that era. We adored how she clashed the free spirit of music alongside feelings of political oppression, mixing vibrant prints and oversized 80’s silhouettes with soviet-inspired utilitarian boilersuits covered in anarchic paint splashes. Her collection included an array of melancholic, original photographs sourced from her mother’s personal collection and then expertly patched onto jackets and accessories alike.
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