a Grand Prix for Ifeanyi Okwuadi

As every year since 1985, amateurs and actors of the fashion sector came to celebrate creation at the Hyères (Var) International Fashion and Photography Festival, which took place in the heart of Villa Noailles, from 14 to 17 October.

A 36e edition placed under the sign of joyous reunion, after a 2020 edition by videos interposed, pandemic obliges. If the challenge of this festival is to reward young talents in three categories – fashion, accessories and photography – this break of a few days is also an opportunity to take the pulse of an industry that is always on the move. Thus, round tables and conferences punctuated this edition – with themes as varied as the rise of digital or the circular economy -, or even book signatures, such as the rich biography of Karl Lagerfeld signed by the journalist of Marie Ottavi fashion.

Ifeanyi Okwuadi Hyères 2021.
Ifeanyi Okwuadi Hyères 2021.

In terms of awards, the fashion jury gathered around Louise Trotter, artistic director of Lacoste, has set its sights on the British Ifeanyi Okwuadi, 27, a graduate of Ravensbourne University in London and who has perfected his tailoring technique in the heart of Saville Row. . He left with the Première Vision Grand Prix. His men’s collection dubbed ‘Take the Toys from the Boys’, and which made him the favorite of all discussions, was inspired by the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, a series of protests carried out over nineteen years – from 1981 to 2000 – by women against the installation of nuclear weapons at this Berkshire military base.

« It is a little-known moment in English history that I was interested in digging “, confided the creator, before the announcement of the winners. Each of her outfits thus referred to a specific aspect of the demonstrations: the neck of a sweatshirt was stretched, reminiscent of the intervention of the police pulling the demonstrators by the collar, a long patchwork-style scarf evoked knitwear that women fashioned to pass the time.

The Audience Award for the Swiss Adeline Rappaz

The Chloé prize – the brand being a partner of the festival since 2012 – went to Latvian Elina Silina, a graduate of the Latvian Academy of Fine Arts in Riga, who proposed a collection articulated around colorful and steamy knits, drawing inspiration from her childhood. « My mother and my grandmother taught me the art of knitting, it is transmitted and celebrated! “, detailed the young designer after her appearance in front of the jury.

The 19M prize for arts and crafts from Chanel – one of the festival’s sponsors – was awarded to the Thai Rukpong Raimaturapong, a graduate of the French Fashion Institute, for his joyful and colorful collection. The Audience Award went to the Swiss Adeline Rappaz, a graduate of the Geneva University of Arts and Design and another great favorite in conversations. Its collection articulated around recycled, recovered and reassembled fabrics seduced by the richness of its purpose and the mastery of its technique. « Eco-responsibility for these young candidates is no longer even a subject. This is no longer a criterion for us, because it is expected ”, explains Louise Trotter.

Elina Silina.

On the accessories side, the jury chaired by the shoe designer Christian Louboutin awarded its Grand Prix the French Capucine Huguet, passed by the Central Saint Martins school in London, for her jewelry dedicated to melting ice. Hermès, a partner of the festival since 2020, awarded Frenchman Yann Tosser-Roussey its Accessories Prize for the creation of a pair of gloves, specifications imposed by the house on each of the candidates. The Grand Prize of the photography jury, chaired by Dominique Issermann, went to the French duo Emma Charrin and Olivier Muller.

“People are happy with this edition, you can feel it, it shows and it makes us very happy. We are here to introduce artists to both professionals and the general public. It is this mixture that interests me at Villa Noailles and in this festival in particular ”, congratulated Jean-Pierre Blanc, founder of the festival and director of the Villa Noailles, where the celebrations ended on Sunday, October 14, around a concert by Eddy de Pretto.