Hyères Festival Moves to October Permanently, Teases Villa Noailles’ 100th Anniversary

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PARIS — The Hyères International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories will permanently take place in October, its founder and general manager Jean-Pierre Blanc revealed Wednesday here.

Postponing the festival to October [due to the COVID-19 pandemic] has given us more breathing room in the organization,” he said during a conference cohosted by Blanc and festival president Pascale Mussard, noting that it was the “first time in 37 years” the program of an upcoming edition could be formally presented.

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Before diving into the particulars of the 37th edition, slated to take place from Oct. 13 to 16, Blanc was already putting 2023 in everyone’s diary as it will mark the centenary of the Villa’s creation.

This anniversary will be a great opportunity to “remind that for Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, it wasn’t fashion designers on one side and artists on the other, but all artists they loved were part of the same family,” he said.

“The festival should always remind that fashion is not a subculture or an industry but above a creative industry that tells stories and brings emotions,” he continued, revealing that an opera was being developed in honor of the anniversary. A five-minute teaser will close the festival on Oct. 16.

In the meantime, the 2022 edition will see additional endowments, brought by new sponsors joining as of this edition, such as Instagram and its parent company Meta, who will offer winners mentoring around social media and their tools.

The designer taking home the Grand Prix Première Vision will be able to count on the support of the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp (CELC), which will facilitate sourcing and offer a fabric endowment. They will also have the opportunity to design capsule collection for Chinese fashion label Icicle as well as long-term partner Galeries Lafayette, which is reinforcing their support this year.

Photography prize sponsor Bottega Veneta, which was revealed as sponsor during the jury announcement last January, will be joined by Paris-based production company Sheriff Projects & Kitten.

As previously reported, Glenn Martens, creative director of Y/Project and Diesel, will lead the fashion jury, while Belgian visual artist Pierre Debusschere is set to head a photography jury that will include Matthieu Blazy and Pieter Mulier, respectively artistic directors of Bottega Veneta and Maison Alaïa. The accessories jury will be led by Aska Yamashita, the artistic director of Chanel-owned embroidery workshop Atelier Montex.

While this year’s edition will keep to the two-show format it adopted in the wake of the pandemic, Blanc said the festival would go back to three shows as of 2023.

Blanc also lifted the veil on some of the four-day events’ cultural highlights, which will include a new exhibition around embroidery and textiles in contemporary arts, creative masterclasses to create jewelry from flowers or customize clothing, and a series of portraits of the edition’s guest artists shot by photographer Sarah Makharine taking pride of place on the villa’s grand staircase.

An additional exhibition, titled “Hip-hop don’t stop” by French photographer Maï Lucas, will be shown at Villa Magdala, a newly renovated private art center located a 15-minute drive away in a villa that once hosted Queen Victoria.

There will be no shortage of entertainment throughout the weekend either, according to Blanc. Though he kept mum on who would be headlining the opening ceremony on Oct. 13, he noted they would “set the mood for the whole weekend.”

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