The fashion experienced another breathtaking moment at the 38th Hyères Festival. Stealing the spotlight was Belgian designer Igor Dieryck, who took home the top accolade, stunning the attendees and the jury chaired by Charles de Vilmorin with his riveting designs that breathed new life into conventional hotel staff uniforms.
Rooted in the vibrant streets of Paris, Igor Dieryck, who graduated from the esteemed Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2022, is currently sculpting his niche in menswear at the renowned fashion house, Hermès. The charm of his unisex collection, aptly titled “Yessir,” stems from Dieryck’s experiences during his tenure as a hotel receptionist. This unique role allowed him to witness a myriad of human interactions, leading him to contemplate the significance of hotel staff in the broader hotel ecosystem.
Elaborating on his inspiration, Dieryck mentioned that uniforms have the intrinsic power to alter the external perceptions of individuals while preserving their core essence. This innovative perspective made a significant impression on the jury. Charles de Vilmorin, who headed the jury, lavished praise on Dieryck’s work. He remarked on the exceptional blend of creativity, practicality, and desirability that emanated from each piece. It was a collection that seemingly defied the confines of seasonal fashion, heralding a new era of timeless attire.
Key pieces that garnered attention included a chic cropped jacket paired with high-waisted trousers, uniquely designed trousers blending the aesthetics of baggy jeans, tailored slacks, and boxer shorts, and a standout jeans jacket crafted from a diverse range of both robust and delicate materials. Furthermore, a distinctive down jacket, bearing semblance to a feather duster and crafted in collaboration with Lemarié, earned Dieryck the coveted Le19M Métiers d’Arts Prize, associated with Chanel. This recognition comes with a 20,000-euro purse, paving the way for Dieryck’s project to be showcased at the festival’s next iteration.
Yet, Dieryck wasn’t the sole talent celebrated at the festival. Petra Fagerstrom from Sweden captivated many with her designs, drawing inspiration from her grandmother’s life as a parachutist in the erstwhile Soviet Union. One can’t help but admire her pioneering technique of embedding lenticular images in fabric through intricate pleating, which beautifully encapsulates the contrasting worlds of reality and dreams.
The festival showcased a myriad of inspirations, with designers embarking on introspective journeys, navigating personal grief, and reflecting upon the prevailing global geopolitical landscape. Charles de Vilmorin, at 26 years of age, viewed the competition as a collaborative platform rather than a mere evaluation, revealing a keen interest in designers who showcased a promising trajectory for the foreseeable future.
Swiss designer Gabrielle Huguenot also caught attention with her audacious accessories, which brilliantly straddled the line between wearable art and practical design. Alan Crocetti, the accessories jury president, recognized the conviction and clarity in Huguenot’s creations and envisioned a bright commercial future for her endeavors.
Another notable name from the festival was Victor Salinier, a prodigy from Geneva’s HEAD fashion school. With a unique challenge of crafting an accessory solely from leather, he exhibited a headpiece reminiscent of a child on a parent’s shoulder, which was both evocative and beautifully constructed.
The festival served not merely as a platform for talent showcase but also as a hub for meaningful interactions, fostering collaborations and relationships. For instance, Icicle’s president, Vanessa Yao, highlighted their collaboration with 2021 winner Ifeanyi Okwuadi, now a vital part of their Paris design team.
Jean-Pierre Blanc, the festival’s founder and director, emphasized the significance of youthful exuberance in the fashion, as exemplified by the event since its inception in 1985. He also reflected upon the limitless opportunities available to budding designers today, which were unthinkable two decades ago.
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