This afternoon, on a sunny terrace of a 100 year-old Cubist chateau-turned arts center that is Villa Noailles, the Belgian designer Igor Dieryck took home the top two fashion prizes—the Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision and the le19M Métiers d’Art Prize—plus the Public Prize at the 38th edition of the Hyères International Festival of Fashion, Photography, and Accessories. A second sweep went to his onetime fellow intern at Acne Studios, Petra Fagerstrom, who took home the Chanel-sponsored Ateliers des Matières Prize and the Mercedes Benz Sustainability Prize.
The 24-year-old Dieryck, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and a new recruit in the Hermès men’s wear studio, worked nights and weekends to produce “YESSIR,” a
collection that channels Grand Hotel-era glamour while also exploring the rules and symbolism of uniforms, and how those change the wearer’s relationship to the world. That exercise drew from real-life experience: Dierych spent years working the front desk at a hotel while completing his fashion degree at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, which gig gave him ample time to observe interactions between guests and staffers and mull over interpersonal distance and “layers of importance.” The results were charming, and clever: a cloche of a corseted pink bellboy jacket opened to reveal ultra-high-waisted trousers, a Surreal “platter” bag was conjoined with a long white glove, and a streetwear-inspired chartreuse parka was deconstructed into tiers daintily tied back together with bows, and showered with gradient sequins over its hood, shoulders, and sleeves. For his 19M entry, a traditional feather duster became fodder for a trompe l’oeil featherless hoodie produced in collaboration with Lemarié (it was, in fact, made of canary yellow hand-dyed, frayed, and embossed canary yellow chiffon).
Along with 20,000 euros of prize money, Dieryck scored not one but two collaborations with
Chanel’s Métiers d’Art division to present on the runway in Hyères next year. In the interim,
two capsule collections, an inclusivity-based one with Galeries Lafayette, and another with
the high-end, eco-friendly label ICICLE, will hit stores next spring.
Swedish designer Petra Fagerstrom also won big, snapping up two prizes based on circularity: a delicately pleated dress repurposed from vintage military parachute fabric won the Mercedes Benz Sustainability Prize, while cast-off leather from Atelier des Matières found a second life as an aviator jacket and pleated skirt. The rest of the collection focused on pleating, too, featuring looks based on pajamas and nighties printed with images that shift in movement “to expose the dreams of the wearer.” The designer called those her “first attempts at animation,” an homage to her mother and, especially, her Russian grandmother, a former parachutist who, having once glimpsed a postcard of California, has dreamed of escaping there ever since—hence, a sunrise/sunset top that shifts depending on your vantage point. Now, Fagerstrom will jump straight into her next adventure: a member of the Balenciaga studio until just weeks ago, she will divide her time between London and Stockholm as she launches her own line next spring, part of a five-year program with the Swedish Fashion Council’s talent incubator.
Exceptional wins aside, the Hyères festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Villa
Noailles will be best remembered for a decisive generational shift. In years past, finalists and other fashion hopefuls flocked to the hilltop villa to glean insight from masters like Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, or Jean Paul Gaultier, or accomplished established designers like Haider Ackermann or, last year, Glenn Martens. But this year, a generation born at the dawn of social media instead found themselves in an extemporaneous, occasionally chaotic, conversation led by one of their own. Just three years ago, the fashion jury president, Charles de Vilmorin, launched his namesake brand with a splashy bomber. That landed him a stint at Rochas, but by the designer’s own admission his name is still far from well-established. “I look at my role here as more about exchange than judgment,” de Vilmorin offered during an interview. “It’s about a discussion among peers.”
That, said Jean-Pierre Blanc, the festival’s founder and director, was by design—a decision
intended to reflect age-old Mediterranean values of generosity and sharing. “From the moment they chose Hyères, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noaille championed young talents. At the time, Salvador Dali and Alberto Giacometti weren’t yet the artists we know them as today, they were only 20 years old. Today, people tend to forget how profoundly, in the past 20 to 50 years, people like Azzedine Alaïa, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler, and Jean Paul Gaultier changed the rules of the game, and changed fashion. I think we’re following in that wake. Lots of things are possible in fashion today that weren’t 20 years ago,” he said.
Hyères, Blanc, and his team can take their share of credit for that. But for all the outlandishness one can reliably expect from the Festival, for all the creative exuberance and late-night partying at the Speedkart amusement park, this edition brought a very real sense that Hyères has reached a new level of maturity. Forever young at heart but hardly the Riviera renegade it once was, Hyères is now officially part of the larger conversation. The exhibitions at the Hyères Festival, including fashion installations like Garderobe(s), a contemporary reimagining of Marie-Laure de Noailles’s wardrobe by Chanel, Daniel Roseberry for Schiaparelli, Julien Dossena for Rabanne, Jean Colonna, and Esther Manas, among others, will run through January 14, 2024.
The 2023 Prizewinners
Grand Prix of the Jury Premiere Vision: Igor Dieryck, Belgium
The le19M Métiers d’Art Prize: Igor Dieryck, Belgium
L’Atelier des Matières Prize: Petra Fagerstrom, Sweden
Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize: Petra Fagerstrom, Sweden
Grand Prix of the Jury, Accessories: Gabrielle Huguenot, Switzerland
The Hermès Fashion Accessories Prize: Victor Salinier, France
Public Prize: Victor Salinier, France
The 7L Photography Grand Jury Prize: Thaddé Comar, France/Switzeland
American Vintage Photography Prize: Souleymane Bachir Diaw
People’s Choice Prize, Photography: Kin Coedal