28e FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE MODE & DE PHOTOGRAPHIE HYÈRES 2013
surroundings + + +
Beautiful landscape, seaside, palm trees, much green and water views - especially for nature funs and lovers
weather + -
Weather in the South of France is a tricky point: It supposed to be warm and sunny (you just need to recall all those images of sun-tanned jet set lounging around on the beaches of Saint Tropez, with designer sunglasses, sipping at the bottles of expensive champagne, scattered through the internet). But who for Christsake trust the weather forecast nowadays? It means that you can get a little surprise such as heavy rain that just wouldn’t stop and that would make all your (and the rest of the fashion crowd’s) fancy cloths wet and uncozy.
I was lucky enough to have two sunny days upon my arrival and departure. The rest of the days required some organization skills, particularly in terms of finding a solution how to come around with the equipment (camera and diary), dressed in fancy cloths, and not to get too wet and dirty.
venues + + -
The Hyères festival took place in a beautiful Villa Noailles, a remarkable piece of architecture, that is considered as one of the very first modernist style buildings constructed in France. It is a villa that was designed and built by the architect Rob Mallet-Stevens back in 1923 for the art collectors and the patrons of the art Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles. They counted among their protégés some of the most famous and significant artists of that time such as Salvador Dali (painting), Lipchitz, Giacometti (sculpture), Francis Poulenc, Igor Markevitch (music), Chareau, Jean-Michel Frank (interior design).
Some surrealist movies were also funded by the couple: “Les Mystères du Château du Dé”, which was filmed by Man Ray in 1929 in the villa, in 1930 the couple financed Jean Cocteau’s first film “Le Sang d’un Poète” and Luis Buñuel’s and Salvador Dali’s second film “L’Âge d’Or”.
The cubist garden, which outstanding design features several geometric forms such as triangle, square and rectangle shapes, some of which are highlighted in particular color, f.i. red, blue and grey, some are planted with vegetation or filled with sand, was hosting the exhibition of the work of ten photographers, selected for photographic competition.
The other rooms and areas of the villa were also turned into a showcasing space, a concert place or a conference room.
The exhibitions, which were officially opened during the festival, are still running till the end of May 2013 and are open to the public.
The chambers and the gardens of the Villa Noailles also served as a concert stage for the following live acts: Jeff Cohen, Perez, Hollydays
and Eugene McGuinness.
Other venues + + +
La Capte is one of the 14 districts of the city of Hyères. Here in the hangars, where they used to store salt before, the official designer competition défilés took place. The huge space of the hangars made of wood was embellished with gorgeous chandeliers. All in all, unpretentious but spectacular design.
The afterparties were located in the picturesque surroundings of la Capte **and **Giens, a small place situated on the Giens Peninsila, just underneath the city of Hyères.
shuttle service + - -
The shuttle buses were running between the places, bringing the visitors from the hotels to the show and exhibition place, and finally to the afterparties and back to the hotels.
Even though the shuttle service was scheduled according to the program of the festival, the coordination wasn’t perfect so that it would be a big deal if you would miss a shuttle or if you would like to go to another location (let’s say back to the hotel) which is not scheduled in the official day timing program. The shuttle from the afterparty back to the hotels was the most hottest issue of the small talks during the whole festival - the mythic “Flying Dutchman”, almost impossible to detect or to catch. If I was lucky enough to stop one of the “Flying Dutchmans” on the road, there would be still another problem: they all would go in the direction of the city center of Hyères, and I was staying in Giens which is located on Giens Peninsula, the opposite direction to the city of Hyères. The shuttle bus - issue was always a difficult subject, but it added a certain thrill and a touch of unpredictability to my experience of the event.
the atmosphere + + +
The atmosphere was great despite of the rather inconvenient weather conditions. At the end, the weather was a thrilling adventure for everyone attending the festival. Rain coats, umbrellas, rubber boots, trench coats, sweaters, layering techniques, wet clothes that would still keep their charm - fashion has no limits and true fashionistas are ready to suffer if needed. The public was to 50% or up to 70% French (mostly from Paris) and the rest represented West as well as East European countries. This was my impression at least. Of course it was no problem not to speak French, but it would be definitely a big advantage for me, an oversized PLUS on the list of my abilities, so to speak, if I would SPEAK FRENCH. I just realized that if I would be able to communicate in French, it would help me very much to come around with the drivers of the shuttle buses (!) and other transport facilities, domestic people and would even benefit some of the festival related discussions. My conclusion: grab the dictionary and learn French! I set a goal for myself to boost my French skills before coming to the festival the next year.
JE NE PARLE PA BEAUCOUP DE FRANçAIS…
Compared to other fashion events I was attending before, I liked the fact that at the Hyères festival it was quite easy to approach some of the key figures of the fashion industry as well as the artists and the designers. They were all accessible to the professionals and to the public, well to everyone who would like to talk to them or to ask them any questions. In this sense it is a great opportunity to learn from the insiders how fashion industry and fashion market work and also to get some information about the trends and the tendencies in both fashion and photography industries.
Meeting new interesting people is probably the most positive experience that Hyères festival certainly has to offer.
Also get inspired by people around by watching what they wear, by learning about what they do and what they would like to do.
Résumé: The Hyères festival is not just a fashion and photography competition event, but a cultural happening that involves fashion, art, photography, music and cultural exchange.
1), 2), 3), 4) Villa Noailles, Hyères
5), 6), 7),8),9) Press, professionals, creatives exploring Villa Noailles and chilling in the sun
10) Cubist Garden at Villa Noailles