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For nearly 30 years now, every Spring the French Riviera devotes a weekend of April for a “pilgrimage” of fashion & art in the small town of Hyères. New talents and creators with a vision emerge from the festival in which the director Jean Pierre Blanc has spent the most creative part of his life.The Hyères Festival of Fashion and Photography celebrated its 28th year with exhibitions, fashion shows and seminars in the magnificent Villa Noailles, an imposing palace of modernism built by Charles and Marie Laure de Noailles in 1921. Ozon was there.The 10 fashion finalists were selected from a long list of more than 300 participants, evaluated  and assessed by an attentive jury of distinguished industry professionals run by designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista -a former winner of the festival. The Finnish designer Satu Maaranen from Helsinki, got the unanimous vote of the jury conquering Premiere Vision Grand Jury prize, with the collection “Garment in Landscape”, used sand and sawdust in her work, mixing it with screen prints and dramatic organic shapes. The young designer impressed the jury and the crowd, by mixing couture techniques and massive fabrics with details of grass, sand and dust – bringing fashion closer to Earth through an original ecological glance. It’s the second time the winner is an Aalto Academy graduate. Furthermore, the French firm gave a special award to Swedish designer Camille Künz, whose Swarovski embellished and dipped in latex knitwear  together with the unique palazzo pants pants gained the interest of the label.

And some good news for Greece from the field of photography: The 11 finalists -all innovative photographers,  including Colin Greenwood of Radiohead, the comms director of Dries Van Noten, Patrick Scallon, and the acclaimed French photographer Jean-François Lepage and Charles Fréger, presented some amazing projects. The first prize, though, went to Petros Efstathiadis, who captured  still-life images from improvisation bombs he “found” in his village.

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All this and much more, took place under the retrospective glance of the pioneer cinematographer Jean-Francois Lepage, who created a valuable archive of analog film, demonstrating the importance of his contribution to fashion and photography, helping the Hyères festival gain a more creative and artistic future.