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Apr 29, 2019
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Austrian designer Christoph Rumpf wins fashion prize at Hyères Festival 2019

Apr 29, 2019

The 34th edition of the Fashion and Photography Festival at Hyères, France, which ended on Sunday April 28, was strongly characterised by men's fashion - whose collections were more creative than their women's counterparts - and once again by a strong focus on sustainable development. It came as no surprise that young Austrian designer Christoph Rumpf won the Première Vision jury prize for fashion, with a flamboyant menswear collection that was clearly a cut above those of the other finalists.

ChristophRumpf, winner of the jury prize for fashion at Hyères - ph Dominique Muret

Rumpf, 25, was born in Graz, southern Austria, and studied at the applied arts university in Vienna. He breathed the right creative élan into the fashion competition with his majestic silhouettes sculpted from rare fabrics. All of Rumpf’s models seemed ennobled and sublimated by the clothes they wore. Most of the garments were made of recycled fabrics, from the richest to the most subtle.

Rumpf’s skilful touch transformed a mottled old Persian rug into a full dress uniform, and floral prints inspired by ancient tapestries decorated a jacket with oversize shoulders. Elsewhere voluminous, seemingly blown-up cylinders covered in brocaded fabric were arranged in swathes, as in a life-jacket. Extra-large lapels on jackets and overcoats rose sky-high, accenting the garments’ grand feel.

“These are all extremely classic clothes that have been refashioned following a specific narrative, that of a lost prince who grows up in the jungle and gradually rediscovers his noble origins. I loved every single step of the creative process, especially the narrative one,” said Rumpf.

The Festival's fashion competition jury awarded a special mention to the Japanese designer trio of Tetsuya Doi, 26, Yota Anazawa, 25, and Manami Toda, 32. The three Tokyo-based designers, two men and a woman, caught the jury's eye for their sparkling creativity and their ironic reinterpretation of some of fashion’s enduring classics, from Armani’s jackets to Ralph Lauren’s preppy style. Theirs was a collection bursting with colour, if at times a little cluttered and hard to decipher, rich in details and destructured, duplicated items, with a markedly playful streak.

A look by the Japanese designer trio of Tetsuya Doi, Yota Anazawa and Manami Toda - © Étienne Tordoir / CatwalkPictures

The Swarovski jury prize for fashion accessories was instead awarded to Spanish designer Noelia Morales, who made an impression with her reflections about mastectomy. Morales, 46, was born in Barcelona and in 2004 she started working on consumption trends for a consultancy agency.

Two years ago, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she invented what she calls a ‘mastectomy patch’, an accessory designed to ‘dress’ a missing breast, almost like a pirate's eye-patch. “It covers bare flesh amusingly, allowing women to carry on flirting, using this as an ornament,” said Morales.

The accessories prize jury awarded a special mention to recognise the work of French designers Dorian Cayol, 30, and Quentin Barralon, 23, and their efforts to preserve the expertise typical of the town of Romans-sur-Isère, a bastion of French shoe-making, where the two designers opened a leather goods atelier.

For the Hyères Festival, Cayol and Barralon reinterpreted with brio a series of classic mass-market shoe models, replacing plastic elements with leather and other natural materials. Belgian designer Sarah Levy, whose leather accessories crystallise the essence of contemporary living, was instead awarded the public’s prize.

Spanish designer Noelia Morales won the accessories prize at the Hyères Festival - ph Dominique Muret

The festival, founded and run by Jean-Pierre Blanc and President Pascale Mussard, also awarded the Chloé prize in the fashion category to Swiss designer Tina Schwizgebel-Wang, 29, remarkable for her eclecticism and technical ability as she drew on her passion for design, illustration, tattoo art and ceramics to create her work.

The festival's 34th edition also awarded for the first time the Métiers d’art prize sponsored by Chanel, recognising fine craftsmanship and won by Irish designer Róisín Pierce. Pierce, who also won the public’s prize awarded by the city of Hyères, presented a work focusing entirely on embroidery and traditional 19th century lingerie-making techniques, which she reinterpreted creating embossed effects, notably accented with shirring.

For the festival's photography section, the jury chaired by Craig McDean awarded the main prize to Alice Mann from South Africa. The American Vintage prize went to Hubert Crabières from France, while Finnish photographer Hilla Kurki won the still life prize and French photographers Elsa & Johanna won the public’s prize.

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