Held each year at the Villa Noailles in the South of France, The Festival International de Mode et de Photographie à Hyères offers up an unparalleled cornucopia of fashion and photographic talent. It has been an invaluable incubator and launchpad for some of fashion's top up-and-coming names, including Viktor & Rolf, Gaspard Yurkievich, Christian Wijnants, and Charles Anastase.
The list of previous jury members reads like a who's who of the fashion world. In the past, Azzedine Alaïa, John Galliano, Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, Helmut Lang, Karl Lagerfeld, and Jean Paul Gaultier have have all had the honour of selecting the winners. This year's jury, which includes Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy,Maria Luisa of the Maria Luisa boutiques in Paris, and Carla Sozzani of Corso Como in Milan, will select from 10 upcoming designers to crown the winner.
While many fashion design competitions seem to focus more on the sponsors (who are often obsessed with plugging their own brands instead of celebrating the talent on offer), the Festival d'Hyeres stands apart. Important industry players like LVMH, L'Oreal, Hermès and MiuMiu all play a part in this production, but the competition saves the spotlight for the young stars who will go on to change fashion.
The 23rd edition of the Festival d'Hyères will be held from April 25-28, 2008 at Villa Noailles, Hyères-les-Palmiers.