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For a twenty-eighth time, the tranquil Villa Noailles, a rationalist building built in its time by the family of the same name (patrons and supporters of the surrealist movement), nestled in Hyères on the French Riviera, became the focus of the international fashion circuit. Hyères, on this occasion, brought together almost the whole spectrum of the industry to see first hand the new talents that, as is tradition, will become the next signings of fashion firms and names we all know. Among gardens, music, parties, exhibitions and a breathtaking view of the sea chaired by Felipe (Oliveira Baptista), first-class panel of judges was responsible for awarding the Grand Prix, which would be awarded to finnish designer Satu Maaranen, a graduate from the Aalto School in Helsinki.

With a collection where nature pierced garments inspired by high fashion of the fifties, using as reference the artist Christo large-scale installations and work of Jeffrey Kastner, Maaranen used sand and sawdust to tell a story with prints and dramatic organic shapes in her fabrics that would grant her the main award of this annual event that in the past has catapulted names such as Viktor & Rolf, Gaspard Yurkievich, Christian Wijnants, Romain Kremer, Henrik Vibskov and aforementioned Oliveira Baptista eleven years ago. The second prize [Chloé] was for Swiss designer Camille Kunz with a menswear collection inspired by his older brother.

The International Fashion and Photography Festival of Hyères was founded in 1987 and has since become not only a world fashion designer contest but also a laboratory of new ideas and trends that these days make it resemble a true Davos as far as networking goes for all those lucky enough to attend. And if you think everyone is in suits and ties, you are wrong. This year, as always, the exhibitions, conferences, workshops and showrooms came together with beautiful people up for some action, and of course, for a job well done. Professionalism was the novelty that would astonish the whole jury that included some names like Mark Holgate, fashion news director of the U.S. edition of Vogue; Paula Reed, fashion director of Harvey Nichols or Imran Amed, founder of The Business of Fashion website. Since seeing is believing, we leave you a selection of photos of Hyères 2013. Congratulations to all the winners, competitors and us, that did not miss out on anything. It was a blast.


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