British Designer Ifeanyi Okwuadi Wins Top Prize at Hyères Festival – WWD

HYERES, France – British males’s put on designer Ifeanyi Okwuadi took the highest prize on the thirty sixth version of the Hyères Worldwide Competition of Style and Pictures on Sunday, profitable over a jury headed by Louise Trotter, inventive director of Lacoste, together with his assortment of hybrid tailoring impressed by social protest.

The 27-year-old, who apprenticed for 3 years on London’s famed Savile Row and later studied vogue design at Ravensbourne College in London, developed his assortment in parallel to working in logistics at British label Margaret Howell. He has additionally interned at manufacturers similar to Grace Wales Bonner and with artist Aitor Throup.

His assortment, titled “Take the Toys from the Boys,” was impressed by the Greenham Frequent Girls’s Peace Camp, a sequence of camps established to protest in opposition to nuclear weapons being positioned at a British air power base, which lasted from 1981 to 2000. Okwuadi stated he’s been engaged on the subject for nearly six years.

“It’s 100% emotive,” stated the designer, whose mom is from Sierra Leone and father from Nigeria. “I feel we must always all take motion in opposition to the issues that we discover horrible on this world.”

Every outfit referred to a selected side of the protest. There was a trench coat impressed by police officer’s uniforms; a sweatshirt with a large neckline, in reference to protesters being violently evicted; and a patchwork scarf made utilizing surplus Harris tweed and boy scout badges, impressed by artworks the ladies made once they disbanded the camp.

Demonstrating a assured hand, he spliced collectively the outfits utilizing quite a lot of materials, from silky lining materials to wools and technical materials, principally sourced within the U.Okay.

“Britain has such a historical past that’s simply so untold,” Okwuadi informed WWD, noting that British director Steve McQueen is amongst these tackling these matters. “He’s attempting to retell the historical past that we’ve got in Britain via movie. I’m attempting to do it via vogue and design. So I really feel like there’s this consciousness that’s taking place and filtering at the moment, that’s retelling these tales.”

Regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, an upbeat temper reigned on the occasion, with individuals expressing aid that the competition was again to a full bodily version, after happening within the absence of a lot of the vogue jury final 12 months.

“I by no means understood why the jury didn’t come final 12 months, and I used to be very disenchanted they didn’t come. In contrast, I’m very comfortable after all that everybody is right here this 12 months and that plenty of business professionals additionally made it, even when we’re nonetheless lacking individuals from america and Asia,” stated Jean-Pierre Blanc, the director of the competition. 

“I feel this version exudes pleasure and enthusiasm,” he added. “I’m not going to faux the whole lot’s hunkydory, however I’m thrilled to see that the individuals who got here are comfortable to be right here.”

For the ten vogue finalists, lots of whom graduated from college within the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it was an intense few days, between going through the jury, staging two vogue exhibits and assembly the press.

“It has been fairly full-on, however I feel we had a very good ambiance between all of the designers, so it’s been an excellent expertise,” stated Finnish designer Sofia Ilmonen, as she caught up with fellow contestant Mateo Velazquez throughout a break between interviews.

“The style business is absolutely laborious to interrupt into, so for us to get this chance is wonderful, as a result of in any other case it could be fairly tough to achieve out to a number of the those that we’ve got met,” added Velazquez, the primary Colombian designer to achieve the ultimate of the competitors.

Certainly, the wide selection of sponsors on the competition ensures an unlimited community of contacts for the younger contestants, lots of whom have but to promote a group.

The Première Imaginative and prescient Grand Prize comes with a grant of 20,000 euros, and visibility throughout a Première Imaginative and prescient Paris occasion. Okwuadi will even be given the chance to undertake a undertaking with the specialty ateliers that Chanel controls via its Paraffection subsidiary, a prize valued at as much as 20,000 euros.

He was singled out from the ten finalists by a jury that included Ruba Abu-Nimah, government inventive director at Tiffany & Co.; upcycled sneaker designer Helen Kirkum; artist William Farr; stylist Suzanne Koller; Alfredo Canducci, founding father of incubator System Preferences; mannequin Sonny Corridor; photographer Cho Gi Seok; musician Steve Lacy; dancer Léo Stroll and Tom Van Der Borght, who gained final 12 months’s Grand Prize at Hyères.

Trotter stated that she was in search of a mixture of an unique and compelling narrative with a excessive stage of execution. “We’re simply popping out of 18 months of a pandemic. For me, the place they’re actually speaking about one thing very private to them, and going deep into their roots, I discover very fascinating,” she defined.

And whereas she values creativity, Trotter has a practical strategy to the clothes business. “Ultimately, garments are to be loved, and I feel there’s nothing extra sustainable than having garments that you just wish to put on repeatedly for a very long time,” she defined.

“That was additionally a powerful standards for us: what can this individual deliver to the business that doesn’t exist at the moment? And have they got a function to deliver to the business, aside from only a stage of creativity?” she added.

Elina SilinaHyères 2021 - Salins des Pesquiers Friday 15 October 2021 - 21:00 Hyères, France

A glance by Elina Silina on the Hyères Worldwide Competition of Style and Pictures.
© Etienne Tordoir/Catwalkpictures/Courtesy of the Hyères Worldwide Competition of Style and Pictures

Latvian knitwear designer Elina Silina was awarded the Chloé Prize, a grant of 20,000 euros created in 2012 by the style home, additionally a sponsor of the competition. Her cobwebby white costume, impressed by a classic Karl Lagerfeld design for the French label, was made utilizing amber thread, which she stated was found and patented by Latvian scientists.

The Le19M Métiers d’Arts Prize in partnership with Chanel went to Thai designer Rukpong Raimaturapong, who labored with Chanel-owned milliner Maison Michel on wide-brimmed interchangeable hats in the identical vibrant colours as his outfits.

Supima, one other official associate of the competition, supported the finalists by donating materials together with velveteen, indigo denim, white denim, jersey, shirting and twill. 

“I feel individuals actually have been excited to have that chance, as a result of these are premium materials which might be very laborious to come up with in smaller portions,” stated Buxton Midyette, vp of promoting and promotions for Supima, including that it was stimulating to see younger designers utilizing the supplies in new and alternative ways.

Looks by Sofia Ilmonen at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography.

Seems to be by Sofia Ilmonen on the Hyères Worldwide Competition of Style and Pictures.
© Etienne Tordoir/Catwalkpictures/Courtesy of the Hyères Worldwide Competition of Style and Pictures

Ilmonen gained the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize, which rewarded the designer that finest utilized the recommendation they acquired throughout mentoring classes with Style Open Studio, a non-profit group campaigning for a extra sustainable luxurious business, on sustainable practices. The prize additionally comes with a grant of 20,000 euros. 

Ilmonen, who labored for 3 years at Alexander McQueen, introduced colourful modular clothes primarily based on material squares that may be assembled with snap buttons, and adjusted with drawstrings.

“I feel that could possibly be an enormous asset for the model to have that nearer reference to the purchasers, but additionally them having the liberty to have their very own creativity within the garment. On a sustainability side, in the event you do issues your self, that may create that stronger bond between you and your garments,” she stated.

In the meantime, Swiss designer Adeline Rappaz gained the general public’s vote for her couture-like clothes made utilizing upcycled materials.

Trotter stated that environmental duty has come to be anticipated from younger designers. “Sustainability wasn’t for me a giant factor, if I’m frank, as a result of I feel it’s virtually a given. I didn’t use that as a standards. I imply, I anticipated it,” she stated. 

Shoe designer Christian Louboutin, president of the style equipment jury, stated there was a sustainable element to virtually each entry he reviewed. “It’s like a tidal wave and it’s not going anyplace. It’s not a vogue development. It’s actually a really shifting social phenomenon: everybody is worried about sustainability and our planet,” he remarked.

The primary equipment award went to jeweler Capucine Huguet, whereas Yann Tosser Roussey gained the Hermès vogue equipment prize for his leather-based glove design. 

Louboutin stated he was struck by the singular strategy of the contestants. 

“Crucial factor is absolutely the inventive thoughts, and the purpose is to not choose individuals on whether or not they’re able to having a terrific industrial profession,” he stated. “I feel that whenever you’re beginning out, you must stay fully free, and that’s what you talk to different individuals.” 

In parallel with exhibitions, which is able to stay open to the general public till Nov. 28, the competition additionally included vogue exhibits, movie screenings, performances, e book signings and spherical tables on matters like sustainable improvement and the challenges of vogue in Europe.

The latter introduced collectively Pascal Morand, government president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French vogue’s governing physique, together with his Italian counterpart Carlo Capasa, chairman of the Digicam della Moda, and main business executives, who all agreed on the necessity to current a united European entrance in an more and more aggressive setting.

The Hyères competition has served as a springboard for designers together with Paco Rabanne’s Julien Dossena; Viktor & Rolf’s Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren; Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello; and Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, the founders of males’s put on label Botter, who have been named inventive administrators at Nina Ricci within the wake of their 2018 win.

Blanc stated he hoped the style business would stay open to welcoming younger skills, regardless of rising industrial pressures. “I hope that we’ll maintain this openness and the pleasure that we really feel right here in mingling, and above all, no self-segregation,” he stated. 

See additionally: 

Tiffany & Co. to Mentor Young People on Creative Team

Belgian Designer Tom Van Der Borght Wins Top Prize at Hyères

Louise Trotter to Head Fashion Jury at Hyères Festival | British Designer Ifeanyi Okwuadi Wins Prime Prize at Hyères Competition – WWD


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