An aesthetically intricate fantasy creature amonst the woods mixed with the reality of a fashion ensemble is what Anthony Vaccarello (on the right in the photo, with his partner Arnaud Michaux) created for this year’s Hy√®res 2007 exhibition programme. As the winner of last year’s Hy√®res competition and having spent the year working for Fendi designing furs, he has taken that research and applied it here. PETA supporters will doth protest but even I cannot deny the magical complexity, the heady mix of textures and aesthetics, the strangely mystical effect of the whole ensemble. You look at it and you have to spend a little time trying to figure it out. Or you come away thinking ‘What was that?’ and perhaps that’s no bad thing. It trips precariously between fear and admiration. I know for a fact Anthony spent a good few months putting together this ‘outfit/ensemble’ (I hestitate to use those words as looking at it, you can’t really give it a name). Using mainly rabbit, mink, fox, astrakhan and sable in an array of colours that seem to glimmer amongst the black, you can pick out the forms of a dress (held together with leather strips), a bolero and slacks along with the most amazingly stiletto pointed shoes.
My poor pictures barely captured the ambiance of the exhibition as the the design of the room in the Villa Noailles was also conceived by Anthony. In a black room with perspex panels emulating a futuristic woodland, his creation rests on a platform of dazzling flowers.
The point of this is of course not to exhibit wearability or even practical sense but for me it’s a demonstration of the willingness to go to a place that’s inexplicable. Some may call it darkness. I would say it’s an intimidating beauty. As the exhibition was a little bit of a surprise, I was a little taken aback and as I said, had to take a while to decipher it. Anthony currently has an exciting new opportunity coming up (lips need to be zipped atm…) and it remains to be seen how all of this will translate onto that prospect. I can only wait in anticipation!