Fries vs. Black

If you have been eagerly following the goings-ons of the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie at Hy√®res, this will all be old news to you.  But in Style Bubble tradition, I do take a little longer to gather my thoughts to expand upon what I’ve seen… (translation: I need more time to write like I sound vaguely intelligent…).  So first up… the winners… BUT by no means my favourite of what I saw at this year… needless to say, if last year there was a clear winner in the form of Sandra Backlund, this year was a bit more of an open book, a bit more difficult to understand but nonetheless…intriguing stuff!

This time I managed to get ok-ish pics of the awards ceremony…

Here’s Jean Pierre Blanc, the founder and director of the festival introducing the ceremony // The president of the jury this year was Riccardo Tisci from Givenchy, alongside people like Haider Ackermann, Maria Luisa, stylist Patti Wilson and Carla Sozzani who were also on the jury.

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JpehyeresFirst the 1,2,3 prize was awarded and it went to…..*drumroll* Jean-Paul Lespagnard who hails from Belgium.  Well, actually you don’t even have to ask him about his nationality because quite literally he declared it through his collection entitled ‚ÄúIch will‚Äônen cowboys als mann‚Äù, the fact that he works in both Brussels and Antwerp and studied at the IFPME in Li√®ge.  Frites galore!  Not just any old French fries or chips though…the real Belgium kind with plenty of mayonnaise.  Lespagnard was thinking about a fanciful character called Jacqueline who runs a ‘fritkot’ (a chippie to UK ppl…), when designing his collection.  She‚Äôs obsessed with a kitsch Danish singer called Gitte and the rodeo clowns of Texas.  So it was no wonder that as soon as model did her first strut on the catwalk wearing JP Lespagnard‚Äôs ensemble, there were cheers and roars of delight in the tent.   Glitter, Dolly Parton hair, candy cane body stockings, woven tent material, Texan shirts, chaps and of course lots frites!  As bracelets, on the sunglasses, on the Perspex clear platform boots and shoes…

I must say, the overwhelming amount of kitsch isn‚Äôt really for me but as a collection you can‚Äôt really fault Lespagnard for not seeing through a concept and of course everything was extremely well-made.  In stark contrast to last year‚Äôs winner of the 1,2,3 prize (15,000 euros and a chance to create a collection for the 1,2,3 chain), where it was difficult to see how Peter Bertsch‚Äôs techniques could translate into high street clothes, it actually seems right that Lespagnard got the prize and I expect something fashionably hilarious next year to pop out of 1,2,3.   

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Mchyeres It seems like an awfully predictable cliche that Riccardo Tisci, lover of all things black, dark and mysterious who happens to be the president of this year’s jury goes for something… well…black, dark and mysterious.  The Grand Prize went to Matthew Cunnington for his collection ‘Hail Mary’.  A graduate of University of Westminster and a contemporary of Zowie Broach of Boudicca, Cunnington took a different sort of literal approach.  His collection was inspired by his own mother who was forced to abandon her illegitimate daughter in 1969 and so the clothes are a representation of the feelings associated with that particular event.  Burnt material = fragility.  Exposed pocket = nothing left to hide.  Accentuated shoulders = anxiety and weight carried around.  Every fold and drape has a meaning.  All designers were supposed to set up a stand in a tent (alas they did away with allowing each designer to have their own room to decorate with an homage to their collection…a shame as this is my favourite part of the competition…).  Whilst most designers showed their sketches, hung some artefacts, inspiration images and made a little corner all about their collection, Cunnington just chose to hang his clothes on his rail with a simple sketchbook there.  Nothing else.  That’s it.  Apparently, he didn’t say all that much either to the jury when each designer was asked to present their collections.

I’m guessing the shy demeanour and quietness worked to Cunnington’s favour and even as he was announced as the winner, he seemed almost scared to accept the prize.  There were certain aspects that I loved about the collection like the fragile material ‘burnt’ and clinging to the body for dear life.  It was again well executed… somehow though I personally felt like a collection that was so acutely personal and also didn’t aesthetically appeal to me didn’t click for me.

Like I said…intriguing stuff that perhaps my brain is incapacitated to process…    

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16 Replies to “Fries vs. Black”

  1. I very much like Cunnington’s collection. But then my taste runs to the gothic… Thanks for the daffs sweetie! LLGxx

  2. i love those tights! they remind me more of candy kanes. the chip thing is a little on the, er, grotty (?) side for me, a bit like the tatty devine jewellery

  3. Cunnington’s collection is beautiful. I like that he didn’t go overboard on the inspirations/context of his collection, because the clothes really speak for themselves. I didn’t see the other contestants but he seems like a deserving winner. that draping…. <3

  4. The fries made me really hungry… for food if not the actual clothes 😛
    Is there a place I can find photos of the collections? I’m really curious about the other submissions.

  5. Candy cane body stockings? Cowboy prints on boleros and tulip skirts? Um, whimsical delight!

  6. as much as i like the fries… the black is better, not just visually, but the whole inspiration connected to the execution is just so touching.

  7. i love the lace dress. as if it barely hangs on to the models shoulders. it looks so fragile.
    and i also love the french fries!!!! it’s a breath of fresh air. despite it’s kitsch and colour i think the collection is contemplative of fashion and what it stands for today.

  8. mmmmm. there’s a group on flickr called burger whores. seriously good-looking burgers AND fries there. mmmmm.

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