It's a wrap! The Jury of the 31st edition of the International Festival of Fashion and Photography at Hyères presided by Julien Dossena, Artistic Director of Paco Rabanne, made their announcements: fashion-wise, Japanese menswear designer Wataru Tominaga won the Grand Prix of Jury Première Vision, while the Finish menswear duo Hanne Jurmu & Anton Vartiainen won the Jury's special mention as well as the Chloé Prize. Swedish womenswear designer Amanda Svart, for her part, won the Public Award City of Hyères.
Une photo publiée par NOWFASHION (@nowfashion) le 24 Avril 2016 à 9h01 PDT
A former Central Saint Martins student, Wataru Tominaga was welcomed last February during the Première Vision show in Paris, alongside 9 other finalists, in order to meet the show's exhibitors and manufacturers and to choose fabrics, yarns and accessories for his menswear collection showcased in Hyères during the Festival between April 21st and 25th. Eventually, the Jury rewarded him with the Grand Prix consisting of a grant of 15,000 euros offered by Première Vision, a collaborative project with Chanel’s Métiers d’Art worth 15,000 euros and a collaboration with French childrenswear brand Petit Bateau. We caught Tominaga backstage after the awards ceremony and chatted with him about what masculinity means in fashion nowadays.
Une photo publiée par NOWFASHION (@nowfashion) le 24 Avril 2016 à 10h47 PDT
NOWFASHION: The Jury lauded your collection for its audacity and graphic strength. Tell us more about your work and your experience here in Hyères.
Wataru Tominaga: I studied fashion print at Central Saint Martins and just graduated last year, so it's my first experience of this kind! The Festival and the Jury were very helpful. Upon arrival, the Festival's Director (note: Jean-Paul Blanc) helped me envision my collection, to decide about the way I would present it to the audience. My work made references to several styles...the Seventies, the slacker looks. It was all about structure and volume and about offering a bold take on menswear.
Your menswear collections is obviously playing with gender-bending aesthetics. Is that a new form of masculinity according to you?
Wataru Tominaga: My starting point was texture, textiles and prints – and analyzing the difference between those components in men's and women's fashion, as well mixing male and female silhouettes into menswear. Shapes and fabrics vary between men's and women's wear and combining both in a sophisticated way was really challenging for me. Gender is becoming more and more neutral and the impact this has on fashion is very interesting to me.
What's up next for you? Any projects in the pipeline, now that you won the prestigious Grand Prix.
Wataru Tominaga: At this stage, it's very difficult for me to decide! I would love to continue working on my own collection, but I feel like I need some more experience first and I would love to learn from the best! Joining the design team of a fashion house would be great.
Une photo publiée par NOWFASHION (@nowfashion) le 21 Avril 2016 à 2h39 PDT
In addition to the runway shows and the winners' announcement, this year's fashion and photography exhibitions in Hyères will run until May 22nd – so circle your calendars and enjoy a fashionable escapade to the South of France!