A Tour de Force of Upcycled Climbing Ropes, Sequins, 3D Space Mesh, and Plastic Leftovers Takes the Festival d’Hyères Grand Prize

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The Belgian designer Tom van der Borght scooped up the Première Vision Grand Prix at the 35th Festival d’Hyères today. His jubilant, theatrical men’s collection was praised by designer Jonathan Anderson, who presided over a jury that included, among others, consultant Amanda Harlech, model Kaia Gerber, sound maverick Michel Gaubert, photographer Tyler Mitchell, and last year’s Grand Prix winner, the Austrian designer Christoph Rumpf.

“What we really, really admired in the work of Tom van der Borght is that it was a totally new type of form, new type of shape, new type of commitment to a silhouette, and it was uncompromising,” Anderson said during a remote award ceremony. “And in this moment we are in, we as a jury believe that it was about starting this new decade with newness, this idea of originality.” Anderson continued: “It was not about looking at something for its automatic commercial sense. It was about the beauty within fashion, the handmade, the technique, and the risk in it. And I think Tom has really achieved something in what he has done and I think he will go on to do very well.”

Even seen via video, van der Borght’s collection had an uncanny glamour. Named “Seven Ways to be TVDB,” it was a densely embroidered and intarsia-ed tour de force, made from recycled climbing ropes, sequins, prints-on-polyester 3D space mesh, plastic leftovers, braided elastic, and plexitube weaving. The 42-year-old Van der Borght namechecked Björk in his press notes (alongside the visionary and performative designers Iris van Herpen, Craig Green, Viktor & Rolf, and Walter von Beirendonck), and any one of his concoctions would make a perfect stage costume for her.

The Grand Prix of the Jury Première Vision includes a €20,000 award, a collaborative project with the Chanel Métiers d’Art worth up to €20,000, and a fashion show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. The Belgian designer’s work also appealed to the people of Hyères. They granted him their Public Prize.

A focus on craft and on the handmade, organic quality of execution in French designer Emma Bruschi’s work earned her the Chanel Métiers d’Art Prize. Bruschi collaborated with plumassier et parurier floral Lemarié to create a pair of whimsical earrings, which looked not unlike Native American dream catchers. “We were really taken aback by the workmanship [of Emma’s] earrings; they were fantastic,” said Anderson in his appraisal. “A really beautiful balance between wearable art and… the idea of generational information passing by—and we all wanted them.” Bruschi will be granted €20,000 by Chanel for the realization of a new design project, to be displayed at next year’s festival. Additionally, she received the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Grant for her men’s collection, Almanach, which acknowledged her work incorporating responsible and sustainable practices into the line. Guadeloupe’s Marvin M’Toumo, a graduate of HEAD Geneva Fashion School, was awarded the €20,000 Chloé Prize for reinterpreting the feminine silhouette of the brand in a shell-white three-piece pleated ensemble.

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