SHORTLISTED DESIGNERS

Steffie Christiaens, Netherlands, Womenswear collection
Melody Deldjou Fard, Netherlands, Womenswear collection
Anaïs Dougnac, France, Womenswear collection
Alice Knackfuss, Germany, Menswear collection
Harald Lunde Helgesen, Norway, Menswear collection
Marite Mastina and Rolands Peterkops, Latvia, Mixed collection
Maxime Simoens, France, Womenswear collection
Anemone Skjoldager, Denmark, Womenswear collection
Simon-Pierre Toussaint, Belgium, Menswear collection
Thomas Trautwein, France, Menswear collection



The outfits of the 2009 shortlisted fashion designers have been shot by Amira Fritz, Mention spéciale du Jury Photographie du Festival d'Hyères 2008.

 
FASHION JURY

Kris Van Assche, Artistic Director Dior Homme & Kris Van Assche, Paris
Jefferson Hack, Editor in Chief Another Magazine & Founder Dazed and Confused, London
Armand Limnander, Journalist, T Magazine & The New York Times, New York
Gert Jonkers, Editor in Chief & Publisher, Fantastic Man, Amsterdam
Jean-Pierre Baux, Image Director Dior Homme, Paris
Andrea Panconesi, Owner of Luisa Via Roma Store, Florence
Zoe Cassavetes, Director, Paris
Marie Chauveau, President of Mafia agency, Paris
Éric Troncy, Curator and Art Critic, Dijon
Nan Goldin, Artist, Paris
Benoît Duverger, Creative director and brand communications, Puma International

 
Steffie Christiaens
The Netherlands

Womenswear Collection: "Eternal Dispersion"

Steffie Christiaens is finishing her last year at the French Institute of Fashion. One windy day, whilst filming a cherry tree covered with netting, she had a revelation for her own collection. She thus realised that here was a potential which was both poetic and dynamic, and so she decided to explore the image of the movement of air upon materials and shapes in clothes. This artist takes basic garments which she subjects to the force of the wind and studies its effects. Following the example set by the Futurists – one might refer to the “spatial forms” of Umberto Boccioni –, she recreates the dynamism and the sequence of these different phases of movement. She captures these accidents in order to produce unexpected shapes which flow over the forms of her creations like waves. This designer, however, maintains a watchful eye, in order to insure that her clothes follow the movement of the body underneath, that they highlight it. As a result, she engages herself in creating a new vision of the female form and an asymmetric aesthetic, energetic, provocative, free... like the wind.



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Melody Deldjou Fard
The Netherlands

Womenswear Collection: "BodyMerging"

Born in Iran, Melody Deldjou Fard is a recent graduate of the Utrecht School of the Arts, where she exhibited her clothes on dolls, as substitutes for human bodies. She likes provoking controversy and defends her use of fashion, which she treats as a medium, an attempt at expression through fabric and thread. Her favourite theme: human fragility against contemporary society. This collection, which she sees as bridging between Persian poetry and Dutch conceptual design, questions the role of technique in the transformation of the body. Based upon transparency, her clothes evoke the forms of human organs. Necklaces represent the heart, whilst a dress slit down the back reveals the spine. Silk and cotton are mixed with fabrics made from metallic threads, and which adopt the shape of the body that has worn them. This designer leads us through an experiment which opens up a new way of looking at fashion.


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Ana´s Dougnac
France

Womenswear Collection: "As far As..."

Anaïs Dougnac completed her studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs last year. She likes to create “clothes-objects”, accumulating meticulous details, miniatures with a poetic and delicate manner. Aiming for the moon, our dreamer has created an oneiric perfume as a starting point for her collection, with the promising title of: “As far As…”. We are invited to embark on an exploration of this inaccessible faraway place, for which the designer has created ensembles for adventurers. Taking her inspiration from aviator's outfits, for example, she has designed feathered boots for travellers and outfits in the shape of wings. However, turning them into vapid angels or transparent creatures is out of the question. The challenge consists of diverting the rules of male fashion in order to slip them insidiously into the female repertoire: a bow tie becomes a bow on lingerie. Anaïs takes pleasure in combining sensitivity and energy, in an impulse which is both mischievous and playful.


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Alice Knackfuss
Germany

Menswear Collection : "Heimwärts"

Alice Knackfuss recently graduated from the Academy of Fashion and Design in Munich. Her collection takes as its theme the conflict between individual needs and the rules of society. These rifts become crystallised in childhood and persist throughout adulthood, like old wounds. She starts with a highly codified early 20th Century male apparel, which she transforms, dislocates, and re-interprets, aiming to depict the psychological and sociological stakes which weigh upon our unconscious. Tubular and straight forms with dropped shoulders suggest constraint, whilst the more loose forms represent the need for a safe and secure environment. She creates “peculiarities”, secret details which by-pass rules and invent new frames of reference. Extracts of a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke are sewn onto armbands and list a litany of doubts and questions which serve to make us stronger.


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Harald Lunde Helgesen
Norway

Menswear Collection: "Autumn/Winter, 2509 BC"

Harald Lunde Helgesen studies at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth in the United Kingdom. He has based his collection upon the idea of excavation and has found the ancient Mesopotamian digs to be a favourable source of inspiration. He samples from the desert dust elements of clothing that are long forgotten, whether it be kaunakes – those woollen dresses worn by Sumerian priests –, or the outfits worn by the modern-day workers who carry out the digs. These latter individuals just as often wear traditional scarves, as western jackets. These combinations are temporal and geographical, and have guided the designer, as he presents the same silhouette four of five times, “unearthing” every detail, before finding a satisfactory result. This act of excavating, of scraping back layers, is not just a metaphor. As a result of methods similar to litmus paper – which is well known for its chemical attributes –, he has modified the brown colour of certain fabrics, revealing in an unexpected fashion, blues, oranges... unearthing a hidden beauty.



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Marite Mastina et Rolands Peterkops
Latvia

Mixed Collection: "Private  detective"

Mārīte Mastiņa & Rolands Pēterkops are graduates of the Latvian Academy of Arts and work for the Mareunrol label. They like to incorporate other unrelated media with fashion, and so for this collection they have directed a short film parody, essentially inspired by the codes of “film noir”, and employing the most hackneyed stereotypes: the detective's trench coat, the heroine's sexy dress, the spy's overcoat, etc.
All of these clichés are exposed in an exaggerated design, with distorted proportions and accentuated contrasts. For each character, the stylists have put together a series of details and materials in order to underline their unique character. A “hardened” journalist is clothed in a woven checkerboard fabric which forms a sort of armour. Woollen accessories characterise the more flamboyant individuals. Finally, all of these figures are topped off with huge wigs. Role plays, black comedy, comics, all come together in a collection that is overtly surrealist. 


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Maxime Simoens
France

Womenswear Collection: "Kaléidoscope"

Maxime Simoens studied at the “Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne”. Kaleidoscopes constitute the central motif for his collection, those tubes full of mirrors which endlessly and colourfully reflect outside light. They also illustrate a principle of creation, inasmuch as they possess at the same time a finite number of elements in a limited space, yet allow for an indefinite number of combinations: a basic reorganisation of that which already existed. It is not these elements which make the whole, but rather the form which their combination creates. Through an apparently incessant process of modification, the same figures repeatedly reoccur: fashion dies, clothes live on. The geometry of these figures, which reconcile structure and fluidity, reveals a femininity that is sensual, glamorous, and elegant. Taking Louise Brooks – the American actress – as an example, he aims to breath a distinct confidence into those who wear his clothes, through a precision of line and a resolutely modern appearance.


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Anemone Skjoldager
Denmark

Womenswear Collection: "The Collection"

Anemone Skjoldager completed her studies at the Danish School of Design in 2008. Her work questions the interaction between individuals and groups, and the impact of this encounter upon identity. In order to clarify her objectives, she refers to the image of acrobats, who depend upon one another, or the characters in a play, who act according to a group effect. Further to this reflection, she asks questions of camouflage: animals or warships, which merge with their environment. In her film, she experiments with projections on white figures. Inspired by the triadic ballets of Oskar Schlemmer, or the work of Moholy-Nagy, she uses black and white geometric forms as the basis of her language. Henceforth, abstract clothes are constructed by the very rhythm of motifs which reconstruct body shapes, inviting movement and a blending of lines. Each outline is at the same time autonomous and part of a group where they all interact with one another.


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Simon-Pierre Toussaint
Belgium

Menswear Collection :" The trees can hear you if you talk to them"

Simon-Pierre Toussaint graduated in 2008 from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Drawing upon his memories, he has created a baroque collection which evokes the uncertainties of adolescence. All of the designs include under garments of a virginal white, upon which the different phases of this metamorphosis are recorded. This designer recalls his time as a scout, retaining the codes, the colours, the blends of fabrics: cotton, waterproofs, woollens, knitwear. He has also borrowed their star maps, which he has placed in the linings of his coats. Leather accessories and a more structured cut offer a more masculine, more active look. Within the signs of an approaching maturity and the reminisces of childhood, surprising hybridisations occur, like the image of a sleeping bag-coat, or even wooden armour. Like a symbol of withdrawal and strength, enclosing the boy, like bark protecting a sapling.


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Thomas Trautwein
France

Menswear Collection: "Bandit Couture"

Trained at the Atelier Chardon Savard, Thomas Trautwein likes to work instinctively. He accumulates materials and ideas over a long period of time and feeds upon images and references, which he clarifies and modifies according to his own personal design. He takes his favourite theme as a starting point for this collection: the legend of the Far West. Characters such as Jessie James, leading actors such as Eastwood and Bronson, and characters from comics, constitute a basis upon which to work. Experts will recognise a pronounced taste for architectural designs, working upon proportions, gaps, and cut-outs, which recall something of Hussein Chalayan, to name but one. The hero's cape is slipped under a waistcoat, whilst details take on an unexpected importance. The angular weave of patchwork and the classy hang of a drape confront each other in the same outfit. The designer moves forward masked, taking pleasure in covering his tracks and breaking the rules just like “Outlaw couture”.


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Steffie Christiaens

Melody Deldjou Fard

Ana´s Dougnac

Alice Knackfuss

Harald Lunde Helgesen

Marite Mastina et Rolands Peterkops

Maxime Simoens

Anemone Skjoldager

Simon-Pierre Toussaint

Thomas Trautwein