April 24th, 2013

Germany, Berlin. 28 years old. Studied at The Berlin University of the Arts, gratuated in October 2012. Working on his portfolio.

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
Being selected feels like a dream came true.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
Inspiring, pleasant, fantastic.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
To meet the team of the Hyères Festival. It is great to have this people who give the support for me and my work.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Anticipation, melancholia, luck.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future?
The Festival is a great platform to represent me and my work as a designer. The team helps each designer , giving a great support with the shows and also the showroom. I hope to find a job as a designer in a house…

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29

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April 24th, 2013

A Chinese national living in Paris who graduated from ESMOD, and works as freelance for a Japanese fashion houses and fashion galleries.

Portrait Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres ?
Unexpected and magic! I ‘ve been following Hyères while I was still a fashion school
student and I never got the time and the courage the send my file. Now it has been three years since my graduation and I would love to do something for my own, without too much restriction. It’s great Hyères gave me this opportunity.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words ?
Energy, Exchange, Experience.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far ?
Hyères allows us to work with the professionals from the fashion industry. I mean not only the ‘Glamour’ part of fashion, but also the very ‘technique’ part, the fabric and accessories suppliers, the production factories, the dyeing experts, the pleating artisan. It is great to get to know them and to work with them. I’ve learned so much.
I appreciate their patience and kindness, without their help I will never complete the
collection as I expected.

In three words, what is your collection about ?
Movements, Sentiments,Memories.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help
you in the future ?

Hyères gives us opportunities to know people, to build the connections, but also, get us , designers known by other people, to let people hear our voice, know about our work, our stories. Hyères is not just an event that happens and ends, it’s a continuation.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29

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April 23rd, 2013

From China/Northern Ireland/Canada. Age 26. Studying at Fashion Institute of Technology, NY.

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
It is an incredible compliment to be selected for a fashion festival with such a long and distinguished history. I’m excited and a bit anxious.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
A warm fantasy.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
Working with an amazing professional team to elevate a first collection and being surrounded by other designers who share similar goals, ideas, and opinions about fashion.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Play and balance.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future?
Exposure and publicity are so critical to one’s success in fashion now, and I can’t imagine a better platform than the Hyeres Festival.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29

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April 23rd, 2013

Helsinki, Finland.Graduated this Christmas from Aalto University, School of Art, Design and Architecture. At the moment she designs prints and garments as a freelancer for different companies.

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
It feels really great. I am superhappy about it. Hyeres is impressive opportunity to present your work for international audience.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
Delicious food, sunshine and same-minded people.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
The favorite part of the process has been doing all the openscreen prints. To do it freestyle is fun and relaxing for me.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Landscapes, old Haute Couture and innovative materials.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future?
It will help me to get new working opportunities and to create important connections. It is also going to be interesting to get feedback from all the fashion professionals..

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29

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April 23rd, 2013

Norway (31). MA graduate from the Royal Academy in Antwerp. Runs his own label and teaches design for 3BA at the Fashion Department of the Warsaw Fine Arts Academy.

Portrait by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
Purely very honored.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
Historic, impressive and panoramic.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
Working together with all the sponsors to develop new parts of the collection especially for the festival.

In three words, what is your collection about?
Bonded minimalistic maximalism

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future?
I know Festival Hyeres is a wonderful opportunity to show your collection to the world and it will hopefully open some doors in the future.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29

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April 23rd, 2013

Tomas Berzins / From Riga, Latvia / 21 years old / graduated from ESMOD Paris 2011 / co-owner of victoria/tomas label. 

Victoria Feldman / From Moscow, Russia / 24 years old / graduated from ESMOD Paris 2011 / co-owner of victoria/tomas label.

Portraits by Filep Motwary.

How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres? 
This is just great to have the opportunity to present our experimental collection, that was developed specially for this Festival. As well to have people around who are interested in it.

How would you describe Hyeres in three words? 
Eat, Pray, Create.

What has been your favorite part of the process so far? 
Most of the clothes we create are ready-to-wear. Participation in this Festival opened the doors to step a bit aside from wearability and to work more as an artists, bringing out many handmade and sophisticated technics that would not be easily adaptable to real urban life-style that we love so much. It gave us a certain freedom to combine both visions that we really care about.

In three words, what is your collection about? 
Heritage, emotions, aggressiveness.

In what ways you think participating in a Festival like Hyeres will help you in the future? 
This is a very rich start for a young designer and this is a priceless experience that you get, as it will be there for all your life.

Portraits by Filep Motwary.

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29

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April 22nd, 2013

Paris-based Floriane De Saint Pierre needs no introduction as today she considered as one of the ten most powerful women in fashion and beauty. She set up Floriane de Saint Pierre & Associés back in 1990. Twenty three years later she is the person all important fashion houses turn to in search for help to find an executive or designer. The list of successful matches consists of putting Christopher Bailey at Burberry, finding Alber Elbaz’s first creative director position, among so many others.

This year, she serves as jury member for the 28th edition of the Hyeres Festival, and answers the questions of the Hyères blogs.

Floriane de Saint Pierre, portrait by Ben Baker.

MalibongweTyilo: Having been responsible for hiring some of the biggest names, what would you say is the most common quality amongst designers who are able to head these successful mega brands?
Each of the designers has a crystal clear vision of their personal aesthetics. The most important factor for them has been their ability to look ahead of their time and translate their vision into something that you identify with.

FilepMotwary: How relevant is creativity to the way the fashion industry functions today?
We can draw a parallel between the street photography of fifty years ago and what we see in fashion and design bloggers today- there has always been creativity, but what we are seeing is a huge shift in its expression. The expression of creativity is effortless today. However, creative design has never been more relevant and necessary than it is today. From fashion brands to Apple and Evian, etc. global brands absolutely recognize the importance of design as a factor in strong-value creation.

AntoineAsseraf: Does your work end once a designer has been selected and hired
– or do you stay involved somehow ?

We always stay in touch.

BrunoCapasso: Today the world imposes a new way of thinking, a reinvention in fashion, what new thing do you search in the new designers? How far does the media influence and disrupt your choices?
Designers must possess a personal aesthetic that resonates not only in fashion, but functions as a global creative proposition. Everyone today associates themself with a creative tribe and they are very demanding with the integrity- design, quality, services, and reputation- of a brand. Media is great for this- it is what gives design talent the chance to become visible and if there is genuine talent there, the media will be very supportive and loyal.

SeanSantiago: The disconnect between Hedi Slimane’s last collection for Saint Laurent Paris and the work of his predecessors couldn’t be more striking or controversial. When judging these young designers based on their creativity and ingenuity, do you find yourself reconsidering the standards to which you hold a commercial designer like Slimane?
A product today makes sense only if it captures and reflects or even anticipates the profound sociological evolutions of its time. Hedi Slimane is a designer who thinks globally and very much ahead of his time. He knows what Saint Laurent means today.

VogueGermany: Is there any candidate you’re already keeping an eye on ?
Yes, of course!

28th International
Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013
April 26>29

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hyeres express: maurice scheltens & liesbeth abbenes

April 14th, 2013

“The specialty of Scheltens & Abbenes is to meticulously arrange objects” claims the biography of photography duo Maurice Scheltens & Liesbeth Abbenes. Working since 2002 as a duo, the minimalist compositions they painstakingly compose have earned them attention from clients and editors alike.

As part of the Hyères 2013 Fashion Jury, they answer the questions of the blog partners – Un Nouveau Ideal by Filep Motwary, *Fruitpunch by Sean Santiago, BRRUN by Bruno Capasso, Vogue.de, Malibongwe Tyilo and The Stimuleye, of course.

by The Stimuleye

Liesbeth Abbenes. Photo by René Habermacher.

Filep Motwary: How does a garment get your attention? What are you searching for while on set?

Maurice ScheltensA sensitivity in material and design. Looking at a garment it often tells if the designer understands it’s own work without stopping to early (or to late) in the process. This attitude is connecting in the way we are also trying to stretch our own sensibilities.

Sean Santiago: Your work is striking in its simplicity and for its reductive qualities – is fashion more interesting to you in theory more often than in its execution?

We are more interested in what we see then in what we know or should know. After ‘building’ is the moment of truth. Our curiosity by testing an idea for it’s visual qualities is the driving force. That is also why we keep on searching, experimenting and checking during the shoot instead of making photographs from a sketch made on the drawing table. This doesn’t mean that thoughts or drawings as they are can be beautiful and interesting to. It’s a matter of where to put all these aspirations.

by The Stimuleye

Maurice Scheltens by René Habermacher.

Antoine Asseraf: As jury members used to shooting Fashion as objects, can you abstract the mise en scene, the show, the person to judge only the garments ?

Actually we see the same struggle and solutions in the garments as we face while shooting fashion or any other object in front of the lens. Maybe it’s a healthy distance that we have looking at fashion because we’re not ‘over informed’. We’re responding to what we see with the same critical eye as we do in our own work.

Bruno Capasso: How do you work as a duo – do you have 2 distinct visions ?

Our collaboration has been growing over the past ten years. It’s an evolution in which we grow individually towards each other and makes it difficult to say what comes from who. Individual credits would be out of place. See it as a chess game in which one makes a move and the other responds onto it… on and on.

Hyères 2013 Fashion & Photography Festival

Scheltens & Abbenes

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davide balliano

April 2nd, 2013

He works across many mediums, makes work and research constantly and needs to have a lot of order in his life.

New York-based Italian artist Davide Balliano had a conversation with me about his artistic trajectory, his work, rock climbing, his influences, his love of intervention and his first show in Paris at the Galerie Michel Rein. 

Davide Balliano
Ink on book page
21x26,8 Cm

Courtesy: Michel Rein Gallery, Paris

Lynsey Peisinger: Tell me a bit about your life and your path as an artist.

Davide Balliano: I was born and grew up in Torino, in the northwest of Italy. I was there until I was 18 and then I started in high school studying advertising and graphic design. It was a very peculiar school, a very specific school, which had a lot of elements that are still useful for me now. Especially the graphic design elements, the study of the image, the history of the image, art history. All of that is still informing my work today.

After that, I moved to Milan where I studied photography at Bauer, which is a fabulous school of photography. It is probably the last public school of photography that is left in Italy. What I liked of the school was the approach that they had, that I think they still have now, where rather than teaching “photography as a job”, they tried to raise us as artists working in the medium of photography. They train you as an artist who used the tool of photography. Then what you do with that tool is your choice.

Two years after school, I went to Fabrica, which is a large artist residence in Treviso, in the north east of Italy, a half hour from Venice. It is a beautiful place. A huge building built by Tadao Ando and there are usually approximately 40 artists in residence. It was very commercial-based. There is not much interest in pure artistic research. It’s more applied art. It was a very good experience–they pay you be there, they give you studio, they pay for all of your materials, they give you an apartment. You don’t have to worry about anything.  But, even if it was great, it sort of crushed my relationship with photography. Fabrica had a very strong way of shaping the people that were there, so they were not making it a mystery that they couldn’t care less about the kind of photography that I was doing! I was very young, I was 21.

After Fabrica, I stayed one more year in Milano, then I got badly bored of staying in Italy. So I moved to NY in 2006. And it is in the early time in NY that I started to do other stuff. I felt that this move to NY was sort of giving me a clean cut from everything that I did until then. I sort of put photography a bit on the side and I started to draw and to intervene, but still on photographic images. I assume that because of my background in photography, I always have a difficult time starting anything from a blank background, you know from a white slate. For me, it has always been terrifying!

Davide Balliano
Watercolor and acrylic on book page
18x25 Cm

Courtesy: Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin

LP: How did you start to move into the mediums you are working with now?

DB: So I started to print out images, mainly from the internet at that time. I still collect a lot images just for my inspiration. And I started to draw freehand on them, mainly abstract geometrical mess! Abstract scribbles, nothing with a precise meaning. Pretty soon, it sort of got clear that the issues that I had with photography were still there–even if I am intervening on top, I still had to take care very much of the meaning of the background image.

There are some images that you can just use for their mood, but there are other images that have a precise meaning that carries responsibilities. I think that this is something that you can use but you need to be conscious about it.

I always hate any kind of work in any kind of medium that just takes strong images and slams them there without standing by it. I always find that it’s a very cheap shortcut.  It is something that I always hate.

So, then I started to draw on art history images because I felt that they left me more freedom somehow because there is already a big gap. You are more free to relate with the feeling of the image rather than with historical facts. The facts are there and I agree that I should deal with that, but there is a distance so there is a larger filter. So if I make a drawing on top of a portrait of a king, I should probably do research about who it is etc, but I don’t. And most people wouldn’t say “why did you make a drawing on this king and not on another one?”.

If you do the same kind of thing in photography, it is difficult because photography is such a young medium that almost any photographic image is in a historical context.  So from there, the intervention grew more and more precise and became more and more essential. So if you take a drawing of four or five years ago, which was abstract and geometrical, but still messy and not so calculated, they sort of condensed somehow and at some point, it felt a need to take this intervention that I was doing on paper and put it on other mediums.

I burned that town just to see your eyes shine
Wood and glass
137x48x48 Cm

Courtesy: Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin
Photo: Nikki Brendson

LP: Tell me a bit about the medium of performance.

DB: Performance, which I do although rarely, is a different thing although I feel that it is strongly connected to….photography. It is interesting, I feel that performance is strongly connected to photography because I still feel it as the production of an image. An image that is locked by a location and by a time. I am very fascinated by the potential of making a legend with performance, not necessarily mine. Sometimes you see performances that are unrepeatable–the original work is born in one place at a specific time and if you were there, there is nothing that can repeat that moment. And it gives you something that is so unique, it sort of makes you part of the history of the work, much more than in other mediums.

Most of the time in other mediums, the work is done by an artist and then is shown. And the artwork has a life and it will be the same life for the next many many years. But a performance is in a place and in a moment and if you were there, you had the privilege of being part of it and then nothing will take that away. I find it fascinating. And I relate to it as the creation of an image, practically speaking.

LP: It sounds like performance gives you an opportunity to experience being an artist in a different way.

DB: Exactly. And also seeing what it means for other artists. It has been great because I am completely incapable of doing it in any other medium. I am sort of a control freak for anything else that I do. I know that in performance, I very much enjoy opening up to collaboration and seeing what it brings.

LP: At which point in your life did you realize that you wanted to be making art? Was it from childhood? Did you go to that graphic design school because you knew that already about yourself?

DB: Well, I will say that it depends. I always, since when I was a kid, felt an extreme need for creative expression. So I always had no doubt that I would be doing something creative in life. But, the decision to make exclusively art research sort of developed over the years. It felt like everything else just dropped and it stayed there. For all of my school time, I had the idea that it was impossible to only do that.

I always thought “I need to do something else on the side”. For example, I thought I could do graphic design while doing other work. Also with photography, but photography was even closer to making pure artwork. But it was an idealistic idea that I could be an artist but also make commercial stuff. I needed to take a decision between the two things. And I think that especially when you are young, people want one or the other.

Another thing that I understood–I sound like an old grandfather saying “when I was young…etc”! — When I was in high school I was doing a lot of rock climbing and at a certain point I had a trainer and was training five days a week. I loved it, but I liked to go out and go to concerts too. I had my social life which was very important to me. Everyone else there was like a monk about it. Just training, training, training. They ate only certain food, they were constantly on a diet. Complete dedication. I understood that I couldn’t at all put in that type of dedication and I couldn’t compete with people that were that dedicated to it. And later, I felt the same way with photography.

If you are trying to do something good, you should consider that most likely there is somebody else that is trying to do it and he is going to be very good at it and he is going to put all his energy into it, he is going to make tons of sacrifices and he is going to go through hell to achieve it. So if you are not up for that, you are in for a competition that will never bring you anywhere. So photography for me was sort of like that. 

I was in Milano therefore everything was about fashion photography. I mean, fashion photography was fun! I would go to a set, with models and people and music. It’s all fun. But if you are trying to do it, you are in competition with 500 kids obsessed with their freaking portfolios who are putting their money into making fashion photography. I’m like “hell no”! I have to be paid to make fashion photography, not the other way around. People would tell me that I had to put together a fashion photography portfolio and then when people look at you because of that, you bring in your art research. But for me, I knew I would not have the energy to do that because I was already putting all my energy into my research. And I sort of became clear that it wouldn’t work. I had to push on thing or the other.

So I decided only to concentrate on art. I assisted for many years. I wanted to learn from an artist. I wanted to learn about art-making and also the practical side of it.

Davide Balliano
Acrylic on linen
120x180 Cm

LP: When you came to NY, you assisted Marina Abramovic for four years. How did that experience influence your work and how did it prepare you for your own path as an artist? 

DB: For me, Marina was like my own private university. She taught me everything that I know about surviving as an artist.

Independently of the love that I have of her work–I approached her because I always had an extreme fascination with her work– the privilege that I had when working with her was that I was in contact with the private side of her. And what I gained from the private relationship is to see how she is completely dedicated to her work. Marina is all work. And there is an insane amount of energy and dedication that she puts into it. Her work is her life, there is no separation, there is no in between.

The personal investment that she makes in her work, I assume gives her this concentration that comes out so clearly in the work. And, other than that, she is such a big artists that if you work with her for four years, afterwards you can truly do anything. I came out of that experience being practically scared of nothing.

Marina works at such a level of intensity that there is really nothing that you can’t do after that. It is like boot camp. You are so used to working under pressure –good pressure, but pressure–daily. Everyday was the same amount of concentration and speed and pressure. The responsibilities are always big. There is never a day that you go and pick up flowers! Every day is something big, something important, something that you can’t mess up. When you do that every day for four years, you come out and truly its like those American movies about Marines. You can really do anything!

LP: You seem to have an approach to your work that is extremely organized and structured. It seems to me that are an artist who approaches your work like one might approach any business in terms of how you structure and use your time and also how you interact with and deal with people. I wonder if working with Marina influenced that or if you were always someone who could self-motivate and give order to your life. 

DB: Definitely working with Marina, and my other assistant jobs, gave me that structure. Marina is naturally 80 percent of it, but everything contributed. Assisting fashion photographers meant being efficient and fast. There are a lot of responsibilities and you have to work under pressure, so you get used to needing to maintain focus. Keeping your concentration on the work itself under all the pressure seems to me to be the secret that all of these big guys shared.

There are tons of different kinds of artists and I know fabulous artists that work in complete chaos and it’s fine for them. Their art can come out of that. They can do nothing for weeks and then disappear and work day and night for a month and then come out like drained zombies, but the resulting work is marvelous.

But that’s not for me. The less I do, the more in pain I feel.

Davide Balliano
PICATRIX, installation view

Courtesy: Michel Rein Gallery, Paris

LP: Tell me about that show in Paris.

DB: The show in Paris started with an invitation from Eugenio Viola, a wonderful curator that I worked with last January. He invited me to have this little show and he set the theme of the show. He asked me to work with the concepts of alchemy and symbolism and sort of esoteric feelings, which is something that is present in my work even if I don’t always relate to those things in my life.

There are four works on paper, two paintings on board and one sculpture. We see a combination of different mediums and the dialogue that they have with each other, which is very important for me. I never make a show that deals with only one medium because it feels like a small part of what I do. I feel like I can’t say what I want to say with one medium, I have to put them together.

In the past Alchemy was called “the great work” and I love it. I like the utopic idea that through my work, and the elements given to me, I can control these elements and have a higher understanding of who I am and a higher consciousness.

Eugenio asked me to consider these things and to put together a little show that gives my view on these topics, so I did.

LP: What is the last thing that stimulated you?

DB: The film The Turin Horse by Bela Tarr. It is really stuck in my mind and I keep on thinking about it. It was very very strong for me. And not because I am from Turin! Its strict and minimal and powerful and its a complete tragedy. There is no space for hope, no space for light, like a classic tragedy. Everything is rotting and closing in on you. Sometimes I feel that tragedy might be more inspiring than happy thoughts. Happy thoughts are private while tragedy can be shared and if you recognize the suffering in someone else, it can make you feel less alone in your own troubles. That is probably why all of the work that I strongly admire has a heavy portion of tragedy and weight.

PICATRIX at Galerie Michel Rein, curated by Eugenio Viola

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this hyères : full circle

January 31st, 2013

Full circle.
For its 28th edition, the Hyères International Fashion & Photography Festival made a daring choice.

As presidents of the fashion and photo juries and guests of honor, they invited 2 young individuals, each recognized in his field, but with one thing in common: they won Hyères.

Yes, this Hyères, festival graduates Felipe Oliveira Baptista (2002) and Charles Fréger (2001) return, not as young hopeful nominees, but as still-young confirmed professionals, now presiding over the juries.

Felipe Oliveira Baptista The Stimuleye Hyères 2013

Hyères 2013 fashion jury president Felipe Oliveira Baptista. Photo by René Habermacher.

the stimuleye fashion photo gif

Hyères 2013 preview. Visual by The Stimuleye.

And the nominees are…

Tomas Berzins & Victoria Feldman, Latvia + Russia
Henning Jurke, Germany
Camille Kunz, Switzerland
Yvonne Poei-Yie Kwok, The Netherlands
Xénia Lucie Laffely, France – Switzerland
Satu Maaranen, Finland
Marion de Raucourt, France
Damien Ravn, Norway
Shanshan Ruan, China
Xing Su, Canada

Lena Amuat & Zoë Meyer, Switzerland
Emile Barret, France
Petros Efstathiadis, Greece
David Favrod, Switzerland
Dominic Hawgood, United Kingdom
Grace Kim, USA
John Mann, USA
Anna Orlowska, Poland
Peter Puklus, Hungary
Eva Stenram, Sweden

Hyeres 2013 selection
Fitting Model at the fashionselection at Felipe Oliveira Baptista's headquarters.

Where is JP Blanc there are always flowers.

The fashion selection meeting, with jury members, festival director JP Blanc and blogger Filep Motwary.

Photography selection: Portfolio of Dominic Hawgood, United Kingdom.

The entry of Petros Efstathiadis, Greece.

Prints of Eva Stenram, Sweden.

Full jury and exhibit lists coming soon, but we’re happy to report that fashion photographer and film maker Pierre Debusschere will be among this year’s exhibitors.

28th International Fashion & Photography Festival
Hyères 2013, April 25 -> 29
at Villa Noailles, Hyères

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cécile bortoletti: homodiegetic serendipity

October 30th, 2012

Beyond its famous fashion & photography festival, Hyères’ Villa Noailles hosts throughout the year a number of photography, fashion, design, architecture and film-related events.

For the annual photography commission, fashion photographer Cécile Bortoletti captured the Mediterranean flora of Hyères over the course of one year, her visions now revealed to us in a new exhibition, “sur-nature”…

by René Habermacher

Sur-Nature exhibition poster. Picture by René Habermacher.

Antoine Asseraf: The title of the exhibition is “sur-nature” [“over-nature”]…

Cecile Bortoletti: It’s a contraction of “super-nature.”

AA: But there’s also a reference to the super-imposition which takes place in some of the pictures…

CB: It was rather complex to get a complete vision of nature around Hyères, very bountiful, luxurious…

I live in the countryside, i take pictures of special moments, but to do something like this, like a one year long walk, I had never done. I had done a series of trees at night for a UNESCO/CNRS exhibit about black matter, with a more scientific aspect, but it wasn’t so scattered in time, with all the seasons, like this project.

RH: What was the challenge compared to your editorial work ?

CB: Managing time… I’ve never worked one year on a project. Even if you know the end date, the exhibition date, it’s difficult to manage it. When you work in fashion, you’re on an addict schedule, everything is last minute, very fast.

And here i was working alone, with a lot of time, many kilometers to explore, time to think, changing weather and moods, and each time I came I thought it was better than the previous time.

It’s a matter of stimuli. I learned many things but I was happy that it ended, it was very intense.

Sur-Nature exhibition view. Photo by René Habermacher.

AA: You’ve come to Hyères for a long time… did some things still surprise you ?

CB: Now I know it much better, I can find my way, and I’ve discovered the salt marshes and its flora, with impressive survival strategies. I didn’t know about that at all, it was a bit like desert flowers…They’re emotional because they look fragile but in fact they’re tough.

As a whole the exhibit shows the fragility of nature, because many times one week later flowers I had shot would no longer be there.

by René Habermacher

Cécile Bortoletti and the salt marsh flowers. Photo by René Habermacher.

Read the rest of this entry »

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charlotte rampling

July 5th, 2012

“the last thing which stimulated me:

the gaze of my cat upon me this morning”

charlotte rampling by antoine asseraf
Charlotte Rampling by Antoine Asseraf for Vogue.fr,

See the full interview on Charlotte Rampling’s exhibition at Maison Européenne de la Photographie on Vogue.fr.

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Astronomy compels the soul to look upward and leads us from this world to another – Plato

June 26th, 2012

Planet Earth is at the center of an observable universe with a 13.7 billion light year radius. Just so you get an idea of what that means, the Moon is only 0.0000000406 light years away (about 357,000km, if that makes it any easier). Paul Klauninger is an astrophotographer who captures some of the beauties of our galaxy, and has been doing so for over 20 years.

Astrophotography remains one of the most complicated forms of photography, but with today’s technology we get images not even Galileo or Newton would have even dreamt of. The Stimuleye catches up with Paul to get a better understanding on this ancient fascination for the Cosmos.

M45-Pleiades star cluster

M45 - Pleiades Star Cluster. Photography by Paul Klauninger.

Miguel Batel: You must be happy winter is over. Last time we went out to the field must have been one of the coldest experiences I’ve ever had.

Paul Klauninger: I have mixed feelings about the winter really. While it can be very challenging to operate your equipment (and your fingers, for that matter) when it is –20o C, there are also a number of benefits. In the winter, the nights are much longer than the summer, so you can do much longer observing and imaging sessions. Also, the air tends to be cleaner, containing less dust and water vapour. That makes it better for imaging. And in the winter, you see a different part of the sky than in the summer, so you can see a completely different collection of celestial wonders. Finally, there are no mosquitoes or black flies in the winter, and that’s always a good thing.

MB: Being mostly subjects you can’t appreciate with your naked eye, or directly interact with, I’m curious to know what kind of emotional attachments you develop with your photographs?

PK: I guess my images are like a photo album of travel pictures, in that they remind me of places that I have visited. While it is true that most of the imaging subjects cannot be seen with the naked eye, my telescopes do in fact, allow me to see these without a camera.

When I look through a telescope at a nebula or galaxy that is thousands or millions of light-years away, I can’t help but wonder about other Earth-like planets in those places, and the potential for other advanced civilizations like our own. And when I see the images I’ve taken of those same places, they remind me of just how much more is out there that our limited vision cannot detect directly.

MB: Which have been some of your most significant or revealing photographs?

PK: One of my most favorite “revealing” images is one I took of the Pleiades star cluster. This is an object that you actually can see with the naked eye. It appears as a small dipper-like formation of seven very bright stars, just to the right of Orion. Not only does the image show these seven stars as brilliant blue beacons in the night, it shows hundreds of surrounding, lesser stars that are also part of that cluster. And the entire collection is wrapped in an ethereal, misty blue nebula. Photographically, it’s just a strikingly beautiful object.

Another favorite is actually a series of images that I took over a span of a few months of a very odd object in our solar system named Comet Holmes. Back in 2007, this dim, obscure little comet suddenly and explosively erupted. In a matter of 24 hours, its brightness increased by a million-fold and it easily became a naked-eye object. Before that, you would have needed a large telescope and sensitive camera to even capture it as dim speck of light. In the weeks after its eruption, it continued to expand and grow until it appeared larger than the full Moon, although nowhere near as bright. However, you could easily see this object as large round fuzzy patch in the sky. It wandered around the sky like that for months, until it gradually faded. I captured a series of images over that time period that nicely shows its growth and evolution. To this day, no one knows what caused this comet to erupt as it did.


Horsehead and Flame Nebulae. Photography by Paul Klauninger.

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The perfect muse: François Sagat

June 1st, 2012

In Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” it is the wooden puppet that possesses sentience prior to its transformation; it is the puppet and not its creator, the woodcarver who triggers the miracle of the doll coming alive.

With François one never knows who pulls the strings. It is him who invokes the sentiment for a story to become alive. Yet he hands himself over unconditionally to his collaborators, like an “instrument to be played”, as he likes to call it.

Film director Christopher Honoré once expressed that François Sagat “redefines the notion of masculinity”.  François, the humble boy from Cognac has moulded himself to unattainable iconic status. Gilded with his blue inked crane, he is to conquer his righteous spot in the pantheon of pop culture…

"François Sagat with Apple" Exhibition SPECTRE, Hyères 2010. Photography by René Habermacher

René Habermacher : you recently played alongside Chiara Mastroianni in HOMME AU BAIN by Christophe Honoré, and as well the lead in Bruce LaBruce L.A. ZOMBIE – how were your experiences?

François Sagat: L.A ZOMBIE was an experience which had very little to do with HOMME AU BAIN… The shoot for LA ZOMBIE was like a real porno shoot, scene by scene, it was mostly fucking, except that of course the porno version was censored for festivals…Beyond the sex scenes, LA ZOMBIE was a chaotic shoot, without a script, hasardous… but I’m still to this day satisfied with this participation and collaboration with Bruce LaBruce, from whom I still have much to learn, and who possesses a huge cinema and litterary culture… Despite what his critics say, I think Bruce has a real style.

During the shoot I really tested my capacity to resist “obstacles”, it was at times very difficult, I didn’t know where I was going, no direction, it was like being thrown in the lion’s den.
There was no script, the storytelling was weak and the whole plan was turned on its head by last minute changes and many cancelations, but that can be said about a lot of “cinema” projects.

L'HOMME AU BAIN by Christophe Honoré, starring Chiara Mastroianni and François Sagat.

Regarding  HOMME AU BAIN, the shooting was a lot more structured, but energetic nevertheless. It’s on this project that I realized that my abilities as an actor were limited, weak even, and felt like I was a big challenge for Christophe Honoré because of my “heavy” image, of the luggage I was carrying.
There were moments when I thought I terrified him, being everything except malleable. The project was constantly evolving due to the fact that we had planned it as a short, and that a lot of questions arose towards the end of shooting. It was finally released as a full feature film, and I have the feeling it wasn’t the right place for the film.

It was an intimate project which to me, with hindsight, would have had a strong impact as a short. But I am neither director nor the creator of my own character.  Rather than control the situation, I felt the blowback. But surely the imperfection of the final result  makes it a real film, that can be remarked and criticized. I chose to shoot it and live the collaboration for the moment rather than think of the finished product.

François Sagat for QVEST magazine. Photography by René Habermacher.

What is the difference to you between acting in a porn movie or a feature film?

The difference ? Of course there are differences.

When you’re a porno actor, you’re in constant control of your carnal envelope and your physical aspect, whether you learn it or you have it from the start.

I didn’t know it as first but I am someone who has that ability. Porn is often an activity for people who are shy orally.

As a performer, you never really have to carry the more or less artistic responsabilities of a porn film, because there is no artistic issue to start with. You just have to be a good soldier fitting what the consumer desires to watch and what the production has decided, and that’s it.

I think also that I am someone who’s very sexual and exhibitiionist, but that’s not really giving you a scoop. Porn is like military service, it’s “my way or the highway”, and in my case, I’ve been and continue to be a good soldier.

The main difference is that you need a capacity to adapt and to lose who you really are, physically as well as morally. I created for myself a character in porn as in life, it’s difficult to let it go.

Video still from PILORI installation by Lynsey Peisinger & The Stimuleye. Villa Noailles, Hyères 2012.

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télé hyères

April 27th, 2012

The Stimuleye presents Télé-Hyères…

A The Stimuleye Production
Directed by Antoine Asseraf
Filmed by Thibault Della Gaspera & Jason Last
Postproduction by Clément Roncier
Interviews by Filep Motwary
Music by Ça Va Chéri

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hyères just a taste… pascale mussard

April 19th, 2012

“Ready to fight like a lionness.”

It’s hard to imagine those words coming from the mouth of Pascale Mussard.
But as art director in a very special company, the “petit h” division of Hermès, she knows how to wait for the right moment before springing into action, while in the meantime keeping an eye for that special quality — talent.

Which makes her the perfect Hyères 2012 jury member.

Pascale Mussard, photography Rene Habermacher © Hyeres 2012

How should luxury be interpreted within a young creator’s work?

At Hermes, an object, a creation, must “speak”. It is nourished by the soul and hand of craftsman. It is designed, created, pampered, shaped, dreamed, ennobled, sublimated. It is made with respect, love, passion. Young creators work must inscribe beauty in use, and use in beauty. Nothing superfluous, only honesty every step of the way: from design to production. As heirs of a noble tradition of craftsmanship, our initiatives must be loyal and the innovative expression of this tradition. It must show our optimism and wonderful ingenuity, that last long and leave all horizons open.

What would you say is key to sustaining a fashion brand in a world like ours which is ever changing?


“L’obligation ardente de toute culture” Hélène Ahrweiller [the impassioned obligation of any culture]

Integrity : Never forget our values, from where you come from and invent objects that will last long, be transmitted and bring joy.

Continue to give testament to the relationship between man and the wisdom flowing from acceptance of nature and the unchangeable beauty of usefulness, by reflecting through craftmanship on the meaning of objects and the importance of the ties within mankind.

New petit h film, produced by Partizan.

The art at Petit h is so colourful, fun, happy. Do you feel that ‘happy’ is a keyword for our fashion era now? For our Hyeres contest, would you look for ‘happiness’ to be an aspect in choosing the winner?

My uncle Jean Louis Dumas was saying “où que vous soyez , refusez de vous embêter, dans un milieu de qualité , ce serait du gâchis.» [wherever you may be, refuse to be bored, in a place of quality it would be a waste.]

Petit h : May be not happy as « youthful» Petit h is indeed linked to childhood, particularly in the way to perceive objects and materials, in a new way without preconceptions or prejudice. It is a light, constant, free creation process which makes this petit “h” the legitimate child of Hermès: though sometimes impertinent, a child that does not cease to grow while learning on the materials, the hands that create, and the values of Hermès. For Hyères, it is a “team” judgment under a very innovative President: Mr Y Yamamoto.

Happiness is always a positive value for me, but innovation, fantasy and talent are more important.

Working for a house as historic and of great heritage as Hermès, how do you encounter the challenge to align new ideas with the skills of traditional craftsmanship?

“During a long time I worked on a one-on-one basis with artists and designers. Then, in 2009, the project truly took off and we started working with a cabinet of accumulated materials and craftsmen who worked closely with the artists (at the time Gilles Joneman, Christian Astuguevielle and Godefroy de Vireu) in the recreation process. The pieces created were then submitted to the family and the artistic direction, and the project was approved for a first sale which went very well, allowing us to keep growing.”

“An artist, designer, “geotrouvetout” [inventor] is invited by me to come to the atelier and to dive into the cabinet of materials – the materials are the source of inspiration for all creations, They must work with what is available. These materials will spark the creative process and discussion between the craftsmen and designers to find a solution that is concrete, realizable and esthetic according to Hermes values and procedures. The creation at Petit h comes primarily from a dialogue between the hands of the craftsmen, the materials and the ideas of the designer.”

Craftsmen and designers do not necessarily have the same priorities. What is the collaboration like?

Si vous écoutez vous finissez par entendre. Et un bon entendeur est plus facilement entendu…

[if you listen you will hear. and a good hearer is more easily heard…]

They have to be able to work together well, be able to respond to their partner. I frequently act as a middle person or a kind of midwife. I encourage the team members and say: “We have never done anything like this before, but why don’t we try it out?” If the designer knows exactly what he wants, then the craftsman has to use all his memory, skill and bring out all the techniques that he knows. Currently, we are working on a life-sized bear which is intended for the exhibition in Berlin (23 April – 12 May). The leather is folded using the origami technique – which is something that is for us completely without precedent. The designer Charles Kaisin calls up frequently to find out how we’re getting on. Last week, one of our craftsmen said he thought he would never be able to realize the idea. But eventually everyone in the studio found a method which works.

An inner connection must be forged between the designer and the craftsman. If this happens then I am prepared to defend their work within the company like a lioness.

What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?

Recently I had the chance , the luck to visit really inspiring places, Naoshima (Japan), Inhotim (Brazil) two sites that offer a unique combination of major contemporary art collection and nature.

Two wonderful projects: A DREAM. Brazil and Japan, two countries very energetic and inspiring for me. A great encounter in Brazil: the architect Marcio Kogan ( Sao Paulo)

This summer a beautiful and peaceful trip: Ladakh.

Hyères Fashion + Photography Festival
April 27-30, 2012

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hyères juste a taste…Alan Bilzerian

April 12th, 2012

Among the crew of fashion wisemen assembled by Yohji Yamamoto in the Hyères 2012 jury is Alan Bilzerian, owner of the eponym Boston boutique, who was kind enough to answer the questions of the Hyères partner blogs…

The Stimuleye
Alan Bilzerian by René Habermacher.

How important is craftsmanship in a collection for you?

Actually, its one of the first points that bring me closer to the designer. It puts a skip in my step when young designers succeed in translating quality.

When looking at the Hyères ranges, what is more important to you, the designer’s ability to conceptualize a range and see it through to its most artistic and expressive, or do you focus strongly on the commercial viability of the ranges?

I feel very uncomfortable about looking at large ranges of any designer. I believe you can exhibit your emotion of design very clearly in short exhibitions. But I look at both the commercial side as well as artistic expression.

How supportive are your consumers to young designers? What is the most challenging aspect of trying to sell a young designer, and what can the designers do about it?

The consumer will listen to us about any new designer and will certainly give it a chance with a try on or touch. The competition is so strong because of the immense amount of product, we feel you need a little push from the editorial side and a strong support system with shops of high caliber.

The corporate fashion conglomerates are assembling more and more brands under their umbrella and control through advertising the exposure of fashion in the editorials.This makes it harder for young, independent designers to create visibility and establish their vision and brands.  How do you see this affecting your work as a buyer?

Its always very challenging to move into new names because in my shops I like consistency to prove that I made the right decision for the customer. The fashion umbrella of the conglomerates are needed as well because of the visible progress shown to the consumer, it helps momentum.

What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?


Hyères Fashion + Photography Festival
April 27-30, 2012

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Everything You Need To Know About Hyères 2012 Fashion + Photo Festival

April 8th, 2012

Everything you need to know about the
Hyères International Fashion + Photography Festival 2012.

April 27-30 2012, Villa Noailles, Hyères, FRANCE.

Fashion + photo juries, fashion shows, exhibitions by Yohji Yamamoto, Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Jason Evans, Chronique Curiosités, Maison Rondini, Matthew Cunnington & John Sanderson, Fabrics Interseason, Lynsey Peisinger & The Stimuleye, Lea Peckre, Celine Meteil, Internationales Fashion + Textile Conferences, The Shoes/TEED/Citizens…

a film by The Stimuleye,
with Lynsey Peisinger and François Sagat.

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HYERES 2012, the photo selection

February 22nd, 2012

How do you reduce 782 applications into a curated selection of 10 photographers ?
Where is photography going today ?
Can the promise of future creation outweigh present output ?

I wouldn’t want to have to answer those questions, but the Hyères photo jury had to.

The Stimuleye Hyeres partner 2012
Hyères 2012 visual, featuring the work of 2011 contestant Ina Jang.

Photographers, curators and critics met under the guidance of photography director Michel Mallard and his team on January 31st to chose 10 photographers whose work would be featured at the 27th edition of the Hyères Fashion + Photo Festival, a festival which revealed in the past talents such as Sølve Sundsbø, Cédric Buchet, Robbie Rodriguez, Caroll Taveras, Linus Bill and 2011’s winner Anouk Kruithoff.

the stimuleye, antoine asseraf
The 2012 photo jury, first row from left to right: Michael Wolf, Carla Sozzani, Michel Mallard,
Second row: James Reid, Aaron Schuman, Hans Gremmen, Raphaelle Stopin, Anne-Céline Jaeger,
Back: Jason Evans.

by antoine asseraf, The Stimuleye

So first they looked.

Then they talked.
And finally they argued.
And then they questioned their choice and started the process all over.
Until at last, they had 10 photographers, from 3 continents.

Of course, come April 27th when the festival starts, these photographers will be competing for the jury’s attention, engaging in a series of one on one interviews and portfolio discussions in the Villa Noailles’ covered galleries, facing a cubist garden.

And yet the ability to spend quality time with high level professionals, to be exhibited next to the works of other 2012 exhibitions such as Inez van Laamswerde + Vinoodh Matadin and Jason Evans is a reward in itself…

The Stimuleye
Photo by 2012 contestant Olga Cafiero.
The Stimuleye
Photo by 2012 contestant Manuel Vazquez.
The Stimuleye
Photo by 2012 contestant Brea Souders.

Hyères International Fashion + Photography Festival
27th edition,
April 27-30 2012,
Villa Noailles, Hyères France.

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January 26th, 2012

Can fashion still dazzle us ? To prove that the answer is “yes” for its 2012 edition, the legendary Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival has invited Yohji Yamamoto to preside its fashion jury…

Hyères 2012
Leather Jacket by Daniel Hurlin, one of the contestants. Photo by René Habermacher.

There is problem in fashion today.
It’s a time of transition, adjusting to the internet, new markets, and the weight of conglomerates.
It’s a time of new opportunities for many.

But it’s also a time where a house like Dior cannot find a replacing designer without causing a game of musical chairs – we are to understand that there are so few established designers out there, that Dior’s next womenswear designer must come from a competing house.
As if there were no young designers up to the job.
As if Galliano himself had had much experience when he started.
The problem is, today, that it’s become increasingly tough for young designers to develop their  visual aesthetic independently, starting from scratch.
And if young designers can’t develop their style, be allowed to mature and establish themselves, well, there won’t be any mature designers around when Dior  needs one.

hyeres 2012 selection Silhouettes

The submitted silhouettes of the 10 contestants. Photo by René Habermacher.

Luckily, there is Hyères.
Since 1985, the Hyères Fashion and Photography Festival, located on the Côte d’Azur in the South of France, has promoted the work of young designers by putting them in contact with the industry’s top professionals, organizing for them  state-of-the-art  fashion shows and drawing an audience of buyers and press from all over the world, giving them the chance to make a first impression.
Hyères has given us Viktor & Rolf, Felipe Oliveira Baptista (Lacoste), Gaspard Yurkievitch, and many others who now run the studios of the biggest houses.

Hyères 2012 selection jury

The Hyères 2012 Selection jury.

This Hyères (forgive the pun), Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto has invited an all-star group to join him in the fashion jury: photographer Paolo Roversi, curator Jules Wright, Galliera fashion museum director Olivier Saillard, creative director Marc Ascoli, buyer Alan Bazarian, Hermès art director Pascale Mussard, and i-D magazine’s Terry Jones were all present to go through the dossiers of the applicants.

Olivier Saillard

Jury member Olivier Saillard examining a dossier.

After hours of looking at dossiers and submitted looks, and additional hours of deliberation, the selection jury chose 4 men’s and 6 women’s looks from designers coming not only from traditional Western European countries but also from Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Finland and Estonia.

The designers now have 2 months to complete 6 more looks from their collection(and a special Chloé look) before flying in to Hyères in April and being prepped by fashion director Maïda Gregory for the jury and presentations, fashion shows and showrooms happening over the 3 days of the festival.  In addition to a Grand Jury Prize (15 000 Euros by L’Oreal Professionel) and a Première Vision Prize (10 000 euros), they’ll also be competing for a new Chloé prize, with a specially designed look.

Paolo Roversi

Photographer Paolo Roversi saluting us as he leaves the Yohji Yamamoto HQ. Photo by René Habermacher.

Check back with us soon for interviews of the jury members and news about the photo competition as well…

Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival
April 27-30th, 2012
Villa Noailles, Hyères, France

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