I couldn’t resist but use Nathalie Doucet, my hotel roomie in Hyeres, and organiser of the Arts of Fashion competition, as a prime example of meticulous vintage pickings.  At first glance, one might not immediately point out her two black dresses to be vintage.  The first one is from the 1940’s but with the satin front panels would not look out of line with say a Martin Margiela collection.  The second one from a later period has a curved subtle bubble hem and darts in the dress that is again could be mistaken for Balenciaga (Ghesquiere or Cristobal…).  Nathalie bought them both in San Francisco where they weren’t dear at all.  I think I’ll aspire to be a lot more discerning with the type of vintage I buy if the effects are as contemporary as these dresses.  Not being able to afford high fashion yet being able to emulate it in a smart way is probably something I’ve banged on about enough times so thank you Nathalie for showing me a live example. 



I couldn’t resist but use Nathalie Doucet, my hotel roomie in Hyeres, and organiser of the Arts of Fashion competition, as a prime example of meticulous vintage pickings.  At first glance, one might not immediately point out her two black dresses to be vintage.  The first one is from the 1940’s but with the satin front panels would not look out of line with say a Martin Margiela collection.  The second one from a later period has a curved subtle bubble hem and darts in the dress that is again could be mistaken for Balenciaga (Ghesquiere or Cristobal…).  Nathalie bought them both in San Francisco where they weren’t dear at all.  I think I’ll aspire to be a lot more discerning with the type of vintage I buy if the effects are as contemporary as these dresses.  Not being able to afford high fashion yet being able to emulate it in a smart way is probably something I’ve banged on about enough times so thank you Nathalie for showing me a live example. 



Telling a workaholic like me to chillax is pretty much like getting a dog to stop barking (insert any animal analogy there….. the dog just sprang to mind).  I am one of those unfortunate souls who can’t lie on a beach doing nothing for two weeks.  Therefore escaping to Hy√®res for the Festival of Fashion and Photography on Thursday (and I’m still here…) was the happy compromise.  Up high on the hills of Southern France nestles the Villa Noailles, a 1920’s Cubist architectural feat conceived by Mallet-Stevens where on the freshly mowed lawns, young designers, established designers, the discerning fashion press and the movers and shakers of the fashion world come together in a celebration of fashion and photography talent.  Without the frenzy of fashion capitals, you have time to take stock, breathe a little, meander around the villa slowly taking it all in – the designers rooms (each fashion competition entrant gets their own room to create a homage to their collections), the exhibitions, the photographers’ competition exhibit (many more pics to come later…if you can take it).  To some extent, there’s a certain like mindeness about the people who attend Hy√®res which makes it all the easier to start discussing about fashion with others.  It’s not what one would call mainstream yet there is a non-commercial esteem here that makes it unique.  There seems to be a very purist attitude towards fashion nurtured here, where all the frippery of fashion gets stripped away and you are left with the core of looking at design itself.  All this might sound a little ‘Woosh….over the head a little….’ but at the same time, it’s not elitist either as the local community of Hy√®res get involved heavily and are attendees themselves. 

Conclusion?  A weekend at Hy√®res has certainly been the chicken soup I needed whilst not switching my brain off completely.   




>>Apologies for the period of having scary Photobucket Bandwidth Exceeded images instead of the more aesthetically pleasing offerings.  Being happy in Hyeres means I obviously forgot to renew my Photobucket Pro membership.  All should be well now and if you are still seeing those images, I would close the browser down and restart again.  Sorry for the temporary ugliness of the blog!  Hope newcomers weren’t too peturbed…