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Thomas Trautwein, "Bandit Couture". All photograph
Thomas Trautwein, "Bandit Couture". All photographs by Amira Fritz, winner of 2008's photography prize at Hyeres.

Hyères We Go

The 24th international fashion and photography festival in the south of France is kicking off and it could be a menswear affair.

Hyères, pronounced 'Yeah' gives way to a number of postive word plays - Hyères is the air, yay for Hyères and indeed, Hyères we go. There's good reason for the enthusiasm given that the festival's unique selling point is year after year, a big draw for fashion professionals. Ten young designers are brought together at the stunning Villa Noailles, the cubist villa built in the 20s' by Mallet-Stevens that houses exhibitions in locations like an empty indoor pool. A fashion show is set up on the beach and then the designers are judged by a formidable jury which in the past have included Alaia, Margiela and Lagerfeld.  This year, the fashion jury will be presided over by Kris Van Assche and also includes Dazed co-founder Jefferson Hack too. The history of winners that have made it big is equally impressive; Sandra Backlund, Henrik Vibskov, Ute Ploier and Romain Kremer. Stakes are raised even higher this year with an extra prize of EUR15,000 added in the pot courtesy of Swarovski, cementing their position in supporting young fashion talent.

We could yet see an interesting twist to the 24th edition of the competition as there are four menswear collections in the final selection of fashion designers and in the history of the competition, no menswear designer has ever won. Here is the first Vlog produced by A Shaded View on Fashion introducing us to the designers and giving us a taste of what is to come this weekend at Hyères.

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