le19M Métiers d’art and l’Atelier des Matières prizes

by Alain Chivilò


The creations of the ten finalists in the 2023 Fashion competition for le19M Métiers d’art prize and L’Atelier des Matières prize. Maison Chanel and the 38th International Festival of Fashion photography and Accessories, Hyères. 

Below, an overview by Chanel from the selected designers and their creations.

London-based Welsh designer Alec Bizby. For his project with the leather goods maker Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte as part of le19M Métiers d’art prize, the designer imagined two bags composed of leather offcuts from the factory. The first is a fringed black bag with a handle crafted from a piece of wood his father had found and kept. The second is a pink shoulder bag with a sculpted resin handle that evokes the hawthorn growing around his family’s mountain-top farm. The long fringes seem to float in the wind; the different shades of pink blend and merge – in an echo of the climatic conditions of his region. For the L’Atelier des Matières prize, the techniques of patching work uniforms and sashiko – a Japanese hand-embroidery technique used to repair used garments – inspired him to create a handmade embroidery using mohair. The designer has completely deconstructed the fabric and reworked the threads into fringes at the bottom of shorts and on the sleeves of a jumper. Once tied together, the threads are machine-knitted to highlight the neckline.

For his collection, Bo Kwon Min offers a personal and poetic vision of megacities and the relationships between the people who inhabit them. For the L’Atelier des Matières prize, Bo Kwon Min was guided by his instinctive choice of materials. The designer selected a particularly rigid fabric with sharp, clean edges that posed a very real challenge of reconciling the structural elements with an aesthetic appeal. As part of le19M Métiers d’art prize, the Seoul-based South Korean designer collaborated with Paloma, a flou specialist, to create a crinoline that evokes the architecture and contours of buildings that are both places to live and work. The piece can be transformed using press studs, illustrating the idea of ‘transformability’ that is central to his collection. Indeed, the different silhouettes imagined by Bo Kwon Min have been designed to evolve over time, like a reaction to fatigue and the constant desire for newness, all while considering the imperative of sustainability. Paloma’s expertise brought this crinoline – a shape dear to the designer’s heart – to life, responding to his imagination. Thin strips of aluminium, five centimetres high and laid horizontally, form a fixed frame, covered with a black woollen fabric, each corner of which is fixed with joints and screws. This frame is then held in place by supple vertical straps made from strips of black grosgrain.

For le19M des Métiers d’art prize, Chinese Fengyuan Dai collaborated with glovemaker Causse. Both synonymous with elegance and protection, the glove embodies the contrasts dear to the designer, who embellishes them with straps or swathes them in organza, braids and overlocked finishes, contrasting with the texture of the leather. With the complicity of Causse, Fengyuan Dai brings new materials to life, playing with stripes and checks, contrasting the rigour of lines with the softness and poetry of pastel toned gradations. For the L’Atelier des Matières prize, Fengyuan Dai also called on the glovemaker Causse. Inspired by the contrast between the transparency of organza and the opacity of leather, the designer has created lace-effect gloves to complement his collection.

Swiss designer Gabrielle Huguenot draws the portrait of a “snake woman”, an imaginary muse that she herself embodies in the shows, performances and photo shoots featuring her creations. Presented in the dedicated showroom throughout the Festival, her creations conjure up fictional characters such as the robot-women from the Austin Powers saga and Poison Ivy. These powerful, complex female figures represent a heightened and often eroticised femininity, blending the codes of science fiction and fetishism. Pairs of studded pumps adorned with silver balls, a huge sautoir necklace made of metal rings, organically shaped bags, a cuff bracelet sculpted like a large insect resting on the forearm. These futuristic creations, embellished with large, coloured stones, blur the boundaries between jewellery, object and work of art. Gabrielle Huguenot makes a point of using recycled metals as the starting point for her creative process, in an approach that is both experimental and responsible.

For le19M Métiers d’art prize, Belgian designer Igor Dieryck collaborated with feather and flower maker Lemarié. In keeping with the witty, surreal aesthetic of his collection, the designer imagined a down jacket with short sleeves and a hood inspired by a feather duster, a nod to the hotel industry as well as to the House’s historic savoir-faire with feathers. Lemarié’s artisans have created hand-dyed chiffon ‘feathers’ in two shades of yellow to create a trompe-l’oeil effect. From the vast array of techniques offered by the House, the designer chose to fray this delicate, transparent fabric to give it a “destroyed”, embossed finish. The designer compares this time-consuming art of illusion and attention to detail to the difference between the experience of a hotel guest and the behind-the-scenes world to which only the staff have access. This flamboyant creation also embodies a tension between extremely meticulous craftsmanship and the banality of an everyday object. Igor Dieryck, winner of the Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision at the The 38th International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories – Hyères.

For le19M Métiers d’art prize, South Korean designer LJ, Jung Eun Lee, has created five pieces of jewellery and fastening systems in pewter and gilded brass, in collaboration with the goldsmith Goossens. Moving away from the symbols and materials traditionally associated with luxury and opulence – gold, precious stones, etc. – the designer explores animal parts generally perceived as disturbing or repulsive, such as chicken feet which become earrings and a necklace. Emphasising the ephemeral nature of life, and particularly of the animal kingdom, cuff bracelets are adorned with butterflies to express the individual’s connection to nature. The designer imagines interactions between the body and what adorns or dresses it. The different finishes offered by Goossens reinforce the illusion and impression of movement, with the jewellery becoming an integral part of the silhouettes.

For le19M Métiers d’art prize, Finnish designer Leevi Ikäheimo has redeployed Maison Michel’s historic hat-making expertise by designing a plastron in moulded yellow lambskin inspired by children’s toys. This sculpted torso in leather and felt, attached at the back by two straps, was a long-standing idea of the designer’s that Maison Michel’s expertise finally allowed him to realise. A limewood block was specially developed by the ateliers. His silhouette, competing for the L’Atelier des Matières prize, falls in line perfectly with the idea of a party wardrobe. This after-party look, consisting of a black jumpsuit, “muscle” gloves and mask, turns the spotlight on his leather work.

As part of le19M Métiers d’art prize, Spanish designer Marc Sanz Pey worked with the Montex embroidery atelier to decorate a jacket from his collection. A fusion of a leather jacket and a tailcoat, it combines punk counterculture with the elegant tailoring inherited from the history of men’s suits. With a nod to pirate flags, the voluminous embroidery created by Montex represents a skeleton made of cowrie shells, an ocean native that recalls the self-sufficiency of pirates travelling the high seas. For the L’Atelier des Matières prize, the designer wanted to highlight his choice of fabrics by creating a silhouette guided by the rich texture of the materials. Playing on the contrast between transparency and opacity – like an echo of the culture shock that inspired his collection – a wool etamine jumpsuit whose transparency reveals the body, is belted with a leather corset laser-engraved with floral motifs. These two pieces can be adjusted with a set of buckles to suit all body shapes. A short-sleeved overshirt inspired by a tailcoat revealing the chest is adorned with skeleton-like branches surging with delicate flowers, cut, painted and assembled by hand. A metaphor for his collaboration with the atelier, which brings sleeping fabrics back to life.

For le19M des Métiers d’art prize, French designer Norman Mabire-Larguier has created a long tubular garment in black silk organza, entirely pleated. Like a chrysalis, it moulds and partially hinders the body all while subtly revealing it through its transparency. Under the impetus of the designer, the pleats by the House of Lognon became a material in their own right, going beyond embellishment. After an initial collaboration, Norman Mabire-Larguier and Lognon developed the designer’s own pleating technique, which is now part of his creative vocabulary. The extremely fine fabric is meticulously pleated over a great height by six or eight hands, working in perfect synchronicity. His creation for the L’Atelier des Matières prize is conceived as a highly architectural ‘abstraction’ of a jacket, which partially constrains the body. The piece is made entirely of black, transparent synthetic horsehair, a rigid material more usually employed as reinforcement inside tailored garments.

For le19M Métiers d’art prize, Portuguese designer Tiago Bessa collaborated with parurier Desrues to create an accessory that combines metal adorned with welded clasps and 3D-printed resin with a metallic finish. The organic shape of the piece follows the contours of the face, inspired by the network of muscles and bones that make it up. For the L’Atelier des Matières prize, Tiago Bessa designed an evening dress with organic curves symbolising his struggle with gender dysphoria. This piece, made from a particularly delicate and complex material, combines elements from each of the looks in his collection with the clasps used in his collaboration with parurier Desrues for le19M Métiers d’art prize.

Born into a family of Bavarian tailors, Valentin Lessner combines traditional garments, avant-garde cuts and hyper-realistic materials in his collections, all while preserving and reinterpreting artefacts and objects from the past. It is this concept that once again has inspired the designer for his capsule collection called “Hinterland”, produced in collaboration with the Fashion Métiers d’art and the support of CHANEL and le19M. Winner of last year’s le19M Métiers d’art Prize for his collaboration with Montex (two-tone Japanese cotton denim overalls with a trompe-l’oeil effect, embellished with fur-effect mohair embroidery) German designer Valentin Lessner chose this year to work with leatherworkers Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte and the goldsmith Goossens. 

Thaddé Comar, winner of the 7L Photography Grand Jury Prize; the House of CHANEL once again partnered, now alongside the 7L Bookshop, with the Grand Prix of the Photography Jury, awarding 20,000 euros to the Franco-Swiss photographer Thaddé Comar. This year the prize has been renamed the 7L Photography Grand Jury Prize. Acquired in 2021 by CHANEL, 7L was founded in 1999 by Karl Lagerfeld in Paris. 7L stands for 7, rue de Lille, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, and for Karl Lagerfeld’s lucky number.

Winner of the Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision 2022, Jenny Hytönen received a grant worth €20,000 enabling her to collaborate with the Maisons d’art of her choice on new creations, presented during the two shows and in the showroom of this 38th edition of the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories – Hyères. For her cyborg-inspired collection, following on from the silhouettes presented last year, the Finnish designer chose to call on Lesage and Paloma, located at le19M, to create an organza dress embroidered using the Lunéville crochet and needlework.

Winner of the Grand Prix of the Accessories Jury in 2022 for his collection of men’s leather goods entitled “Static”, Joshua Cannone was awarded a grant worth 20,000 euros for a new design project with the Métiers d’art of his choice. Following on from his collection presented last year, the French designer continues to warn against the excess of capitalism. His new creations, to be discovered throughout the festival, take an uncompromising look at the omnipresence of violence in contemporary society.

On 15th October 2023, at the closing ceremony of the 38th International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories – Hyères, Petra Fagerstrom won the L’Atelier des Matières Prize, established in 2022 and awarded for the second year running for the creation of a silhouette using materials from the atelier. Following on from her “Flying Grandma” collection, inspired by her grandmother who was a parachutist during the USSR, the Swedish designer created an asymmetric skirt in pleated leather combined with a short, fitted jacket inspired by aviator jackets. On the back, the leather was aged to reveal the internal construction of the jacket, like the imprint of a parachute harness. A large bow adorns the collar of the jacket, combined with metal details reminiscent of parachute straps. The collection designed by Petra Fagerstrom pays tribute to this tutelary figure, her courage and her dreams, by mixing army surplus clothing, parachutes rendered sublime by a pleating technique, pyjamas and nightdresses with floral motifs. Playing on the contrasts between strength and delicacy, protection and extreme lightness, she confronts propaganda and oppression with dreams and a desire for freedom.

In this short presentation by Chanel, were presented the projects, the ideas, the creations and the awards of the designers here mentioned.


©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo

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