Oct 20, 2020
Hyères Fashion Festival recognises Belgian designer Tom Van der Borght’s wild creativity
Oct 20, 2020
On Sunday, Tom Van der Borght, a Belgian designer whose clothes one must “dare to wear”, made with recycled materials “no one wants any more,” won the main prize at the international fashion and photography festival in Hyères, France.
Van der Borgh’s wacky, colourful collection, brimming with decorative appliqué that quiver like molluscs or antennae, won over the public and the fashion prize’s jury at the 35th edition of the Hyères Festival, the longest-standing emerging designer competition in France.
“I want to find a new definition of luxury. We’re used to traditional luxe materials, like gold or leather. I love using things that others don’t find interesting,” the fashion designer and performance artist Van der Borght, 42, told AFP news agency.
In his collection, an acid-coloured sweater is made from plastic filament used to display product prices on store shelves. A ‘marine leather’ handbag is manufactured with reclaimed fish scales, a sushi industry by-product. Van der Borght uses traditional techniques like macramé and patchwork, but his luxe twist lies in giving a new life to materials and items destined for the scrap heap. Such as stocks of sequins bought from local traders and samples of synthetic fur made with plant fibres, with which he stitched together a yellow and electric blue overcoat.
How easy are his clothes to wear?
“You can wear them if you dare,” quipped Van der Borght. “The future of fashion lies outside a highly limiting, conformist box, it's time to get rid of all restrictions,” he added.
The jury’s prize for the fashion accessories competition went to French designers Ddiddue and Juana Etcheberry. Theirs is a refined aesthetic, the polar opposite of Van der Borght’s, but they operate with a similar approach, creating hats with objects “destined for the landfill.”
“We go for wellington boots, paraglider canvas, parachute containers and flowerpots. We work on them (...) using Japanese -style topstitching, like ancient samurai clothes,” Etcheberry told AFP.
The brother and sister duo also won the prize sponsored by luxury label Hermès, new to this edition, for their graphic-style leather bracelet encircled by levitating metallic rings, which they defined as “both airy and protective.” Again for accessories, French-Syrian designer Oubadah Nouktah won the public's award, while the jury’s special prize went to French designers Antonin Mongin, Florian Dach and Dimitri Zephir.
Among other winners, French designers Marvin M Toumo and Emma Bruschi, who were awarded respectively the Chloé Prize and the 19M Prize sponsored by Chanel’s Métiers d'art. As for the photography prizes, Guanyu Xu from China won the jury prize, Andras Ladocsi from Hungary won the American Vintage prize, while the public's award went to Dutch photographer Dustin Thierry.
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