This year, two Latvian designers are among the ten finalists of the prestigious Hyères International Festival fashion competition: Laima Jurča with the collection Collective Blanket, created in collaboration with the artist Marta Veinberga, and Elīna Siliņa with the collection For Sally. The winners of the competition of the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion accessories will be announced in October and will receive a grant of 20,000 euros, as well as the opportunity to cooperate with the fashion house Chanel.
Hyères Festival is one of the oldest fashion competitions supporting young professionals. Since the start of the competition back in 1986, Latvian designers have been nominated six times — with fashion designers Rolands Pēterkops and Mārīte Mastiņa–Pēterkopa (Mareunrol’s) who won the competition in 2009, Agnese Narņicka (One Wolf), Tomass Bērziņš (Victoria/Tomas) and Dita Enikova being among the finalists.
Collective Blanket by Laima Jurča and Marta Veinberga
The collection Collective Blanket by designer Laima Jurča and artist Marta Veinberga is based on the idea of upcycling. This time, the new product — a clothing collection — recreates the visual and conceptual material of an existing work of art, thus allowing it to reach a wider audience. The graphic identity of the collection is based on Marta Veinberga’s paintings, which are made from store promotion stickers and describes the unfulfilled dreams of contemporary society. The collection depicts a utopian combination of two eras, which manifests itself as a cross between advertising, trivial aesthetics of stickers and Soviet reminiscences in clothing silhouettes. The presence of Soviet-ness here also symbolises the idea of longing. The clothes are made of digitally printed fabrics and Soviet-era helmets decorated with stickers are used as accessories.
Laima Jurča reveals that both artists applied for the competition because they wanted to give their collection a chance to prove itself. When preparing the application for the competition, the main thing was to achieve a result that satisfies themselves, and, being aware of the strong competition, they did not have high hopes for entering the final. The designer admits: «The emotions I felt when hearing our name among the finalists were indescribable.» Currently, both artists are ready for the adventure of the Hyères Festival and are looking forward to the final show in October.
For Sally by Elīna Siliņa
The visual identity of the collection is permeated by flowing lines in combination with deconstructed fashion elements of the eighties and handicrafts. In the creation of the collection, designer Elīna Siliņa used yarn from her grandmother’s closet, as well as materials from production leftovers and second-hand shops. The inspiration behind Elīna’s collection is rooted in her childhood: «My childhood is unimaginable without the American TV series The Bold and the Beautiful. It was the backdrop to which all my family’s daily activities took place. I remember knitting and dreaming of becoming a fashion designer just like Sally Spektra. Sally was a bright and colourful personality that reminded me of my always bold and colourfully dressed mom. This collection is a tribute to my wonderful mother Daiga and the ever-shining Sally. These women always inspire and encourage me to follow my dreams.»
The designer admits that she has been dreaming of participating in the festival since Mareunrol’s participation in 2009. She considers it a great honour to make it to the finals. «This opportunity to show myself to the world means a lot to me and I feel that the door to achieving my goals is starting to open,» says Elīna. She is pleased that the Hyères Festival places special emphasis on sustainability of fashion, as it is also the basis of her artistic language.
The 36th edition of the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion accessories, Hyères, will take place between Thursday 14th and Sunday 17th October 2021 and the exhibitions will be open to the public until January 2022.