The 10 shortlisted photographers will now exhibit their work at Hyères in the striking Villa Noailles. They’ll spend the opening weekend of the festival, from 21-25 April, discussing their works with the jury – photographers William Klein and Clare Strand; curators Susan Bright and Christopher Littlewood (director of photography at Flowers Gallery); founder and director of Webber Represents agency, Chantal Webber; set designer Jean-Michel Bertin; and illustrator and stage director Jean-Paul Goude. “The idea is not to have a portfolio review – it’s very informal,” says Stopin. “That’s what makes the difference between Hyères and other portfolio events.”
The winner will be announced at the festival, but prior to that, one of the shortlisted photographers will be commissioned to shoot the shortlisted designers’ work for the catalogue and, in a new feature this year, all 10 will be asked to take two still lifes with fashion accessories, also for the catalogue. In doing so, Stopin hopes to encourage the fashion editors and designers attending the festival to think more widely about the kinds of image-makers they can work with.
“Ten years ago or so the fashion industry was rather different – the editorial industry was engaging more with young photographers, and was more willing to commission them,” says Stopin, adding that even those who had only done personal work could still land a project.
“We commission these fashion shoots as an example – to show that even though they [the shortlisted photographers] don’t usually take fashion pictures, their specific visual language can be applied to a commission, if the commissioner has an open mind.”
William Klein’s work will also be on show at Hyères this year, in an exhibition focusing on his fashion photography and his film Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? – a satire of the fashion industry that is 50 years old this year. Last year’s winning photographer Sjoerd Knibbeler will also have a solo show. The exhibitions are open to the public until 22 May.
First published in the April 2016 issue.