The Villa Noailles: a place designed for creation.

  • May 13, 2013

954469_10152491219442588_635090070_nThe Villa Noailles' extensions - the swimming pool's terrace.

954477_10152491219462588_99249176_nThe Villa Noailles' cubist garden, designed in 1925 by architect Gabriel Guévrékian.

911526_10152491219437588_1472548541_nThe Villa Noailles' square.

912732_10152491219452588_1555630624_nThe Villa Noailles' square - detail.

912726_10152491219487588_418765522_nNorwegian stylist Damien Ravn's womenswear collection.

911703_10152491219482588_7308638_nDutch stylist Yvonne Poei-Yie Kwok's womenswear collection.

The International Festival of Fashion and Photography took place in France a few weeks ago. The prestigious jury, headed by Felipe Oliveira Batista and notably including Imran Amed, joint editor-in-chief of Numéro, Mark Holgate, director of fashion news at Vogue USA and photographers Liesbeth Abbenes and Maurice Scheltens to name but a few, was there to award very promising young designers.

This renowned fashion and creative event was the occasion for us to have a closer look at the unique Villa Noailles, which warmly welcomed this year’s new talents. Do you like places that seem timeless, full of stories? If so, you have to go to the South of France, in the beautiful city of Hyères. Then, look up, and up again. Perched on a beautiful green land full of flowers, dominating the city with a beautiful view over the front sea – here it is, spotless, haughty. We could easily imagine there ‘The Great Gatsby’ kind of parties.

Built between 1924 and 1932 by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens and including a cubist garden, the Villa Noailles is one of the very first modernist style buildings constructed in France – a wish of her passionate owners, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles. Modern arts lovers, they became patrons and discovered some of the most famous artists of nowadays, in varied creative areas: painting with Salvador Dali, sculpture with Giacometti, interior design with Jean-Michel Franck and cinema with Man Ray, who filmed one of his masterpieces, ‘The Mysteries of the Castle of Dice’, in the villa…

The avant-gardist soul of this house also predisposed it to introduce and promote all types of young creators; the Villa Noailles is indeed well known today because of its International Festival of Fashion and Photography, originally launched in 1985. Gathering young talents in fashion and photography, this event is now a reference and has the reputation to discover future top fashion designers – Viktor & Rolf, Gaspard Yurkievich and Felipe Oliveira Baptista once presented their collection there. Despite a raining weather, the highly creative spirit of Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles still strongly possessed the place during this year’s 28th edition.

 

Claire Bonnot for TCD.

 

Villa Noailles, Hyères, France.

Permanent exhibition – open all the year round, except in January, April and June (closed for 15 days due to new settings).

International Festival of Fashion & Photography, 3 days every year in mid-April.

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