It’s nice when young designers who don’t have the backing to start on their own, can find a venu where they have the chance to launch perhaps themselves into a career or at least get recognized in public. Designers can further their careers by getting their MFA degree. This competition is an annual contest, Podium Jeunes Stylistes, and in it’s third year. It is a leg up for these kinds of designers and serves the very purpose of helping them get recognition.
The cotestants are given a theme : this year was « Schizophrenia »; a material : silk crêpe this year; and a limited amout of time : 100 days. They are required to create two couture pieces and one prête-à-porter piece. They are judged only on the couture pieces. The winner recieves the opportunity to have training at ESCP Europe for Paris Factory Mode & Design as well as having their winning creations put on display at the Apparel Sourcing Paris trade show Feb. 13th-16th. Presiding the jury was Monsieur Christophe Josse himself and at his side as the honorary president of the jury was Monsieur Michael Scherpe.
I was thrilled to be invited to this event, because I am always intrigued and excited to see young fashion as it emerges. I think that some of the rawest creativity comes out when designers are young, and it is important to allow that side of the fashion world to breathe. These are designs that are not yet deluded by demands of the markets and number crunchers who want to sell, sell, sell… These are artists allowing their creativity to run wild in their truest expression of themselves and their ideas! It’s young and fresh and full of hopes and dreams.
See all the designs from the 15 finalists at the show in Paris at the Westin hotel February 8th. Photos by Romain Nicolas.
Lou De testa (Contest Winner)
Check out our quick pre-show video of her explaining her designs, which are focusing on the contrast between confinement and aggressivity. She shows this in the difference between sharp metallic embellishments versus soft feathery embellishments, or the clothing columes and color contrasts. Lou is 24 years old and full of energy! She has already won other fashion design awards and has worked at Vogue USA and Alexander Wang. She has created her own brand two years ago.
Paul May (Honorary Jury Prize)
We were especially impressed by his craftmanship and so was the jury as they decided on their own accord to award this young man with an honorary mention, that was so deserved. It should be mentioned that Paul May was the only contestant to create designs for men for this contest.