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Dinan Festival showcases future fashion talent to a fast-paced industry

By Florence Julienne


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Dinan International Festival of Fashion Creators 2023. Credits: Jean-Louis Coulombel

From October 27 to October 29, 2023, the International Festival of International Fashion Designers in Dinan showcased ten finalists, all of whom had the know-how to meet the sector's needs in terms of employability. Léo Lemée won the competition.

It's hardly surprising, then, that the grand prize won by Léo Lemée included donations from a number of colleges offering practical courses. Starting with the Académie Internationale de Coupe in Paris, which teaches the technical aspects of model making (pattern making, moulding, grading, flat cutting and tracing). The training is both manual and digital, and meets the needs of the sector for skills that are being lost to retirement, among other reasons.

When Jean-Luc François, President of the eponymous incubator, told the finalists of the 2023 edition at the conference organised on Friday October 27, 2023 at Dinan Town Hall that someone who could sew a buttonhole by hand had been fortunate enough to be hired at Hermès, a wave of disillusionment swept through the audience. Perhaps these young people, who have gone through long and expensive studies, dream of something other than sewing buttonholes, even for Hermès?

Dinan International Festival of Fashion Creators 2023. Credits: F. Julienne

That said, Jean Luc François does have a point, and all the speakers seem to agree with him: the shortage of manpower in fashion is not stylists or artistic directors, but so-called " 'small hands'. These are the kinds of jobs that the fashion and luxury industry is recruiting for. And Grégoire Willerval, the 2018 finalist, will not contradict this, having become the "Mr 3d of fashion" after creating his own label. He has become the "Mr 3d of fashion" after setting up his own label, and has become a fixture on the fashion scene, designing 3d models for the Laruicci and N° 28 labels, and dressing the LVMH Group's virtual influencer Livi.

The ten finalists are well aware of this and, according to Sylvie Pourrat, director of the Premiere Classe trade show and member of the jury chaired by the founders of On Aura Tout Vu, have no intention of going it alone. In this respect, this festival, chaired with strength and determination by Dominique-Damien Réhel, is a purveyor of new talent. And the Dinan audience, invited to take part, is not mistaken, always present whatever the weather.

Léo Lemée may have thought things through 180 degrees, but the finalists all have valuable expertise

The Dinan Festival 2023 Grand Prize went to Léo Lemée, whom FashionUnited profiled in a previous article. His collection is the result of a comprehensive education in brand creation. Trained at the Paris fashion school LISAA Mode, he was unanimously selected for the first prize by the members of the jury. His collection will be presented in a boutique belonging to the French National Clothing Federation (FNH) network, chaired by jury member Pierre Talamon.

Léo Lemée Credits: Jean-Louis Coulombel
Léo Lemée Credits: F. Julienne

Secondly, Armand Rousseau was awarded the Royal Mer prize, which gave him the opportunity to design a collection for the brand. A graduate of the public college of art and design École Duperré in Paris, his work in angora/cashmere knits and his original placement of stripes will shine a spotlight on this knitter since 1946, with a strong Breton identity. The young man is currently working with Maestro, the label created by the Belgian singer Stromae, in Portugal.

Armand Rousseau Credits: Maël Roussel
Armand Rousseau Credits: F. Julienne

Thirdly, Lois Cousin received the Texpertise Prize which includes a 1000 euro cash prize donated by Messe Frankfurt. On the stage of the Théâtre des Jacobins, Michael Scherpe, CEO of Seme SA, the official Messe Frankfurt delegation for France and Monaco, explains that he was struck by the way in which this young man, who has just graduated from Lisaa Mode, works. He was inspired by the architectural plans his parents used to draw, and then used them in 2D to create new shapes and silhouettes using technical fabrics.

Loïs Cousin Credits: Maël Roussel
Loïs Cousin Credits: F. Julienne

Adrian Sas of Chardon Savard wowed the audience with a men's wardrobe inspired by Victorian dandies. The 2023 version was a cross between the bathrobe of Hugh Efner, founder of the charm magazine Playboy, and escort-boy outfits, all embroidered and painted by hand. His collection won the Dinan Territoire Commerçant public prize ( 1200 euros).

Adrian Sas Credits: Maël Roussel
Adrian Sas Credits: F. Julienne

The other competitors were: Lilas Ferdi, Angelo Tasca and Tioukel N'Dyaye (Lisaa Mode), who specialise in pattern-making/prototyping, urban tailoring and knitwear respectively. Garance Barreteau (Esmod) works with sport swear volumes. Emilie Gervaise (also from Esmod) takes a nogender approach. Finally, Sara Liard (Chardon Savard) is interested in the ennoblement of materials, in particular with a dress adorned with small press studs to adapt it to the shape of the female body. It's an adaptability that goes hand in hand with the adaptability needed to run a fashion festival, wherever it may be in France.

Lilas Ferdi Credits: F. Julienne
Angelo Tasca Credits: F. Julienne
Garance Barreteau Credits: F. Julienne
Emilie Gervaise Credits: F. Julienne
Sara Liard Credits: F. Julienne

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and edit from French into English: Veerle Versteeg.

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