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Garment Landscape by Hyères laureate Satu Maaranen 0

Hyères – the place where fashion's future stars are made," writes The Telegraph, while The Financial Times lists it among the world's top ten fashion events.

The 28th International Hyères Fashion and Photography Festival just took place in April and May, but its laureate Satu Maaranen from Helsinki (who graduated from Aalto University last Christmas), has already been pulled into the whirlwind whipped up by world-famous recognition. Last week her award-winning women's clothing collection, “Garment Landscape”, was shown during Berlin's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

The “Garment Landscape” collection is sculptural and painterly, and was inspired by land-art and the high fashion of the 1960s. Color and textural combinations were taken from observations of nature. Maaranen has been interested in art, form, pattern and prints since she was a schoolgirl, and it was in fashion that she saw the opportunity to combine all of the above through the telling of a story. She has already spent several years designing fabric for the legendary Marimekko label of Finland.

The Hyères Fashion and Photography Festival has been held in the oldest resort town on the French Riviera since 1985, and has had on its jury the very peaks of the fashion world, such as Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano, among others. Previous winners of the contest have included Viktor&Rolf and Denmark's Henrik Vibskov, as well asMareunrol's from Latvia. The 15-thousand-euro monetary prize, and all of the resulting attention, has substantially spurred the careers of all of Hyères' winners.

Satu Maaranen. Photo: Philep Motwary 

How did you come up with the idea to create a fashion collection that is inspired by landscapes?

I spent my childhood near to and in nature. So, I'm a typical Finn in that sense. Landscape has a very important part in how we grow up in our country. Finland is full of empty (uninhabited) landscapes, and it's a land with thousands of lakes. I've spent summers at our family's summerhouse swimming in the lake and picking berries in the woods. So, it felt like a natural thing to work with landscapes.

What does the Hyères Award mean to you? Is it just an honour, or is it a useful platform for gaining worldwide recognition?

It is a useful platform for gaining worldwide recognition. With the help of Hyères, buyers from all around the world have contacted me, and now my work is known worldwide through the pages of important and cool magazines.

What is the best advice that someone has given to you and that you would like to pass on to all young fashion designers?

"Do not design things that are too beautiful; you have to always go to the borderline between the beautiful and the ugly – only then can you find something new."

Garment Landscape. Photos by Chris Vidal Tenomaa