Now in its sixth year, the Villa Noailles' annual Design Parade is quickly gaining momentum. Among this year's line up are leading names ranging from Germany's Stefan Diez to eccentric French brand Moustache, as well as an impressive troop of young designers.
The sister event to the more established Festival International de Mode et de Photographie, which also takes place at the modernist villa on a hilltop above the French coastal town of Hyères, it kicked off with a three-day festival of talks and workshops. But if you missed these don't fear. The exhibition runs until 2nd October and is a worthy excuse for a sojourn to the South of France.
Like with the fashion and photography festival, seeking out fresh talent is the Design Parade's raison d'etre. Assisting it in its mission this year was a panel of judges including Diez, Design Miami director Marianne Goebl and Galerie Kreo director Didier Krzentowski, who picked two joint winners for its annual Grand Prix: French designer" target="_blank" >Jean-Baptiste Fastrez
, who brings together industrial and artisanal production methods in his work, and Iceland's Brynjar Sigurðarson, who came brandishing a rather fetching, paddle-like 'Tool light'.
Other notables among the young designers include American Max Lipsey, who caught our eye at last year's Salone del Mobile with his workshop exploring casting processes, and Germany's Caroline Perret, who presented an interesting collection of silver tableware.
Fastrez and Sigurðarson have won a one-year research residency at Sèvres, Cité de la céramique - the fruits of which will be shown at next year's Design Parade - among other prizes. Last year's winner, François Dumas has done the Villa Noailles proud, creating a series of punchy and graphic furniture and objects, which are now on show in its new gallery space, echoed by lively sketches on the walls.
Other highlights in this year's parade include 'Glass Scene' in the swimming pool room, a collection of contemporary objects in glass by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Pierre Charpin, Hella Jongerius and Jaime Hayon. Meanwhile, Adrien Rovero has taken over the villa's gymansium with a series of ceramic pieces and Stefan Diez has commandeered the squash court with a selection of his work, including recent stars like the Chassis chair and the Paper bag. And Moustache has set up camp over in town at the Tour des Templiers with some of its brilliant off-beat pieces.
The permanent collection at the villa - the former home of Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles - is also well worth a look in itself. The voracious collectors amassed a vast trove of treasures in their life time, including furniture and art by Marcel Breuer, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Man Ray and Jacques Lipchitz, and the exhibition continues to expand as more pieces formerly in their possession are uncovered.