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For the last 29 years, the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography, which happens every spring in the gardens of Villa Noailles in the South of France, has showcased rising designers and photographers from around the world. This year's Grand Prix-award-winning designer is the Japanese-born Kenta Matsushige, an alum of Paris' Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, who created a collection of stark separates that are severe in silhouette but pastoral in palette. Inspired by "hinabi," a Japanese word referring to countryside beauty, as well as the Japanese island of Naoshima, where installations by minimalist artists like Lee Ufan and Walter de Maria interact with nature, Matsushige aimed to "find the balance of daily confrontations like art, nature, tradition and youth." Currently developing a collection to present to retailers during Paris Fashion Week this fall, Matsushige is ready to make his mark. "I can see the good side and bad side of both," says the designer of his Japanese heritage and Parisian training. "But now I think that it's important to find my own rules."
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