Castle in the Hyères

“I once saw a witch whilst walking in the streets of Brussels. She gave me seeds and told me I would have to dig if I wanted to succeed in fashion. So I planted them in various places about town, and now they’ve grown into human trees.” That’s how Belgian designer Jean Paul Lespagnard explains the whimsical tree house he built with American artist Ethan Hayes-Chute in the Villa Noailles for this year’s Hyères fashion festival. A champion of recycling, he ransacked local trash cans and incorporated every imaginable trinket, from half-empty fragrance bottles and Princess Diana memorabilia to old issues of Vogue. Upstairs, one of the human trees could be seen knitting. So while the global recession may have prevented the 2008 Hyères laureate from launching his own label, Lespagnard hints he may not have cabin fever much longer. “First I didn’t want to work for another brand,” he says “but now things might change.”

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