Design Parade Toulon 2024: the European Linen mobilises finalists' creative energies

27 June 2024

  • Linen

Design Parade puts the spotlight on young French and international designers in the complementary disciplines of design and interior architecture, showcasing craftsmanship, exceptional expertise and industry.

Design Parade Toulon 2024, Alice Roux and Mattia Listowski's project
Alice Roux and Mattia Listowski

The Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp works with emerging talents and supports, year after year, the young generation of designers in their quest for sustainability.

L'Alliance pursues its commitment to supporting
young designers and the Festival

By encouraging young people to familiarise themselves with the Flax-Linen industry, the Alliance creates a bridge to the stakeholders involved, potentially stretching the boundaries of design. The versatility of Flax-Linen as a plant fibre, and the material's propensity to combine new aesthetic fields with more responsible practices, means that today's creative horizons can be broadened.

Through workshops, individual meetings and group support, the Alliance continues to promote and pass on its work in the Linen Dream Lab, its Paris showroom devoted to Flax-Linen. To do this, it invites emerging talents to familiarise themselves with the Flax fibre and to select
- exclusively - from among the textile collections of its members, which it uses to provide materials and support designers in their projects.

In addition to learning about Flax-Linen (cultivation and transformation processes, etc.), its European Flax™ and Masters of Linen™ certifications of origin and superior craftsmanship, the course familiarises young people with the functional textile and technical properties of Flax-Linen's environmental trajectory.

As well as the tools, traceability methods and promotion of this material through two certifications: Through this support, designers gain a better understanding of European Flax-Linen's assets in terms of innovation as well as how it is a key playerin the sustainable transition, and in turn, they bring a fresh new look and contemporary feel to it.

Flax-Linen is grown in Western Europe, particularly in France (Normandy and Hauts-de-France), Belgium and the Netherlands. The naturally humid climate, the fertile soils and the historic know-how of the Flax growers all contribute to the quality of European Flax-Linen.
This specific geographical area accounts for three quarters of the world's Flax-Linen production and enables a quality production valued around the certification of origin called European Flax™.

A promising future for European Flax-Linen with projects by young designers

While the 2023 Design Parade edition featured three finalists who incorporated Flax-Linen into their designs, the 2024 edition saw the emergence of five projects by young designers who rivalled each other in creativity. By opting to explore the full potential of the material, they are all promising European Flax-Linen a bright future.

Design Parade Toulon 2024, projet d'Alice Roux et Matia Listowski Alice Roux et Matia Listowski


« Piano Sano Lontano » project - including European Flax™ certified fabric and Flax shives.

With the contribution of the scutching companies Van Robaeys Frères (Linen shives/concrete) and weaving companies, Enrico Sironi, Graziano Fu Severino, Libeco, members of the Alliance.

Alice Roux and Mattia Listowski blend elements of theatre and navigation to take us into the atmosphere of a train called Piano Sano Lontano. While the interior of the carriage conjures up the odyssey of a ship, an imposing curtain acts as a giant sail and each window opens up a new scene for contemplation.

The curtains lift to reveal vistas of dream holidays in Venice, on the shores of the Bassin de Thau or in the hinterland of Provence. Under the bright Mediterranean sun that reveals vivid colours and releases heady aromas, time stretches and lengthens, creating an atmosphere of tranquillity that is conducive to daydreaming.

The project blurs the boundaries between dream and reality, with spectators taking part in their own journey.

A word from the designers:
“Flax-Linen plays a key role in our Piano Sano Lontano train, because of its technical, aesthetic and environmental properties, illustrating the sleeper train journey as we imagine it. It is harmoniously integrated in the way of curtains, Linen concrete and linoleum, offering a balance between rustic comfort and delicate luxury.

For the sleeping area (Enrico Sironi), we use a very delicate Linen, dyed like a watercolour. It creates a soothing visual separation and intimacy, like an enveloping veil whose gentle movement lulls you to sleep, reminiscent of Linen drying in the sun. The furniture and decorative elements made of Flax concrete with exposed fibres (Van Robaeys Frères) add a certain robustness.

The lining of the large MER wall (Libeco), with its thick fabric and plastered effect, evokes a technical nautical fabric, with its woven texture and offwhite hue it becomes a ship's mainsail rising over the sea. The windows (Graziano Fu Severino) are clad in edgy Linen blinds that filter the light while revealing the finesse of the weave.

The large sunny ceiling (Pierre Frey) uses coloured Linen woven in yellow-orange hues for a cosy effect in the cabin. The floor is covered in linoleum (Tarkett), whose insulating and acoustic properties make for a quieter journey."

Video interview with Alice Roux and Matia Listowski
Video interview with Sara Guédès and Sébastien Gafari


Projet « Palazzo » - use of European Flax™ certified European Linen curtains.

With support from weaving company Lemaitre Demeestere, a member of the Alliance.

“Palazzo” tells the story of two travellers re-enchanting an abandoned building for a day. Without knowing where they have come from or where they are going, these “fugitive owners” pretend to be princes for a night.

Fascinated by its abandoned appearance, the place resonates with stories and stirs the imagination, while evoking the tragedies of migrants torn from their countries, drifting between the Mediterranean and Italy.

The project is closely linked to Sébastien Gafari, the child of Lebanese immigrants fleeing civil war in Beirut, and Sara Guédès, who grew up in a scattered family. The designers hung Flax from the windows of the “Palazzo”, allowing air and light to filter through naturally.

With their imaginary home, the two friends have built a place that embodies their art of living. The palazzo becomes a refuge for all travellers who have had to leave their homes, without knowing where to put down roots.

Design Parade Toulon 2024, projet de Sara Guédès et Sébastien Gafari Sara Guédès et Sébastien Gafari

A word from the designers:
“We chose to use Linen to adorn our space. It will be installed in several large sections at full height with pleated curtains. We wanted a material that lets in light and air while filtering them naturally.”

Design Parade Toulon 2024, projet de Lisa Bravi et Romain Joly Lisa Bravi et Romain Joly


« Mistralou » project -incorporating European Flax™ certified into their project
featuring books adorned with Flax-Linen.

With support from weaving companies Enrico Sironi and Graziano Fu Severino, members of the Alliance.

The designers immerse us in the intimacy of a Provençal villa where the mistral, a fleeting and mischievous wind, invites itself into the reading room through the half open windows.

This delicate breeze grazes the walls and caresses the furniture, almost making the padded walls quiver as if on the verge of coming to life. Through the windows, you can see the mistral wind sweeping across the landscape. The furniture, fashioned from threaded buttons, seems suspended in time.

In places, an old layer of wallpaper reappears on the walls, conjuring up old stories whispered into being by the mistral. This powerful wind, characteristic of the region, becomes the master of the premises, shaping a landscape of textiles, Linen-textile books and buttons.

Video interview with Lisa Bravi and Romain Joly
Video interview with Clément Rouvier

A word from the designers:
“We use Flax-Linen to create open books... which incorporate Flax-Linen! To 'sculpt' the textile pages of the books so that they stand up straight, we stiffened the Linen with natural starch. Flax-Linen reacts very well to starching, which gives the material an almost cardboardlike appearance.

This process enabled us to hold the pages together by simply folding and sewing. As we also enclose pages of paper from second-hand books, we chose Linen sheers by Enrico Sironi and Graziano Fu Severino for their transparency. It allowed us to fuse paper with fabric.”


« On Air » project - Incorporating European Flax™ certified Flax-Linen into the designer's project presentation and communication and other events during the festival.

With support from the weaving company Lemaitre Demeestere, a member of the Alliance.

“On Air” combines the history of rock'n'roll with Provence! Inspired by the Rolling Stones' visit to Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Côte d'Azur in 1970, the designer has created a music studio that has evolved with the asperities of the Mediterranean basin.

The project is a poetic and technical exploration of sound and light, rooted in the natural elements of southern France. It consists of several installations: lithopone, Gaïa guitars, Aurora chandelier and Sonorium.

Each piece uses local materials to create objects that resonate both visually and acoustically.

Design Parade Toulon 2024, projet de Clément Rouvier Clément Rouvier

A word from the designer:
“This project explores the resonance of natural materials such as terracotta, Scots pine wood, rock and bronze, in harmony with pure, silent Flax-Linen. In collaboration with Vanessa Cangioni - who makes Flax-Linen clothing from unused products - I designed a series of T-shirts to dress a future music group, as well as a curtain printed with dried plants gleaned from the Corsican coastline.

Flax-Linen filters light and heat, acting as a visual screen and reinforcing the link with nature thanks to its excellent colourfastness.
The Flax-Linen T-shirts will also form a central part of what I will be showing at Design Parade, worn by myself and by two or three guest musicians who will be performing for the jury.

In addition to this showcase, the T-shirts will also be worn for other displays during the opening of the festival, as well as for the photo and video shoots documenting the project.


Clémentine Debaere-Lewandowski

has chosen to use a European Flax™ certified Flax-Linen roving to hang her installations.

The designers have succeeded in transposing the functional and environmental properties of European flax in an aesthetic and inspiring way.
The fact that the younger generation is willing to apply what they have learned through our agro-creative organisation is very meaningful.
It is a source of pride for the Alliance.

Chantal Malingrey, Marketing and Communications Director,
Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp

The Alliance is continuing the support provided in previous editions

Design Parade Toulon 2024, projet de Clément Rosenberg Clément Rosenberg

Winner of the Grand Prix Design Parade Toulon Van Cleef & Arpels 2023

« Hantises, living with the invisible » project
- creation of a Flax fibre tent.

With support from scutching companies Terre de Lin, producer of reinforcement EcoTechnilin and spinner Safilin, members of the Alliance.

Clément Rosenberg is showing a project set up in a room in the Ancien Évêché, aimed at reinterpreting the haunted house as a model for the 21st century.

His creation, a living room that has been refurbished using specific materials, invites us to reflect on renovation. It urges us to give importance to the invisible and the unconsidered in our domestic lives.

For Clément Rosenberg, haunting a place means frequenting it by taking account of its invisible character, that which escapes our first glance and our modern rationality.

This project highlights the need to incorporate aspects that are often neglected in our understanding and use of domestic spaces.

A word from the designer:
“I used Flax-Linen in its non-woven form to make the walls of a tent, a place with a special atmosphere inside the room. Choosing to work with the fibre in its raw state, in its felt and ribbon format, enabled me to make a composite material that takes advantage of the various by-products of the industry.

Intended for watching a film, the wall insulates against light and provides a degree of comfort, while giving a grain to the projected images. Viewed from the outside, the tent resembles a pavilion with a silvery sheen thanks to the varying shades of natural Flax. As part of the Van Cleef & Arpels Grand Prix, we worked together with the Relax Factory upholsterers to develop this project.”

Video interview with Clément Rosenberg
Video interview with Marisol Santana and Emily Chakhtakhtinsky

Winners of the Prix Mobilier National 2023

« À l’ombre de la nuit » (In the Shadow of the Night) project 

With support from the weaving companies Lemaitre Demeestere, Libeco, John England, members of the Alliance.

After winning the Prix Mobilier National 2023 for Lou Cabanoun, Emily Chakhtakhtinsky & Marisol Santana have created an installation illustrating a contemporary astral reverie.

Blending the alchemy of the elements with cosmogonic myths, this 'vessel' offers a new way of inhabiting and contemplating the world, inviting visitors to slow down and take in the sights.

The duo focuses on the moon, the mythological emblem of time, symbolising their attention to detail and the cycles of life. They have designed a sanctuary between light and shadow, representing astral myths around a sacred monolith, a metaphor for a lunar eclipse in the making.

The installation enhances the alchemy of the elements and summons up the creative energies of the universe, forming a narrative inspired by the founding tales of our shared imaginations.

Design Parade Toulon 2024, projet d'Emily Chakhtakhtinsky et Marisol Santana Emily Chakhtakhtinsky et Marisol Santana

A word from the designers:
"The installation 'In the Shadow of the Night' is a sensory and immersive experience that transports you to another universe, where the myths and mysteries of cosmogony mingle with reality. Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through a cosmic portal, where time slows down and details become visible. You are entering a sanctuary where light and shadow dance in harmony, revealing the vestiges of astral myths.

At the centre of this mystical space stands a monolith, evoking a lunar landscape, each relief and roughness telling the story of a thousand years. The works of art that populate this space enhance the alchemy of the elements, summoning up the creative energies of the universe.
Each symbolic painting invites you to take a cyclical stroll. Between dawn landscapes and astral luminescence, every moment is an opportunity to celebrate the sky and lose yourself in reverie."

Design Parade Toulon 2024, projet de Paul Bonlarron Paul Bonlarron

Winner of the Prix Mobilier National 2022

Exhibition: « Remix - Les Aliénés du Mobilier National »

With support from the weaving Deltracon , Leitner Leinen
and Libeco, members of the Alliance.

At the Hôtel des Arts in Toulon, the “Remix - Les Aliénés du Mobilier National” exhibition showcases over thirty designers who have turned out-of-date objects from the collections of the Mobilier National into unique pieces.

The works are arranged in rooms that resemble the living areas of a lavish residence. Each creation is part of a visual tableau underlined by decorative frescoes hand-painted by the Atelier Mériguet-Carrère. The concept of 'painted space' is reinforced by a selection of Linen curtains, evoking the canvas of a painting.

These Linen drapes are transposed into pleated trompe-l'oeil, lightly covering the walls of a “Linen-white room”, creating a “habitable” setting for the objects.

The Alliance's ongoing partnership with the Villa Noailles and Design Parade

Having established a partnership with the villa Noailles in 2012, the Alliance became the official partner of Design Parade in Toulon and
Hyères. This partnership was bolstered in 2022 when it joined the Hyères International Festival of Fashion, Accessories and Photography as another official partner. The organisation is fully committed to supporting the new generation of French and international designers, as well as established talents.

  • Toulon for the Interior Architecture
    Where the Ancien Evêché will be the showcase for 10 young designers. By showcasing these young talents, they will be able to benefit from comprehensive support to help them achieve their projects.

  • Hyères / Villa Noailles for Design
    With the aim of showcasing contemporary design to professionals, the press and the general public, Design Parade presents new
    talents through exhibitions and conferences. The festival is also an opportunity to share ideas, meet new people and make new discoveries, and is a key meeting point for all those who want to take part in the next generation of interior design.

Design Parade: 8th edition, from 28 June to 30 June 2024
Find out more:

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