“This book starts and ends with a scream”, says beloved Belgian make-up artist Inge Grognard who, along with her husband, photographer Ronald Stoops, has created some of fashion’s most iconic images over the last 30 years.
192 pages of the duo’s at times daring and always dynamic personal work is featured in ‘Inge Grognard/Ronald Stoop’, an essential anthology recently published by Ludion. The images Grognard is referring to are a black-and-white photo of Kristina, one of Martin Margiela’s house models, with her two brothers, and a colour photo of two of Inge’s cats. “The scream symbolises how Ronald and I communicate”, Grognard reveals. “To outsiders the way we work together must come across as very harsh. We tend to yell at each other a lot and discussions can easily get out of hand”. This tension feeds the couple’s creative process and the resulting images function as a highly intimate reflection of themselves, their relationship and their collaboration with others.
Grognard and Stoop began their careers in the early 80s, working with Dries Van Noten, Anne Demeulesmeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene and Martin Margiela, amongst others. Today, they continue to produce arrestingly unique visual imagery for Antwerps’s second generation of designers, including Raf Simons, Veronique Branquinho, A.F. Vandevorst and Jurgi Persoons. i-D Online caught up with Inge to discuss the book and her working relationship with Ronald.
Could you describe the idea and concept behind the book? The heart of the book, the way it started, is the collaboration between Ronald and I. The idea is to inspire everybody who gets their hands on the book and to let them know that you shouldn’t be scared to be loyal to your ideas,
How would you describe your aesthetic? Raw, poetic, honest, romantic.
What is the collaborative process like when you and Ronald work together and with a designer? When Ronald and I work together, we take our time. With a designer it’s more impulsive, quicker, like fashion is.
The images in the book focus on your non commercial work. How is this work different, or similar, to your fashion assignments? It’s the same. Time is the big difference.
How have your perceptions of beauty changed since you began working in the 80s? They haven’t changed. The most important thing was, and still is, to stay honest with ourselves. Of course, we learn everyday. But the way we work things out has changed due to the computer and the digital world.
What influence do you think your work has had on fashion in general and on the designers that you have worked with over the last 3 decades in particular? Difficult to say. We try to show in our work that everything is possible. We always say: “Let’s have it a try, when it is worth it”. Never be afraid of not being accepted.
‘Inge Grognard/Ronald Stoop’ published by Ludion, is available in bookstores now.