Photography by Ronald Stoops, make-up by Inge Grognard
« Inge Grognards career as a make-up artist started in the mid-eighties when she and her husband, photographer Ronald Stoops, collaborated with designers such as Martin Margiela and the Antwerp Six (Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee) some of whom she still has the pleasure of working with. She also worked with newer Belgian designers such as, Raf Simons, Véronique Branquinho, Jurgi Persoons and Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe.»
What is your initial creative approach?
To inspire people.
Do you believe that everything can function as a work of art?
First of all what is art? And yes I think so when things are made with love, passion and honesty.
Is there any narrative in your work, like tiny details put together to tell a story?Where does your work stand, in terms of making a statement?
It depends, working together with designers there is always a kind of a story or some words, music, choice of the models. Within my personal work, it is more about expressing moods together with my husband Ronald Stoops who is translating my ideas into a visual.
Maybe some of the work I did is a kind of statement but it is not important to me , it is more about the process and the visual in the end. If it is a statement or not, in a way I do not really care.
Your aesthetic is very dark, do you ever think in romantic terms?
Indeed my personal work is quite dark, but darkness and romantic are for me perfect matches.
Are you artist before being a make up artist?
Yes because I love what I’m doing, it doesn’t feel like a job for me.
You have been working with some great designers. Is it a personal choice? Do you think that working with mainstream will make you less culturaly relevant?
My choice or their choice to work together is in a way quite natural. It is like finding soul mates, so you don’t need that many words to work together. It makes life easier and your end result better. Life is too short to think in terms such as irrelevant. The people whom I work with have to be happy and me too. That is what we always try to get, even though it is not always possible. Things can always be better .
What does success mean to you?
Success is what people think and write about you, but it never was and is my first issue.
You seemed to work mostly on fashion shows and less on editorials, do you think that fashion shows are some sort of silent art performance?
Indeed, I did a lot of shows and it was comfortable to be in the dark, but I do not see it as a silent art performance. It is about creating a piece of the cake to make the designers world more complete. Editorials are limited because to express yourself and to find the right people around you, forgetting all our egos and fighting for the best, that is not easy. So every season I am trying to do only a few.
I also like to make time for myself, emptying boxes and filling them up again, to stay fresh with an open mind so that I can continue to inspire.
Interview by Lyna Ahanda for LURVE magazine.