Almost as legendary as their subjects, creative husband-and-wife duo, Inge Grognard and Ronald Stoops are steeped in Antwerp's fashion scene heyday of the early '80s. With Stoops behind the lens and Gorgnard supplying the make up direction, the pair have created shoots, catwalk shows and spreads for some of the world's biggest magazines, and indeed some of the icons of contemporary fashion.
"Inge Grognard/Ronald Stoops", the new book from publishers Ludion, acts as an anthology of over 30 years' collaboration between the two. Twisting the format slightly, the tome focuses on the non-commercial work, giving readers a better insight into the influences, outlook and their relationship as creative partners.
"This book starts and ends with a scream," says Grognard, conjuring up an emblematic visualization of their work if there ever was one. "The scream symbolizes how Ronald and I communicate. 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," she continues.
The approach must work though, with a clear tension running through the narratives of the resulting imagery. It's this same emotional pressure which runs through the book itself, seizing the viewer as they navigate through the fragile, beautiful and the brutal.
As far as elevating the importance of taking in outside influences into ones creative work, the title "Inge Grognard/Ronald Stoops" reinforces just how tightly-knit the Antwerp fashion scene was during its formative years. Stylists, designers, photographers and graphic artists all fed into each other to create that now-recognizable Antwerp style, its progression captured perfectly in this fine title.
"Inge Grognard/Ronald Stoops" hits bookstores at the end of October 2010 with a sticker price of €40.