ELLE Belgique: Meeting Bea Ercolini

Brussels, Tour et Taxis, the Spullhenulp fashion show is ending. The retro smart silhouette of Bea Ercolini, the ELLE Belgique / ELLE België director, lights a cigarillo. Few blur pictures in the 40’s vintage spirit. We  quickly organize a cosy corner between the backstage’s back and forth. 

– It’s the eighteenth edition of the Spullhenulp fashion show and the first time I come. The set is magnificent Great casting and fantastic designs, but we can’t see well the clothes. They did a great job, I’ve really enjoyed the African fabrics clothes, with printed leggings. I know 40% of the fashion designers of this event : I love Conni Kaminski, Cathy Pill, Véronique Branquinho… The only problem: the hall is huge.

– So what do you think of the last fashion shows (Spring-Sum 2011)?

It might look like the crisis ends: many parties, champagne and colours. And the “mamie boom” (granny boom), with the come back of Ines de la Fressange, Marie-Sophie, Stella Tennant. The fifties years old  woman. The average buyer of a Chanel suit isn’t fifteen years old! Thanks my century!  

Bea Ercolini smokes and smiles: 

– I’ve noticed during the Paris shows the second « tribe » was the Belgians. Many Belgian  fashion designers and organizers of the fashion shows, like Etienne Russo in charge of  Chanel, Hermès, Margiela shows… I love Véronique Leroy, she is respectful and humble. Jean-Paul Lespagnard. It’s not normal: too much Begian work in fashion!

– How do you explain this?

– Less money, so more resourceful. And here in Belgium, schools are public and almost free, with a high level, like La Cambre in  Brussels. 

– Is there any Brussels specificity?

– Brussels is a bit the New York of Europe. Brussels has developped a tolerance culture, it’s a place for creation. Brussels is also a rich city, where you can find lots of  garage sales and seconde hand things (with good quality and cheap prices), like at the Spullhenulp shop. Conversely the vintage of famous brands in Paris is too expensive.  

– What do you think of the Fashion-Design-Art Contemporary “melting pot”? 

– A marketing purpose. From the survey of my colleagues of the Brit ELLE, 68% of the ELLE readers interested in fashion, spend time in Art Contemporary fairs, FIAC etc… In Belgium, students in design, fashion and art go to the same schools.

– ELLE Belgique as a fashion magazine… 

– No, not a fashion magazine, a feminine magazine! 

– I finish: what do you think of the “blogs phenomenon”? 

I’ve started the ELLE Belgique blog four years ago. Next january, I will be in charge of the contents of the ELLE Belgique website and blog. This website will become a feminine daily, with more balance between the different sections, presenting all the Belgian news. I am delighted to change for daily journalism. The paper magazine will be the Haute Couture of the press: a very expensive window, but essential to keep a strong image. The paper magazine will yield less and less. Today, I overdo to read magazines, while I can spend on Internet hours. And I’m very surprised of the success of magazines like Envy, Grazzia, Be… my forteen years old daughter reads . I thought it was over. But for her generation, they trust more the news in a magazine than in the net. 

Thanks Béa Ercolini.   

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Rencontre avec Jean-Paul Knott, créateur globe-trotteur  




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