Last updated on 26/08/2013
Interview with the Second Life Festival
In her downtown apartment, the extravagant Léone spoke to us about her festival that she heads up single-handedly, never at a loss for fresh ideas or professionalism. She welcomes you with open arms once a month to celebrate vintage at the venue, the Tentation!
Your definition of vintage?
I don’t really have a real definition for vintage. For me, this term includes many things- we can make of it what we want. I’m not the type who gets mad when someone assigns a “bad” definition for vintage. However, I would say that vintage includes the style popular between the ‘20’s and the ‘80’s.
Passion for vintage?
As a photography student, I realized that it was not easy to display my work. I started to look for a display room where I could also exhibit something unique, because the world of photography is quite closed off. We often run into the same people over and over again. By creating the Second Life festival, I combined everything that I love: exhibitions, concerts and vintage. I am very lucky: the Tentation was actually looking for projects by young people that they could support; the timing was really perfect!
Do you think that Brussels is a vintage capital?
I have been in Brussels for 2 years. I love this city- it is a true treasure for thrift stores and second hand shops. For example in Lyon, my hometown, we just have one vintage market and you have to pay to enter, pay to bargain-hunt for rather expensive clothing! And in Paris, let’s not even go there.
What are the advantages of buying vintage products?
I wouldn’t just say the price, because you can find pretty expensive vintage stuff. In my opinion, what really matters is the quality of the fabrics and the originality. I also appreciate the customization side, because sometimes you have to alter items to your size. I think this adds to the creative side of vintage, and it’s an aspect I really like.
What type of displays do you do?
Second Life has many types of displays, the goal being to please the highest number of people. There are some new products that have a vintage style, jewelry, slightly expensive second hand and then the second hand “all for 2 euros.” There are a lot of art Deco items, vinyls that are not always easy to find and then stuff that is not at all vintage! I try to promote young artists, for example the cotton bags by “Madame, Mademoiselle.” I also sell posters and old cards that I’ve always loved. There is also a make-up artist that changes each time that will make you look like a super model.
What type of audience do you find at Second Life Festival?
All types of people! Some come for the vintage, others for the photography or for the concerts. Last time we had a preview showing of a film and more than 100 people came just to see it. The next edition of Second Life Festival will be devoted to a painting exhibition.
Do you think that vintage still has a long life ahead?
Yes, because it has been around for such a long time, and I have the feeling that this trend is continually on the rise. Or at least I hope so!
Your favorite vintage piece?
You are going to make fun of me, but I especially like retro dishes, and I have a water carafe with gilding and the words “Nous deux” engraved that I love! I had originally bought it for a friend, but I loved it too much to give it to her.
Plans for Second Life festival?
First off, the Christmas market at Hotel Berger on December 16th. I would like to point out that not everything will be vintage, so feel free to come look for Christmas gifts! After this, I will continue at the Tentation on February 16th, and I think from then on Second Life festival will occur every two months at least until September.
An example of a vintage day?
In the morning I’ll eat breakfast at APDM. Then I will take a walk around place du Jeu de Balle and go thrifting for dishes at les Petits Riens. I’ll go look around Pêle-Mêle, and then I’ll go eat a stoemp at “Le chineur.” If it’s a Sunday, I’ll go to Brussels Vintage Market. Next I’ll check out my favorite clothing thrift stores like Gabriele Vintage, Lucien Cravate, Tata Yoyo and Lady Paname. I’ll end the day at Magic Mirrors.