Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Galeria Inno rue Neuve Bruxelles Department store movie magic

my love for department stores runs very, very deep. it goes all the way back to my childhood, when my parents used to take me to visit sinterklaas at the most beautiful and glamourous department store in belgium – then called ‘innovation’ in antwerp. every year in december, the entire top floor was transformed into a magical place where it didn’t even matter how long you had to queue to take your photo with sinterklaas, because there was so much wonderment to see. at least that’s how i experienced it as a kid – looking back on it as a mom myself now, i hope my parents were able to see the magic through my eyes. they must have, because our visit was an annual tradition, followed by an endless stroll through the gigantic toy deparment, where i would touch and feel every barbie, polly pocket and ‘my little pony’ in sight. any other children of the eighties who share these fond memories?

later, when i started traveling as an adult and visiting my favorite cities in the world, my love for department stores only grew. london, paris, new york, copenhagen and even geneva… they all have the most amazing department stores that transport visitors into another world. i get that the appeal for some people is convenience. having everything from socks to pens, perfume to lingerie, kids’ fashion to men’s shoes under one roof is appealing if you need to find what you need in as little time as possible. but that’s never what attracted me to department stores, because honestly i have never saved time by visiting one. i am the girl you need to drag out of there after hours and hours of browsing stuff i didn’t know i needed until i saw them set out in a beautiful set-up. my pace towards a department store could have been ‘outer side of the new york pavement’ fast, once i open the doors to, let’s say, bloomingdale’s, harrod’s, le bon marché, bongenie or illums, my movements dwindle to downright slow motion status.

so as you can probably tell by now, i can be talked into a shopping spree at department stores on most any day of the year, but during the holiday season is when i really feel the pull. let’s face it – gift shopping is a reason to start appreciating the ‘convenience’ factor of a department store. a toy for your nephew, cashmere socks for your grandmother and your boyfriend’s favorite aftershave? all there. you browse to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones without your coat or gloves on, because you don’t have to weather the storm going from shop to shop. you’re in the cozy warmth, in the background is an endless playlist of cheesy christmassy songs, and everywhere you look are twinkling christmas lights and gleaming decorations to fill you up with the holiday spirit even more. i may be romanticizing just a tiiiiiiny little bit, shaped as i am by my favorite christmas movies that all have iconic department store scenes (the meet cute in the glove department in ‘serendipity’! rowan atkinson’s creepy gift wrapping in ‘love actually’! santa land in the fictional gimbels department store in ‘elf’! and check out the new hallmark movie ‘christmas 9 to 5’ for an ENTIRE MOVIE set in a festively decorated department store!)

all this to say – when i was presented the opportunity to rediscover GALERIA INNO and even team up with them as an ambassador, i grabbed it with both hands. as you may know if you haven’t lived under a rock for the past decade, the retail landscape has changed a lot and has had trouble redefining itself in a drastically transformed world after the digital revolution. but honestly i think there is a time and place for any kind of shop. some things i like to shop small and local. sometimes i need something delivered quickly to my door. and other times, i want to escape normal life and wander around in another world for a few hours. and whenever that’s the case, belgians are lucky to have their very own department store to turn to.

i’ll definitely be talking more about my favorite location in antwerp – with its gorgeous, historic building. but for now, i wanted to take you along on a little visit to the galeria inno in brussels at rue neuve, that recently redid their entire home & kitchen department (spoiler alert that you may have seen coming: my favorite department in any store!) to be entirely honest – it had been a while since i last set foot in a galeria inno, traveling as much as i do and living in switzerland and all. my last memories weren’t exactly up-to-date with modern times, but i was so pleasantly surprised to see that galeria inno evolved with the times. i could discover a few of my favorite, newer home brands – think serax and bloomingville – alongside the classics that could never let me down.

our first ‘big’ buy as a couple moving in together, was a gorgeous set of ralph lauren bedding. even though we’ve moved on to a more minimal style currently, passing by the christmassy ralph lauren set-up at galeria inno almost convinced me to redo our entire home in plaid. another huge part of the space is dedicated to christmas decor right now, and i can only recommend the enormous offer of delicate, romantic and witty ‘goodwill’ ornaments. i also made quite an extensive list of items that are totally going on my wish list (those amber vases and tea light holders! the merci tableware and sergio herman surface collection for serax!), and actually picked up a few things to gift to others as well. next week, i’ll be sharing more ideas of what you can find at galeria inno to surprise your loved ones with (or treat yourself with!)

in the meantime, check out some of the cool little extras GALERIA INNO has up their sleeves – with their gift card you can get your friend-who-has-everything the gift of shopping for herself, if you go overboard with your holiday shopping at some of their locations you can have your booty delivered to your home for free (so you don’t have to carry the bajillion shopping bags on the bus or train with you) and if you’re like me and you live outside of the european union, you can shop tax-free with global blue. also, definitely don’t forget to sign up for a loyalty card so you can enjoy extra discounts and save points to exchange for shopping vouchers.

post in collaboration with GALERIA INNO • as usual – all opinions, stories and photos are my own

Brussels In Style

December 14, 2015 • BrusselsStyle

over the years i’ve found that traveling is the best source of inspiration. discovering a city is much like triggering different aspects of your personality, and it often offers new perspectives on what you think you know. sometimes it reinforces a feeling that you have – something in your gut that you couldn’t quite put to words yet. traveling to cities all over the world has taught me a lot about the subjects that i’m interested in. entrepreneurialism, food, culture, design… and fashion. i’ve found that certain places can embody and demonstrate a certain style. it’s in the mix of people walking on the streets and the shops lining them. it’s why i feel right at home in certain neighborhoods, and like a fish out of the water in others.

though i’ve had endless conversations with people about brussels and how i just don’t ‘get’ the city, there’s one place in the city where i feel great and like i could actually live there. it’s a little corner in ixelles – though i could make an argument for the entirety of ixelles – around the place brugmann. the streets are lined with trees, stately mansions and beautiful little shops, restaurants and cafés. if i’d have to compare it to another place in the world that i love, it would be to the upper east side in new york.

believe me when i say that it’s taken me a few years to accept that these kinds of neighborhoods are the ones i most identify with. like many other twenty-somethings i wanted to believe that i’d feel more at home in the grittier places, where creativity could run freely and wouldn’t be restricted by rules or convention. in reality though, i love structure, cleanliness and peace and quiet. perhaps life in switzerland has changed me? but more probably it just confronted me with what was already there.

it took me a while to reconcile my hunger for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking with my penchant for a certain kind of luxury. for the longest time, it seemed like they couldn’t co-exist, and i was always torn between the two. first moving to switzerland certainly didn’t help – if ever there was a bastion of money without creativity, its name is geneva. it took five years before the third wave coffee trend first set foot in the city, and currently the founder of geneva’s first co-working initiative (which is really more like an office-for-hire service to be honest) is heralded as a visionary. insert all the rolling eyes emojis here please.

discovering that little neighborhood in ixelles, however, proved to me that it is possible. take one look at the people walking down the streets, and you’ll know that most who live around there are well-off. i don’t even want to guess the prices of real estate in the streets surrounding the place brugmann. but for all the money that is gathered in this little neighborhood, a lot of it is spent at small businesses and with inventive, cool entrepreneurs. there’s not a chanel flagship in sight – instead you’ll see small, independently owned boutiques in which the shop owner carefully curates a great selection of goods. true – none of them are cheap, but what they do have in common, is how they favor quality over bling-bling labels.

i’ve introduced you to my favorite clothing boutique KELLY before, and it is a really great example of the neighborhood’s vibe. it’s a place where you’ll find lesser known brands that are timeless and that put quality over everything else. a place where the service is amazing and the shop owner is deeply involved – something you can feel in every little detail. on my last visit there, the lovely ladies in the shop helped me put together two outfits that, at least to me, really represent the style of the neighborhood – timeless, understated, comfortable and classy. i wanted to share these outfits with you because they show rather than tell what this post is all about. you’ll find the credits of the items i’m wearing below, but everything can be found at KELLY.

lastly, i wanted to share some of my favorite places around the neighborhood, so that if you ever go shopping at kelly, you can do as i did and make a day out of it. start with a fresh juice or coffee at ICI, either inside (love that tiled floor!) or on the cozy terrace. head over to the other side of the street to pay a visit to LUCIA ESTEVES – a great place to score beautiful interior decoration. make sure to drop by la forêt by lucia esteves, too – a brand new store concept where you’ll find anything you ever needed (or didn’t know you wanted) to dress up your table. honestly, this place is like heaven! for lunch, either head over to american diner icon LE BALMORAL for burgers, or to GAUDRON for a more refined bite to eat. next to the latter you’ll find an excellent book store, LIBRAIRIE CANDIDE. and if you’re there around happy hour, go to WINERY for a glass of vino.

and now i’m curious – do you identify with this kind of neighborhood, too? or does your style translate to an entirely different kind of vibe? where do you feel most at home?

first outfit – poncho by vince + tee by majestic + pants by notify + shoes by kelly (their own brand) // second outfit – coat by harris wharf london + sweater by stefan green + pants by notify + shoes by anthology // photos by matthias rabaey


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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matthias deckx