Belgian born Ilse Eriksson started Mel en Stel in 2001 after entering a GenArt design competition and ending up a finalist. The 2 looks she designed were made from items her boyfriend had gathered during his travels. For Eriksson this was the real challenge; to design something beautiful and wearable without actually buying fabrics.To let the item dictate the way. A Chinese flag, a U.S. Postal mailbag along with a used WWII parachute gave her enough inspiration to realize that she had a certain eye for design.And so Mel en Dtel was born.
These days it is mostly the beauty of Italian fabrics and Nature that helps her in this process. True to her Belgian heritage, her aesthetic tends to lean towards understated, clean asymmetrical lines with a touch of masculinity. The need to contrast feminine with masculine, frilly with somber, over sized with fitted is ever present.