Every concert is always different, and even if it’s the same band playing, there is no repetition at all. The same with fashion shows, each of them is different, even though they may seem similar. That’s what I like about my job. You don’t hold all the keys, you don’t have a lot of time, there are all sorts of constraints putting you under pressure.
He smoothly moved towards fashion photography at the end of this golden rock era. Still, most of his fashion articles were linked to the music world. He remembers writing about Gianni Versace who designed, in 1992, the cover artwork for Elton John’s “The One” album (and the whole wardrobe for the world tour following). For “Weekend Le Vif”, he also did the portraits, both in words and photo, of the contestants of the last edition of “La Canette d’Or” in 1989. Of the relationship between fashion and music photography, Etienne said:
In both areas, there is no room for errors, you can’t afford anything to go wrong. You have to capture the moment and get the best possible result from it. Or at least try! You are not going to get another chance, it’s the single instant and it’s your micro challenge. Most of the time our work is woven from thousands of those moments.
Amongst other things, Etienne was responsible for the fashion pages of « Elle Belgium » magazine. Juggling his journalistic and photographer’s work, during fashion weeks, late in the evening, in the company of a night porter, he would type an article on the typewriter in the lobby of his Paris hotel, and fax it to a newspaper.
As the years went on, it became more difficult to perform and combine both careers. Not only it was stressful and difficult for him, but it also confused his clients and interviewees. There was no such job as photographer-journalist in those days. Eventually, in the late 90s, Etienne mainly dropped his journalistic career and refocused on photography.