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NEW: Blue Bubblegum

Brussels is known as a creative centre and one of the most original, talented and driven people who lives and works there is Kristof Buntinx.

As a fashion designer, he is a unique, high-profile phenomenon. However, this multifaceted and artistic all-round creative has a lot more to offer. For example, Kristof shows that he adds value to the current social media landscape with his own YouTube channel. And when it comes to music, there’s no stopping him. His alter ego “The Singing Fashion Designer” released a second single on the eve of Armistice Day and scored a bull’s eye!

Blue Bubblegum boasts captivating and seductive lyrics to a catchy tune, which will take over your brain in a flash. Before you know it, you will be humming this little number.

But as in all of Kristof’s creations and projects there is an extra layer under the surface and an unmistakeable message. The Blue Bubblegum lyrics tell the story of a boy from the Bronx who after having stolen a stick of chewing gum, gets shot by the storeowner. The consequences are disastrous: the boy dies, the storeowner is prosecuted and the victim’s close family is left behind grieving.

Buntinx who wrote the lyrics himself, is a true story teller. He was able to describe this story so authentically and aptly that you visualise it as in a film. In his own words: “The lyrics came to me at some point and I wrote down the words in one go. To me Blue Bubblegum is a modern slave’s song. A negro spiritual, which I interpreted in a contemporary way together with my musical soul mate Goedele Van Kerkhoven. I am very pleased with the result as the song provides solace in addition to a topical message.”

With Blue Bubblegum Kristof Buntinx implores us to handle fire arms with extreme caution. “Did you know that more than 300 million rifles and pistols are in use in the trigger-happy United States and that an African American is 12 times more likely to be killed by a fire arm than a white person? This is truly mind-blowing! That is why I came out with this song on the eve of Armistice Day.”

Kristof Buntinx, or “The Singing Fashion Designer” as in his stage name, can be justifiably proud of this single. This number also comes with a striking and trendy video animation.

A brilliant song and an amazing clip, that is what Blue Bubblegum represents. A number that will undoubtedly stick for a long time.

 

Where Are You Now

Those who have been waiting for some time for another exploit by Kristof Buntinx , the Brussels fashion designer who made a name for himself with his current, edgy and controversial designs, are in for a surprise. Buntinx stuns with a new project/alter ego called “The Singing Fashion Designer”.

Singing is something Buntinx excels at! His musical heroes past and present include Nat King Cole, Roxette, Sinead O’Connor, the Righteous Brothers, Sam Smith and Ellie Golding. Music has been part of Buntinx’ life for a long time. “I come from a musical family,” he states. “My father directed the church choir and I sang in his choir together with my mother.”

Urge to design

Singing continued to intrigue and heal Buntinx even later; “music therapy gave meaning to my stay in Kortenberg so that I continued to pursue music even after that dark period.” He even took extra lessons, with David Davidse, among others. “Just like designing to me music is a process that has a healing as well as a tonic effect,” according to the singing designer. “I suffer from some kind of urge to creat, which forces me to stay active.” “Quite a few singers branch out into fashion – just think of Jessica Simpson who makes millions with her fashion brand – I just do it the other way around.”

Today Buntinx primarily associates musically with the director of the VUB choir, Goedele Van kerkhoven and producer Joël Grignard (Rubens Studio). The latter has already produced two songs for The Singing Fashion Designer and together they hope to be able to produce a complete album, which will be made up of original numbers of which ten have already been penned by Buntinx. “Just like designing, writing songs is something quite natural to me, it feels more like a creative process or the channelling of something or someone, than something to which I contribute myself.” For example, he wrote his first number, ‘Where are you now’ (without question mark) in 30 minutes. That first single and the matching cinematographically inspired video, will be presented to the public on 11 September, through the world’s first mobile record company amuse.io.

Where are you now

The release date is no coincidence as Buntinx drew inspiration for“Where are you now” from the events of 9/11, the day on which, in his own words, he lost his innocence and discovered fear and hate. It is this very loss that he sings about in an allegorical story about a lost love, one you only realise was true love when it is too late. “With this number I wanted to stress the feeling that the world will never be the same,” says the singer. Yet his first single is above all a song that aims to offer solace, according to Buntinx.”


Those who look forward to finding that solace in a live performance by The Singing Fashion Designer, will have to wait. “For the time being I want to focus on writing songs, live appearances is something I still find daunting.” Perhaps Buntinx will make an exception for a TV appearance or a show in a “cosy, smoky jazz club” – even if we have to make do without the smoke these days.

More about Kristof Buntinx, The Singing Fashion Designer, can be found on his social media accounts.

Gay Sauna Shoot

Designer Kristof Buntinx has always had the gift of surrounding himself with the right people and photographer Tysje Severens is no exception to this rule. Together the Dutch photographer and the Brussels designer put the spotlight on a few showpieces in Buntinx’ latest collections. They did so in a location that, in turn, is getting a lick of paint (and a total revamp) as we speak; gay sauna Oasis in the heart of Brussels. A venue that Buntinx describes both aptly and affectionately as “a gentlemen’s club with a tea towel”.

Whoever – in line with Kristof Buntinx’ boxer shorts collections – expects a photoshoot with oiled-up manly nakedness, will have to overcome their disappointment as this time Kristof takes on the role of the model. “As a fan and a regular at Oasis, it felt right to do it myself,” he states. In addition, this should turn into a portrait series, rather than the umpteenth photoshoot, an artistic approach that will find a perfect partner in crime in the renovated complex, which will reopen its doors on 4 November.

A preview of the revamped restaurant combined with two of Buntinx’ most exclusive designs, a rucksack in the shape of a cross in quality leather and a sisal halo. The designer is no stranger to direct references to religion and both allusions are contrasted with the venue’s erotically loaded details.

Another link to the Catholic faith is the belt with the fig leaf, which Buntinx created recently. “by denying something, in this case man’s nakedness, you sometimes put an extra spotlight on it,” the designer explains. The play between (near) nakedness and shame is given an extra dimension here due to the dialogue with the sauna complex.

The other designs in the photo series, such as the green trousers with overlapping X’s, the “I’m a little chick” jumper and the hand-made AIDS scarf continue this conversation with the location.

This hidden meaning forms an integral part of Buntinx’ work as a designer. With this series, the stylist aims to paint an honest, artistic and somewhat elitist portrait of himself and his body of work, albeit with a typical Flemish twist. “Ready for print in Flemish magazines,” Buntinx winks.

Kristof Buntinx TV

Kristof Buntinx presenteert een gloednieuw YouTube-kanaal dat zijn veelzijdigheid als mens én ontwerper in de kijker zet

Wat doen modeontwerpers tijdens de zomer? Een YouTube-kanaal oprichten natuurlijk!

Of dat is althans wat Brussels designer Kristof Buntinx deed. En hoe!

Zijn YouTube-kanaal – dat gewoon www.youtube.com/kristofbuntinxTV heet – kwam heel organisch tot stand met enkele video’s van zijn reizen naar Griekenland, Italie en Zweden en een paar filmpjes in thuishaven Brussel. “Met mijn video’s wil ik wil mijn kijk op de wereld delen, zonder de egotripperij waarmee sociale media dagelijks wordt overspoeld.” Niet slecht voor iemand die tot enkele maanden geleden nog nooit een selfie maakte.

Andere content presenteren dan de meeste YouTubers is dan ook Buntinx’ doel. “Ik wil graag geloven dat mijn kanaal een meerwaarde biedt in het sociale medialandschap.” Bovendien wil Buntinx een ruimte creëren waar hij zijn veelzijdigheid kan tonen en zich niet hoeft te beperken tot mode alleen, al blijft fashion een onderwerp waar Buntinx zijn tanden in wil zetten.

Dat de designer net nu zijn YouTube-kanaal lanceert, is geen toeval. Op donderdag 25 augustus vinden namelijk de eerste Belgian Tube Days plaats in het Antwerpse Bocadero, een evenement waarop fans hun favoriete YouTube-sterren – de YouTube-creators – kunnen ontmoeten. Kristof Buntinx heeft alvast zijn ticket op zak!

Dine With A Star

Droom je ervan om deel te nemen aan Komen Eten of laat je je – net als Kristof – liever dienen? Dankzij Dine With a Star schuif je meteen met Kristof Buntinx aan tafel in een klasserestaurant. Was jij ook fan van Kristofs televisieoptredens? Bied dan mee op een tafel van vijf personen, nodig je lief, oma, schoonmoeder of boezemvriend uit en waan jullie samen in een scène van Komen Eten. Gezelligheid én hilarische momenten verzekerd!

Naast Kristof staan er ook andere BV’s zoals Lynn Wesenbeek, Wendy Van Wanten, John Bryan, Kim Clijsters, Phaedra Hoste, Francesca Vanthielen en Steven Van Herreweghe op de lijst. Marlène de Wouters zelf kan eveneens je tafelgenoot worden in Dine With a Star.
Dat Marlène Kristof mee op de lijst zette, is geen toeval. De twee werkten in het verleden meermaals samen, in 2012 tijdens het televisieprogramma Marlène@Home op Actua TV en later wanneer Kristof Marlènes jurken voor de Koningin Elisabethwedstrijd ontwierp. Ook Dana Winner – nog een bekende klant van Kristof – heeft trouwens een tafeltje te veil voor Dine With a Star.


Sport

Dine With a Star is een initiatief van Marlène de Wouters en de Koning Boudewijnstichting en steunt MW Fund, een vzw die tot doel heeft de toegang tot sport voor kansarme kinderen in België te vergemakkelijken.
Sport is een belangrijke karaktervormer, legt Marlène uit. Kristof – zelf geen groot sporter, al ontwierp hij wel de World Cup Bikini ter gelegenheid van het wereldkampioenschap voetbal in 2014 – erkent dan weer het sociale aspect van sport. “Het wakkert het groepsgevoel bij kinderen en jongeren aan en helpt hen om hun plaats te vinden in de maatschappij.”


Knoopje los

Meedingen naar een plekje aan Kristofs tafel doe je op www.dinewithastar.be. Omdat je op een tafel voor vijf personen biedt (de ster, jijzelf en drie genodigden), kan je het bedrag ook samen met je drie gasten delen. Bieden kan vanaf deze weekl en met een startbedrag van 450 euro.
Toch een knoopje los na zoveel eten? Kristof Buntinx ontwerpt met plezier een nieuwe outfit voor je!

Dana Winner

Kristof Buntinx incorporates trailblazing LED technology in dream dress.

Belgian fashion designer Kristof Buntinx designed a dream dress for Flemish nightingale Dana Winner to celebrate her new album, Puur.
The dress is made from high-quality silk, lace and tulle and consists of a long, ample princess line skirt in smooth, dark-grey tulle, a silk bustier with transparent details and a see-through top in light-grey lace with boat neck, long sleeves and embroidered pearl appliqués. Hence a dream of a dress! But what makes this design extra special, is the brand-new, pioneering technology processed in the dress.

The dress’s bodice is dotted with 1,900 points of light, each containing three LEDs. By means of an innovative technological process each of these pixels can turn any colour. Since the lights are interconnected, they can be programmed to create moving images, which, just like a computer monitor, are controlled by a small, built-in computer and a specially designed module processes the video images, distributes the signals across the dress and provides all electrical components. A feat never before accomplished in a Belgian-made garment.

Limburg pride

Therefore the designer is proud to be part of this exciting project and to be able to collaborate with Dana Winner. “Dana is one of the best Belgian singers, so I can only applaud this collaboration,” Buntinx beams.

Dress Code – Flemish innovation with an eye to the world

The dress, which was christened Dress Code, is the result of a collaboration between Kristof Buntinx, the Wilrijk-based lighting technology company Lux Lumen and the Research Group Textielkunde from the University of Ghent. The three of them responded to the Call for Innovation with the Creative Industries (CICI) of Flanders DC (Flemish organisation for entrepreneurial creativity) and IWT. The CICI-programme aims to develop inspiring joint ventures, and in the process bridge the gap between creative industries and other sectors.

A design that is literally interwoven with such trailblazing technology is right up Buntinx’ experimental alley. The pioneering designer is not afraid of taking a risk here and there, which he has proven in the past with designs that made daring statements, such as his pro-gay (and anti-Putin’s homophobia) boxer shorts, rainbow shirt and designs with a religious background.