Fashion
Art
Charity
Radio
Design

NEWS: 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.

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.

Rome - Make Love, Not War

In 2003 designer Kristof Buntinx travelled to Rome where he drew the nude statues he saw in the Vatican, in the Villa Medici and in the many churches and basilicas the Italian capital boasts. He remembers that he enjoyed drawing them and he also recalls the heat wave that hit the region during his stay, as a result of which he more or less had the city to himself. He loved the contact with the cool marble tiles on which he sketched sitting in the lotus position. He recently rediscovered these drawings and singled out motifs to print on his cotton boxer shorts. For the time being, this new ‘Rome’ collection is only made-to-order.

‘Make love, not war!’: this new collection, which is the result of a collaboration with RJ Bodywear, is centred around love. The title of the collection, refers, inter alia, to the expression ‘Make love, not war!’, which dates back to the 1970s and the Vietnam War era. With this and with his underwear line, Kristof Buntinx focuses on peace and love in these times of war (Syria, Middle East, Iraq, Ukraine, etc.) and terrorism (Paris and Brussels).

In this collection of stretch shorts and tops for men and women Kristof uses six different floral and plant motifs, based on their age-old connotation: white tulips are a universally recognised symbol of forgiveness; ivy is a sign of eternal loyalty; lavender is a symbol of devotion; red carnations refer to the Portuguese Carnation Revolution where the population peacefully took to the streets to celebrate the end of the military dictatorship; red roses are generally considered to be a sign of true love; and lastly the proverbial forget-me-nots.



For more information, contact RJ Bodywear: +31(0)182760005






Stores in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany:

Demolder Industrieterrein Het Dorlik 12 3500 Hasselt België 011-28.64.90  
Lingerie An Bredabaan 180 2930 Brasschaat België 03-651.49.71  
Lingerie Burlesque Kerkstraat 30 8420 Wenduine België 050 69 05 79  
Lingerie Larissa Lombardsijdestraat 3 8620 Nieuwpoort-Bad (BE) België 058 24 33 27  
Stico Kaulillerweg 83 3950 Bocholt België 089 46 21 13  
Woman Lingerie St. Amandsstraat 38 8000 Brugge België 050 33 32 01  
Dessous Royal Broicherdorfstraße 85 41564 Kaarst Duitsland +49 179 2576373  
Marion Lork Humboldtpl. 22 48429 Rheine Duitsland +49 5971 2568  
SIG feine wasche Lange Str. 116 33014 Bad Driburg Duitsland +49 5253 9745787  
Adam & Eve Tilburgseweg 73 5051 Goirle Nederland +31 13 530 0350  
Belissimo Sint Jacobsstraat 7 4381 Vlissingen Nederland +31 6 48691016  
Carmen Lingerie Kerkstraat 12 5527 Hapert Nederland +31 497 381 128  
De Bodywear Specialist Mark 45a 5701 Helmond Nederland +31 629 001 943  
De Bofkont Moenenstraat 7 6511 Nijmegen Nederland +31 243 604 525  
Dijkxhoorn Rijksstraatweg 69 3222 Barendrecht Nederland +31 181 312 417  
Hip Kerkplein 9 6578 Leuth Nederland +31 24 845 3818  
Isis Ondermode Frederik Hendrikaan 10 1814 Alkmaar Nederland +31 72 511 6606  
Malanda Julianastraat 9 4566 Terneuzen Nederland +31 114 321 167  
Stomerij Propershop Buikslotermeerplein 154 1025 Amsterdam Nederland +31 20 637 2450  
The Saint Sint Jacobsstraat 9 8911 Leeuwarden Nederland +31 623 508 300  
Ultimate support Nikkelstraat 21 3067 Rotterdam Nederland +31 6 10713195  
XL4You Broekhovenseweg 73 5021 Tilburg Nederland +31 13 545 3143  

Spring-Summer 2016

For his latest collection Belgian fashion designer Kristof Buntinx gives his designs a new look. And this can be taken literally, as the stylist himself shines on campaign images by photographer Pieter De Smedt-Jans. The result is a brilliant series of photos with the colourful Buntinx at the centre of attention.

By being his own model for his new collection – a summer collection for men, from which women will want to steal a boyfriend T-shirt – Kristof Buntinx creates a realistic image of his designs. “It is much more ‘genuine’ to see clothing on a regular guy. The only option was therefore to push up my own sleeves, as it were.

The designer owes the fact that it has become a particularly vibrant collection in addition to a summer collection to his dislike of black outfits. “Whenever I see everyone dressed in black in the street, I immediately get depressed. I do understand that many want to play it safe, but Belgium would be a much nicer place if more people would put themselves out there and take a risk with their look.” Kristof Buntinx put his money where his mouth is with a collection full of colour and the witty prints and slogans we have come to expect of him.

The cheerful combination of the strawberry T-shirt and green trousers with the Buntinx logo is striking and fresh, in true Buntinx fashion. This ensemble will be made to measure for you.

The Cucumber & Banana T-shirt refers to two eponymous Channel 4 drama series, which explore the English gay-scene from various points of view with typical British humour.

The MTV T-shirt plays with language as only Kristof Buntinx can and explores the boundary between fame and happiness.

This outfit consists of shorts, T-shirt, raincoat and socks and is called ‘The Artist’, not coincidentally also Buntinx' profile name on Grindr. The logo of the famous gay dating app is hence also processed in the clothing. As an extra feature you can have your own profile name printed on the coat.

The Broken Palmtree shirt is a parody on the overload of palm tree prints on show on the high street this past summer. Available in a bespoke, luxury version.

For the Little Shit shirt Buntinx was inspired by his 12-year old, chatroom fanatic niece, whose favourite emoji appears on the front of this T-shirt.

Style is an Old Word, this T-shirt headlines. Doing your own thing is the new stylish.

People change their mind, their vision. “τὰ πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει" (Ta panta rhei kai ouden menei) Plato once wrote. That everything flows and does not remain the same, is therefore the point of departure for the Don’t Believe Everything you Read T-shirt. Whatever people write about you, the truth is not written in stone.

On the YOLO-shirt the You Only Live Once-concept clashes with the Buddhist promise of reincarnation. Since the image of the Dalai Lama combined with the acronym contrasts a reflective and thoughtful existence with today's fast-paced lifestyle.

Eighties kids are familiar with the animation series Jem & the Holograms from their youth, a younger audience will be able to see it soon in a film remake, due to hit screens later this year. Buntinx made this Jem and the holograms Bag in response to the film.

A Roof Over Your Head: With his Tuscan roof tile motif this large, square umbrella will provide you with a (temporary) roof over your head. What is more, a sturdy roof, as it was made in windy and rainy Scotland.

Kristof Buntinx pampers rain-shunning art lovers with The Last Judgement, a dome-shaped umbrella after Vasari’s fresco in the Duomo in Florence. Walking in the rain has never been so much funs under this heavenly canopy.

The box: These box-shaped shoes are not for the shy and retiring but embody Buntinx’ belief in the invention of your own system: hence don’t think out of the box but think the box. These leather shoes were produced by the Dutch shoemaker René van den Berg, who has made shoes for Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Thierry Mugler.

COLLECTION NOW

‘Collection Now’, as the designer has called his new series of designs, consists of six unisex T-shirts, three men's ensembles with shirts, trousers, shorts and a coat that can be tailor-made, a pair of shoes, two umbrellas and a bag. Prices vary from 120 euros for a T-shirt to 2,000 euros for a bespoke trouser-shirt combo.
The full SS16 collection is for sale now on Buntinx’ brand-new online store. “By selling online I am able to capitalise on my ideas much faster,” he justifies his unusually early date of sale, “I don't see why buyers should have to wait a full season for my designs.”

Credits: Photography: Pieter De Smedt-Jans. Camera: Liesbeth De Mey. Editing: Steve Wauters/VDJ Castor. Assistant: Alessandra Gregori. Hair: Daniel Weidner. Model: Kristof Buntinx. Designer: Kristof Buntinx.

To Russia with Love

I am often on Facebook, as are virtually all young people and I was struck by the short films on the Internet of pestered and hassled young gays in Russia. At first I did not find it so serious that Putin is against homosexuals. That is everyone’s choice. I too do not want to love everyone. I decide for myself what my preferences are and with whom I want to hang around. But on seeing these films I felt sickened and I was disgusted. It is too much. If you do not like the fact that I am homosexual, I can learn to live with it. But to humiliate, attack and torture people is really going too far. I myself was always pestered and hit as a child at school. First as the young son of the teacher and after that because I was the queer of the class, I was the stereotype of a soft gay teenager. I had a barren youth as a result. There were however some people who sided with me and I still know who those people were and I am thankful for it.

Hence this campaign.

I myself have set to work with my graphic designer and I have made 17 patterns of Russian symbols and motifs for the creation of a collection of boxer shorts.

Together with leading photographer Herman Van Gestel, on Friday we held a photoshoot of young people who responded to the call that I placed on Facebook groups for models. The models therefore work on this for free because they think it is such a good idea. In particular in order to make Russian Gay Propaganda. I like the Russian look and have thus above all chosen muscular gymnast models with blond-brown hair.

The intention is to make a Russian Gay Calendar with the photos. To be available in Russian. As well as in English and Dutch. There will be a launch party for it on Saturday 28 September 2013 at The Dominican Hotel, hopefully in collaboration with the homosexual, lesbian and bisexual federation Cavaria, in Brussels, the capital of free Europe and also now the city in which I live.

I like nice images, beauty, masculine beauty.
And I want to show this with the calendar. That it is so beautiful.

The campaign is actually called "To Russia with Love".

The Calendar with the photos is available in Russian, English, Spanish, Dutch, French and German.

My chances on the Russian market have thus passed me by, and I hear that things were going so well there. People are so rich that they buy T-shirts costing 400 euros, etc. Things are going well there for the many millionaires. But anyway, if I cannot be who I am there, I would rather stay out of it.

The boxer shorts are designed in Belgium. They are a mixture of French-speaking and Dutch-speaking craftspeople and workshops. There is also 1 French-speaking model involved. The photographer is a Dutchman.

I love collaborations and synergies.

The Russian Pike Fish and the Moose are references to the hunting adventures of Putin for which he is so happy to receive the attention of the media.

It is truly a quiet revolution. Just imagine that you live in Russia where you cannot be gay, but under your clothing you are still able to wear a pair of protest shorts. Is that not a nice thought?

Available in S, M, L, XL and XXL. They are spacious. I like to have a little breathing space ;-)

Fashionable Calendar

Kristof Buntinx designed this calendar as a statement and in response to the condemnation of homosexuality by President Putin's Russian regime. Many people throughout the world, both within and outside LGB movements, rightfully reacted with indignation to this hard-line approach.
The Belgian designer Kristof Buntinx for his part, came up with this idea of boxer shorts as a whimsical but no less explicit answer. He contacted four fashion models and asked them to show his designs during a fashion shoot. As a motif for the boxer-shorts he opted for traditional Russian and Soviet symbols, such as hammer and sickle, matryoshka dolls, the Kremlin, etc. He asked the models to unequivocally refer to homosexuality by hugging or holding each other.
Top photographer Herman van Gestel got everything on film at the Brussels Dominican Hotel. With a big thank you to make-up artists Caro Line and Lili Glavan. And of course the handsome lads: Dylan Nahooy, Mathieu Lernon, Louis Tichelaar and Sebasteaan van Arnhem.

The launch party at the luxury The Dominican Hotel, 9 Rue Leopold in 1000 Brussels (street behind the Muntpunt) was held on Saturday evening, 28 September 2013.

7.30 PM: Reception
8 PM: Dinner*
9.30 PM: Uber cool band Piment
10.30 PM: Presentation of calendar
11 PM: Arno & The Main Act (Arno Sintobin)
1 AM: Conclusion (due to liquor licence until 1 AM)


Big thanks to the bands Piment and Arno & The Main Act! 

Leather Backpack

Fashion is a passion for Belgian fashion designer Kristof Buntinx. ‘Passion’ in all senses of the word: it is his lust and his life, but also his suffering and his cross. Here he has designed a leather rucksack in the shape of a cross, with inside all his attributes and materials for the production of his oeuvre: boxes of head pins, needles, tape measure, pattern paper, drawing moulds, fabric scissors, reels of thread, tailors’ chalks, pencils, etc.

Kristof has to endure envy and jealousy in the fashion and art world and there is the economic crisis faced by all, but he wants to pass on a positive message of hope: after suffering comes resurrection.

The artistic photo was taken by Belgian professional photographer Geert De Wolf, Christ is portrayed by model Steve Ross, originally a top Canadian basketball player and Personal Fitness Trainer in Brussels, and the unique backpack was expertly crafted by Belgo-Italian leather worker Luigi Braile.


An Pierlé

Fashion designer Kristof Buntinx, Brussels’ most eccentric stylist, famous for his surrealistic creations, strikes again. After Marlène de Wouters’ evening gowns for the Queen Elisabeth competition and Dana Winner’s Golden Dress, pianist and singer An Pierlé also gave in to the charm of this fashion artist. For the darling of Belgian music connoisseurs he created the worm dress, a pun-centric name, since the Dutch word pier means worm in English.

It involved a short dress with drop waist with the bodice in sheer fabric, with boat neck and open back. He opted for three-quarter puff sleeves with narrow cuff, an above-the-knee flare skirt and glamorous trim with jade green sequins around the collar, waist and back opening.

This exclusive dress is custom-made by Kristof Buntinx’ studio. But you too can be a star and shine in a Buntinx-Pierlé: the dress is available to buy online as part of Kristof’s customisation line (available in 5 sizes: XS, S, M, L and XL) at an affordable price.

The key to Kristof Buntinx’ creations is language as surrealists like to use it, fully capitalising on the ambiguity and stratification inherent to it. Just think of masterpieces by our national treasure René Magritte, who finds a worthy successor in Kristof!

World Cup

Fashion designer Kristof Buntinx celebrates World Cup with soccer bikini!

At the height of soccer fever fashion designer Kristof Buntinx jumps on the  WC bandwagon with a stylish monochrome soccer bikini.      

“After having  pleased women and gay men with photos of my boxer shorts line, I now cater to straight men with this bikini shoot in pin-up style,” Buntinx clarifies.

 Blonde beauty Kim Poelmans applauds the Belgian Devils in front of the camera of fashion and beauty photographer Pieter De Smedt-Jans with our own  Belgian flag as a chauvinistic prop.

Watch the fun making-of video here.

Autumn-Winter 2015

Unpredictable fashion designer Kristof Buntinx today puts no fewer than 10 brand-new, thematic collections in the spotlight, where "customisation" is the common denominator.

“Customisation is the future of fashion,” the Brussels designer proceeds. “Everyone with a few good ideas and a drawing program can call themselves designers these days.” But instead of condemning the trend, Buntinx calls the underlying equality an almost communist fact, only contradicted by the uniqueness that always goes with one's own design. “Ironically enough it is a sales website, the result of a capitalist society, which in this case encourages both equality and individualism,” he touches on the contradictions with a wink.

The major advantage of a website with customisation basics is the freedom that goes with it, according to Buntinx. As the principle excludes prefinancing and brick-and-mortar expenses, a saving that is furthermore directly translated into the price of the clothing. In addition, the designer points out the environmentally friendly nature of customisation, since when there is no stock, no one has to contend with surplus.

1. Aldi stands for luxury
“Aldi and Walmart are luxury brands,” according to designer Kristof Buntinx. “In the sense that the founders of both low-budget chains have not become any poorer.” Karl Albrecht, one of the "Aldi brothers" and founder of the German Aldi supermarket chain has been the richest German for years with some 17 billion euros. And Christy Walton's ties to the Walmart chain didn't do her any harm. Since the death of her husband, John, she is worth approximately 40 billion dollars, a figure that makes her the richest woman in the world to date.Buntinx drew inspiration from the chains' store bags for luxuriously executed designs with names like Aldi-glamour girl and Glamorous bag jacket. On these garments the logos of budget stores replace the usual luxury brand monograms. Make a statement!

2. Chucked out
With Belgian Bag Lady Buntinx teaches a lesson in dissatisfaction. The bomber jacket with the imprint of Brussels refuse bags illustrates that people treat each other like dirt. Even if the designer finds it somewhat liberating at times to be a bit of a teenage dirtbag. “Everyone should have the right to shun their responsibilities every once in a while.”

3. Bled dry
I’m a cash machine playfully takes a shot at our society. Anyone who has ever felt financially bled dry can now express their displeasure with this sweater with the Bancontact (Belgian payment card) logo.

4. Building bridges
Kristof Buntinx himself never attended the fashion academy but with his façade-collection everyone literally wears the aura of Belgian fashion temples such as La Cambre and the Antwerp Academy. The collection, which consists of a shift dress, two sweaters and a T-shirt, is not the umpteenth ode to the country's fashion schools but a wake-up call for the fashion world, where still too many doors only open to overblown names.

5. Chickie
On the homo scene a chicken is a young, desirable person and that is exactly what the I’m a Chicken sweaters refer to. This whimsical unisex-collection is a tribute to youth and beauty, for all those who are proud to be a chicken.

6. Status symbol
For fashion houses quoted on the stock exchange, everything revolves around the bottom line. That is why the four sweaters from the Status collection display stock market quotation graphics for fashion giants like Inditex and H&M, as a reminder that money and creativity all too often compete with each other.

7. Spoiled brat
Kristof Buntinx used to be called a "spoiled brat", incidents he now recognises as envy. “As a child it was easy for me since I had everything, but from a less privileged position the world looks a lot different.” With messages like "I’m never jealous because I’m beautiful", "I’m never jealous because I'm born rich" or "I’m never jealous because I’m first in my class" the Spoiled Brat-collection reminds us that envy is foreign to those who have it all.

8. To blow up
Every day is more hectic than the previous one and it is no wonder that everyone is about to blow up. The Suicide Bomber Backpack disguises fear and tenseness in humour and takes the edge off every loaded moment. With Doggy Bag, the second bag in the series, Buntinx takes the language literally and combines word and image for a playful result.

9. For sale here
The two caps designed by Buntinx, zoom in on a society where everything is for sale and on the question whether everyone can deal with it. Anti-Psychotic Headware refers to Buntinx’ own imposed use of drugs with images of the drug Solian. You can fill your head, not only with pills but also with (bought) brains, the designer states, with the surrealist Buy your Brains here cap. “Knowledge, status and even degrees are for sale, and therefore why would I not take this literally a by putting brains on a cap?”

10. Best foot forward
Inspired by the World Cup, Buntinx customised a pair of Italian, leather shoes in Brazilian colours. But in order not to forget that during the war that is football, there is strength through unity (Belgium's national motto), the Belgian coat of arms adorns every shoe's tongue.

Facebook Jewel

This is all about a contemporary item of jewellery...Great stuffl! Here comes the energy-conserving, environmentally aware, smartphone-literate youngster who at one point has bought jewellery in an online shop.
Facebook, a phenomenon over the last ten years, currently with 1.23 billion members, has even had an impact on language usage. I came up with the idea to translate the expression “Like” into a piece of jewellery, a pendant that can be gifted or worn as a sign of love.

Het gaat om een eigentijds juweel: vet spul! Hier komt de energiezuinige, milieubewuste, smartphone-geletterde jongere eraan die al eens online een juweel koopt in een webshop.
Facebook is het fenomeen van de laatste 10 jaren, telt momenteel 1.23 miljard leden en beheerst zelfs het taalgebruik. Nu kwam ik op de idee om de uitdrukking “Like” vorm te geven in een juweel, een hangertje dat als blijk van liefde kan geschonken of gedragen worden.

Facebook est le phénomène de ces dernières années. Il compte actuellement 1.23 milliard de membres et crée même de nouveaux usages de langue. J’ai eu l’idée de donner forme à l’expression «J’aime» dans un bijou, un pendentif à offrir ou à porter comme témoignage d’amour.
Il s’agit d’un bijou contemporain. Destiné aux jeunes soucieux de l’environnement, qui font des économies d’énergie, manient aisément le smartphone et achètent de temps à autre un bijou sur une boutique en ligne.

Putin out of the closet

Putin out of the closet (all decked out in Kristof Buntinx)…

This gender-transcending game by fashion designer Kristof Buntinx is intended for both boys and girls aged 7 and up. The online game gives children the opportunity to dress Russian leader Putin in unique outfits with iconic pieces from Kristof Buntinx’ collections.

Putin's wardrobe also includes dresses Kristof designed for Belgian celebrities, and the Russian protest boxer shorts, with which the designer grabbed the attention of the world press, and the kids T-shirt line are also available.

With an eye for playful details, through the photos in the background, the game provides a glimpse of the gay calendar through which Kristof Buntinx, with the help of a number of photogenic, Russian looking gymnasts, showcased his boxer short line.

The designer jokingly admits that since last summer when he created his Russian-inspired boxer shorts, he's been afraid that he would end up with the KGB hot on his heels in a bid to settle the score. “I hope in any case that Putin, and with him lots of other Russians, will see the error of their ways,” concludes Kristof Buntinx.

Would you like your offspring to get into a current and committed computer game?

CLICK HERE TO PLAY THE ONLINE GAME!

Designer to the Stars

It is every designer's dream to be able to dress a pop star and Belgian designer Kristof Buntinx was able to realise that dream. After a media appeal he found children aged 2 to 8 who were called Britney and Shakira, Kylie and Kanye.

Buntinx turned his fascination with superstars into a unique photo shoot with beauty photographer Pieter De smedt-Jans. Inspired by images of the actual stars, each mini-celebrity was given their own CD cover, for that genuine superstar feel.

Children, parents, and the designer himself had a fun shoot.

In the meantime Buntinx hopes to inspire Britney Spears to place an order!


Shakira Aerts is a 3-year old toddler. She likes crafting and swimming and is crazy about music and dancing. She adored the fan that blew wind into her hair.

Britney Kennis is 9 years old and is 1.26 m tall. She loves to dance and is very creative and socially-minded.

Kanye De Sutter, 5 years old and 1.05 m tall, likes to play football and tennis with his brother. He also helps Mum and Dad in the bakery.

Jennifer ‘Lopez’ Opstoel is 5 years old and, just like her Mum, she just loves trying on clothes. She is proud of her beautiful long tresses, which have never been touched by her hairdresser's scissors.

Britney Pirens is an 8-year old who loves fashion and drawing and would like to become a fashion designer when she grows up, just like Kristof.

Kylie Wyns is 6 years old, attends the first year of primary school and is an excellent reader. She is into sports, goes to weekly ballet classes, plays badminton and is passionate about Barbie dolls.

Maria-Laura Van den Berghe, 5 years old, is named after the Belgian Princess. Hence this royal celebrity's ‘official portrait'.

Justin Quyo is 2 years old and measures 90 cm. He is named after Justin Timberlake and already has all of his namesake's acting skills.

Bono Roosen is 8 years old and takes part in BMX races for the Keerbergen Dennen team. He also loves football and gaming.

Axelle Mievis shares her first name with the Belgian singer Axelle Red, she is 4 years old and likes dressing up, drawing and telling stories.

Beauty photographer: www.desmedtjans.com
Location: www.makeupforever.be
Make-up: www.makeupbylili.com
Hair: Manu Martens

Dana Winner

Kristof is an atypical fashion designer, declared the most eccentric designer on the Brussels fashion scene by fashion bloggers. He created a collection of boxer shorts against the anti-gay laws of Russian President Putin and a range of paper Crisis jewellery for the festive season. His work is studied at Harvard and at UGent. This Christmas he designed Dana Winner's Golden Dress, the Christmas star, for her concerts in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Photos were taken by Dutch fashion photographer Herman van Gestel.


Download the uber-cool Dana Winner Christmas Ringtone for your mobile phone.

Crisis Jewellery

With this 2D jewellery Belgian fashion designer Kristof Buntinx shows what true luxury means to him. The designs are ideal for the end-of-year period and other festive occasions. They are made from high-quality paper with a luxurious ribbon to wear around the neck.

With a pricey hat collection for Royal Ascot and custom-made dresses the designer had played the luxury card in the past. This time, however, Kristof Buntinx offers more affordable glamour. Buntinx is no stranger to puns and rebellious tricks, which is also obvious in his new jewellery range, where the focus is on symbolic luxury.

Thanks to their baroque diamond prints and royal colours the paper jewellery is truly eye catching, coming into its own in a festive context. Making a statement with an over-the-top accessory does not have to be expensive. Or gift luxury with a warm message!

Studio TVL

Fashion designer Kristof Buntinx talks about his creations, also worn by Marlène de Wouters during the Queen Elisabeth competition, to TV host Cynthia Reekmans in her popular afternoon show.

Crown Jewels

Back in ancient times the use of coins as jewellery was commonplace. Coins are daily implements exchanged by everyone. To Kristof Buntinx, creating a piece of jewellery from a coin boils down to elevating an object to the dignity of a work of art (see the definition of the sublimation process in the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan). Kristof Buntinx designed his creations for a woman as evidence of her relationship with the royal family. To him the portrait of the King, the reference to Europe and the fact that it involves money, provide the added value to his creation. In these times of economic crisis, in which everyone complains about loss, this veiled reference brings about a re-evaluation.

Ties

The retro looking neckties, with nonchalant Italian knot, are digitally printed following his design on polyester and the scarves on Oriental silk.
In his creations, Kristof Buntinx delights in starting out from plays on words: see his Der-Die-Das ('Der-Die-Tie' - 'Das' being both a German word and a Dutch word for 'tie'), 'rope tie' ('strop' can mean 'rope' in Dutch and 'stropdas' is a word for 'tie'), and the necktie with the picture of the animal printed on it.
Fashion and language theory (Ferdinand de Saussure) go hand in hand in his work.
For his scarves, he takes his own drawings as the starting point, alluding to the homophony between 'foulard' (the Dutch word for 'scarf' and 'fou l’art', meaning 'mad about art').
Here model Arno Sintobin wears the neckties, photographed by Gaëtan Chekaiban.


De retro ogende dassen, met nonchalante Italiaanse knoop, worden naar zijn ontwerp digitaal gedrukt op polyester en de foulards op Oosterse zijde.
Kristof Buntinx vertrekt in zijn creaties graag van woordspelingen: zie zijn Der-Die-Das, zijn stropdas, of de das met als print de afbeelding van het diertje.
Mode en taaltheorie (Ferdinand de Saussure) gaan hand in hand in zijn oeuvre.
Voor zijn foulards neemt hij eigen tekeningen als uitgangspunt, zinspelend op de gelijkluidendheid foulard/fou l’art.
Het model Arno Sintobin draagt hier de dassen, gefotografeerd door Gaëtan Chekaiban.


Les cravates au look rétro, au nœud de cravate italien nonchalant, font l’objet d’une impression numérique sur le polyester d’après ses dessins. Les foulards sont imprimés sur de la soie orientale.
Dans ses créations, Kristof Buntinx aime prendre pour point de départ des jeux de mots : Der-Die-Das (les articles définis allemands, « das » signifiant également « cravate » en néerlandais, sa « stropdas » (littéralement « cravate corde » en néerlandais), ou la cravate sur laquelle est imprimée l’illustration d’un blaireau (qui se dit également « das » en néerlandais).
Mode et théorie linguistique (Ferdinand de Saussure) vont de pair dans son œuvre.
Pour ses foulards, il prend pour point de départ ses propres dessins, en faisant allusion à la consonance du mot foulard avec « fou l’art », l’art fou.
Le modèle Arno Sintobin porte ici les cravates, photographiées par Gaëtan Chekaiban.

Queen Elisabeth competition

During her presentation for the finals of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth competition, this year for piano, Marlène de Wouters wore three dresses designed by young Belgian fashion designer Kristof Buntinx.
This involved a black dress with draped back and three quarter sleeves in satin mousseline and crepe silk, held together by a leather ribbon and an identical ivory coloured dress in silk satin, with fabric ribbon. On the last evening Marlène shone in a long dress with plunging shoulders in lilac silk satin and two-coloured embroidered silk tulle.
She was visibly pleased about the creative synergy between her and Kristof.
Photos taken by Gaëtan Chekaiban, a photographer with a good eye.

Actua-TV

Marlène de Wouters interviews Belgian fashion designer Kristof Buntinx in her programme “Marlène@Home” on the Actua TV channel. They discuss his LGBT co-housing project, his personal story and his fashion accessories. The informal and candid interview can be seen on Actua+, the video-on-demand-offer from ActuaTV. 

RTBF-2

Kristof is the guest of the programme Zipp, presented by Alain Tholl de L'Enclos, on the RTBF-2 channel, in which Kristof provides information on his accessories. The images proved to be very beautiful.

Thanks to:
Models: Justine Meuleman & Sofja Primchits & Gilles De Neyer
Hair: Hendrik Coppieters
Location: Design Republic & Murtaza Teke 

Handbag

A handbag in the shape of a hand! In terms of design, a nod to the cursor on a computer screen, ideal for young people for whom the computer has become part and parcel of their daily life. Made from white leather with black leather sides. The design crystallises the pun, which can be made in several languages, i.e., ‘hand tas’, ‘sac à main’, ‘handbag’, a pun that is put into practice here for the first time.

God save the Queens

Fashion designer Kristof Buntinx' answer to Bart De Wever.
I introduce my T-shirt for civil servants of the city of Antwerp.

Kristof Buntinx' antwoord aan Bart De Wever.
Voor de ambtenaren van de stad Antwerpen stel ik mijn T-shirt voor.

La réponse de Kristof Buntinx à Bart De Wever
Je propose mon t-shirt aux fonctionnaires de la ville d’Anvers.

Exhibition Theo Gallery

Here are a few photos of the vernissage that took place on 31 August in the Antwerp Theo Gallery, where my neckties, scarves and jewellery were shown. A lot of friends and acquaintances dropped in. It was a massive honour for me to be able to exhibit in the renovated gallery run by Patrick Hoet & Wim Somers. Thanks also to Miet Vaes for her support and cooperation.

The event attracted media attention in Nieuwsblad online, Feeling online, etc.

Kortrijk Interieur

In keeping with tradition, biennially Kortrijk Interieur holds a competition for the clothing of its stewards & hostesses. This year I very enthusiastically presented the designs ‘The inside’. Both designs with the same name involve complete outfits to be worn by both male hosts and female hostesses. They are white, two-part suits with associated shirt or blouse. On the fabric from which the suits are made, a colourful interweaving is printed that refers to the electrical wires that are every bit as colourful and which we usually find on the inside of an interior (in the wall, floor, ceiling), or also to the home automation that is worked into it today. Both with the title (“The inside”) and the design itself (wiring) I explicitly refer to the Biënnale Interieur event in Kortrijk. I also switch ‘inside’ and ‘outside’: the inside comes to be seen on the outside. Nice, in my opinion, but unfortunately enough my designs were not retained.

Hats

Gum printing was invented around 1855 by Alphonse Louis Poitevin (1819-1882).
A number of Kristof Buntinx’s hats were photographed by Kim Engels and finished by her using this technique. Gum printing is a form of bichromate photography for the production of positives on paper, whereby use is made of the light-sensitivity of mixtures of gum arabic and dichromates, whilst the image remains on the original bottom layer. Gum printing belongs to the so-called noble processes and is also one of the oldest ones. Kristof is happy with this workmanship using an old and labour-intensive procedure. Obviously this technique suits Kim Engels to a T, being the perfectionist that she is. Kristof contacted her through the association of professional photographers and got to know her as a very charming person.


Le procédé du tirage à la gomme bichromatée a été inventé en 1855 par Alphonse Louis Poitevin (1819-1882).
Plusieurs des chapeaux de Kristof Buntinx ont été photographiés par Kim Engels et parachevés avec cette technique. Un tirage à la gomme bichromatée est une forme de photographie permettant la réalisation de tirages positifs sur papier utilisant la sensibilité à la lumière de mélanges de gomme arabique avec des bichromates, tandis que l’image demeure sur la sous-couche initiale. Le tirage à la gomme bichromatée relève des procédés nobles et est l’un des plus anciens. Kristof est heureux de cette réalisation faisant appel à une méthode ancienne, à facteur de travail élevé. Cette technique semble très bien convenir à Kim Engels et à son perfectionnisme. Kristof est entré en contact avec elle via l’association des photographes professionnels et a fait la connaissance d’une dame tout à fait charmante.


De gomdruk werd omstreeks 1855 uitgevonden door Alphonse Louis Poitevin (1819-1882).
Een aantal van Kristof Buntinx’ hoeden werden gefotografeerd door Kim Engels en door haar met deze techniek afgewerkt. Een gomdruk is een vorm van chromaatfotografie voor het vervaardigen van positieven op papier, waarbij gebruik wordt gemaakt van de lichtgevoeligheid van mengsels van Arabische gom met dichromaten, terwijl het beeld op de oorspronkelijke onderlaag blijft. De gomdruk behoort tot de zogenaamde edele procedés en is een der oudste procedés. Kristof is blij met deze uitvoering met behulp van een oude en arbeidsintensieve werkwijze. Blijkbaar gaat deze techniek Kim Engels als perfectioniste heel goed af. Kristof contacteerde haar via de vereniging van de beroepsfotografen en leerde haar kennen als een heel charmante juffrouw.

Hong Kong Design Week

During the Hong Kong Design Week 2011, the three curators Li Mei Tsien, Sébastien Cruyt and Marie Pok opted for a non-traditional exhibition. In the old police headquarters they put a playful and interactive installation on display with references to popular Hong Kong cultural practices. This installation is composed of basic ‘Made in China’ cotton T-shirts printed with designs by architects, designers and couturiers. Each T-shirt is printed with a distinctive design, draft or sketch by one of the selected candidates, featuring Kristof Buntinx, among others. This concept is the Belgian answer to Ai Wei Wei’s and Rei Kawakubo’s installation in the Comme des Garçons Dover Street Market shop window.

In the T-shirt presented here, Kristof capitalises on the multiple interpretations of the word “crow” (“corbeau” in French, which when pronounced also sounds like “corps beau” (“a beautiful body”). In addition to the reference to surrealism, this T-shirt illustrates how the human mind works, namely through the “signifier” or acoustic image (French: “signifiant” or “image acoustique”) of the words (which therefore do not have to be rendered in the grammatically correct sequence). The wearer of the T-shirt shows the world through the symbol of the crow that he has a beautiful body.
Kristof’s creations therefore also illustrate Ferdinand de Saussure’s language theory, which was based on the field of tension between word and image, or more specifically, between “signifier” (“signifiant”) and “signified” (“signifié”). In his language theory this linguist postulated that there is no fixed connection between the level of signifiers, in other words, the level of that with which we indicate something and the level of the signified. Furthermore, he postulated that there is no hierarchical connection between both levels. In his opinion therefore the language does not prevail over the visual image. The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan drew inspiration from this linguistic belief for the further development of the Freudian theory. He nonetheless did put forward that there is an actual hierarchical connection between signifier and signified, insofar as the signifier prevails over the signified. The latter is perfectly illustrated by Kristof’s creations, namely the signifier “corps beau” opens up several signifieds, here both the “crow” and the “beautiful body”.

Modo Brussels Parcours

At the end of October, Modo Brussels rolled out the red carpet for trendy designers over a period of three days.

Kristof Buntinx also obviously joined in on the fun and showed his hats, ties, jewellery and belts in the new Dun-Dee Concept Store at the Sablon. A lot of beautiful people as well as the press were also in attendance. Kristof granted an interview about this three-day event and his designs, to which you can listen here.

Kristof wishes to thank Modo Brussels, and more particularly Elke Timmerman for organising the event.

Friends and acquaintances attended the evening do, of which a few photos can be seen here. 

He wishes to extend his thanks to Nicolas Viu Masia for the creative display window and Murtaza Teke for the amazing visuals. His gratitude also goes to Kathy Tarea of Dun-Dee for welcoming him in her gorgeous store. Pictures were taken by Leo Estercam.


Hopefully we will see you next year and we thank you for having come to this event this year!



Modo Brussels rolde eind oktober gedurende drie dagen de rode loper uit voor trendy designers.

Kristof Buntinx was uiteraard van de partij en showde zijn hoeden, dassen, juwelen en riemen in de nieuwe Concept Store Dun-Dee op de Zavel. Veel schoon volk was er te zien en ook de pers was aanwezig. Kristof gaf een interview weg over deze driedaagse en zijn creaties. U kunt dit hier beluisteren.

Kristof wenst hier Modo Brussels, in het bijzonder Elke Timmerman te bedanken voor de organisatie van dit event.

Vrienden en kennissen kwamen af op de nocturne, waarvan u hier enige foto’s kunt bekijken.

Met dank aan Nicolas Viu Masia voor de creatieve etalage en Murtaza Teke voor de mooie visuals. Ook dank aan Kathy Tarea van Dun-Dee om Kristof te ontvangen in haar prachtige zaak. De foto's zijn gemaakt door Leo Estercam.

Hopelijk tot volgend jaar en dank om naar deze editie gekomen te zijn!

MIAT

Binnen het kader van hun najaarstentoonstelling “Futiel textiel?” van 15 oktober 2011 tot 25 maart 2012, selecteerde het MIAT (Museum voor Industriële Archeologie en Textiel te Gent) het ontwerp de “Das” van Kristof Buntinx. In zijn creaties staan vaak, zoals in de traditie van de surrealisten, woordspelingen centraal. Een woord betekent altijd meer: zo ook bij deze das, verwijzend naar het marterachtig roofdier met het karakteristieke patroon in zijn pels. Deze “Das” zal te koop zijn in de Museumshop aan een democratische prijs. Kristof is fier op deze selectie, temeer omdat hij een speciale band heeft met de stad Gent waar hij een jaar verbleef tijdens zijn modeopleiding.
Aan deze tentoonstelling was ook een wedstrijd verbonden waarbij men de Bekende Vlaming dient te raden die de “Das” draagt gefotografeerd door Cristina De La Madera. Hiermee kon je een weekendtrip naar Londen winnen. Jaap Van Heest is ermee aan de haal gegaan en de BV is niemand minder dan Herr Seele!


Dans le cadre de son exposition d’automne « Futiel textiel? » du 15 octobre 2011 au 25 mars 2012, le MIAT (Musée d’archéologie industrielle et du textile de Gand) a sélectionné le projet «Das » (la cravate, mais aussi le blaireau en néerlandais) de Kristof Buntinx. Dans la grande tradition des surréalistes, les jeux de mots occupent dans ses créations une position centrale. Un mot a toujours plus d’une signification : c’est aussi le cas avec cette cravate, qui fait directement référence au mustélidé carnivore au pelage au dessin caractéristique. Cette « Cravate-blaireau » sera en vente dans la boutique du musée à un prix démocratique. Kristof est fier de cette sélection, d’autant plus qu’il entretient un lien particulier avec la ville de Gand où il a séjourné pendant une année au cours de sa formation à la mode.
Un concours consistant à deviner quel Flamand connu porte la « Cravate » était également associé à cette exposition. Photo par Cristina De La Madera. Un week-end à Londres était à remporter. Le grand gagnant est Jaap Van Heest et le Flamand connu est Herr Seele!


The MIAT (Ghent Museum for Industrial Archaeology and Textile) selected the “Tie” design by Kristof Buntinx as part of its autumn exhibition “Futile textile?” running from 15 October 2011 to 25 March 2012. Kristof’s creations are often centred around puns, true to surrealist tradition. A word always has more than one meaning, as is the case for this tie, which in Dutch refers to a badger typically having a grey and black coat and a white-striped head. This “Tie” will be available for sale at a democratic price in the Museum shop. Kristof is proud of this selection, all the more so since he has a special "tie" with the city of Ghent where he stayed for one year during his fashion training.
A competition was also linked to this exhibition where entrants had to guess which Famous Fleming wears the “Tie”, photographed by Cristina De La Madera, and could win a weekend trip to London. The big winner is Jaap Van Heest and the Famous Fleming is Herr Seele!

Accessories

In this non-contemporary series of fashion shots, advertising photographer Geert De Taeye sticks to his own, somewhat cynical and gloomy style. The contrast of this view with my intrinsically cheerful accessories (the halo hat, the rosary of Belgian euro coins, the ‘hand-bag’ and the jam jar lid hat) provides the images with remarkable tension.
The halo and the rosary hats share a religious aspect with Geert De Taeye’s photography enhanced by the model, Justine Meuleman’s modesty. In addition, the halo hat represents the conversion of a symbol (the halo surrounding the heads of saints in Christian iconography) into a wearable object, i.e., a hat. The rosary was also designed with a nod to the Belgian royal family and is part of a series of jewels to which this object belongs. On the other hand, the hand-bag was inspired by the literal meaning of the word ‘hand bag’, to which I added the hyphen, as it were. The jam jar lid hat is a variation on the classic ‘head cover’, again based on a play on words (in Dutch). If you ask me, this last photo belongs on the cover of Vogue. In short, my objects acquire another dimension as a result of this collaboration with photographer Geert De Taeye.

In deze niet eigentijdse reeks van modefoto’s houdt reklame-fotograaf Geert De Taeye vast aan zijn eigen ietwat cynische en duistere stijl. Het contrast van deze blik met mijn in se vrolijke accessoires (de aureoolhoed, de rozenkrans van Belgische Euromunten, de ‘hand-tas’ en de konfituurpotdekselhoed) zorgt voor een merkwaardige spanning in de beelden.
De aureoolhoed en de rozenkrans delen met de fotografie van Geert De Taeye het religieus aspect, mede door de ingetogenheid van het model Justine Meuleman. Hiernaast vormt de aureoolhoed een omzetting van een symbool (de stralenkrans waarmee de hoofden van heiligen wordt omgeven in de christelijke iconografie) in een draagbaar object, nl. een hoed. Ook de rozenkrans werd met een knipoog bedacht, hier naar het Belgisch koningshuis dat ik in gedachten had bij het maken van de reeks juwelen waar dit object in thuis hoort. De hand-tas werd dan weer geïnspireerd door de letterlijke betekenis van het woord “handtas”, waar ik als het ware het koppelteken aan toevoeg. De konfituurpotdekselhoed is een variatie op de klassieker “hoofddeksel”, met daarin weerom de woordspeling als uitgangspunt. Deze laatste foto hoort, als je het mij vraagt, thuis op de cover van Vogue. Kortom, mijn objecten krijgen door deze samenwerking met fotograaf Geert De Taeye een andere dimensie.

Handbag

A handbag in the shape of a hand! In terms of design, a nod to the cursor on a computer screen, ideal for young people for whom the computer has become part and parcel of their daily life. Made from white leather with black leather sides. The design crystallises the pun, which can be made in several languages, i.e., ‘hand-tas’, ‘sac à main’, ‘handbag’, pun that is put into practice here for the first time. In terms of production, I suggest that several sizes be made. From evening clutch, as is shown here, to oversized carry-all. The house model, in a manner of speaking, is Justine Meuleman, who recently took part in Benelux’ Next Top Model. I was charmed by her performance in this reality show and ran into her accidentally on the train. We got to talking and she was willing to become my model. During photo sessions she is very patient, easy to work with, even under difficult conditions. In short, I am pleased with our professional collaboration. Stefaan Beernaert, a.k.a. Foantje, shot the photos in an abandoned building. He is a young photographer with a keen eye for desolate settings with which he merges the models.


Een handtas in de vorm van een hand! Verwijzend qua vorm naar de cursor op een computerscherm, wat passend is voor jongeren voor wie de computer een belangrijke plaats inneemt in hun dagdagelijks leven. Vervaardigd in wit leder met een zwartlederen zijkant. Het design concretiseert de woordspeling die in verschillende talen kan worden gemaakt: “hand-tas”, “sac à main”, “hand-bag”, woordspeling die hier voor het eerst gematerialiseerd wordt. Voor de productie stel ik voor dat er verschillende groottes gemaakt worden. Van coctail accessoire, zoals hier, tot de oversized handtas. Huismodel, bij wijze van spreken, is Justine Meuleman, recent nog deelneemster aan Benelux’ Next Top Model. Ik was gecharmeerd door haar optreden in deze reality-reeks en ontmoette haar bij toeval op de trein. We geraakten aan de praat en zij was spontaan bereid om voor mij als model op te treden. Bij foto-sessies is zij heel geduldig, werkt goed mee, ook in moeilijke omstandigheden. Kortom, ik ben blij met de professionele samenwerking. Stefaan Beernaert a.k.a. Foantje maakte de foto’s in een verlaten gebouw. Hij is een jonge fotograaf met een scherpe blik voor desolate omgevingen waarmee hij het model doet samensmelten.

Clothes: Pain Revisited

These designs represent the next stage in the ‘Pain’ collection, which I had created years ago. Whilst initially I had photographs taken in a slaughterhouse, now, in 2011, I present the more stylised version, which I designed in 1999-2000. The red of the piping, trouser pockets and zips, refers to wounds suffered in the past. For example, the deep décolletage stands for intense pain and not for the fashionable image that would become trendy later. The context in which the model is photographed reflects the faith to which I was attracted and from which I expected healing. The photographer Stefaan Beernaert, aka Foantje, was able to capture all of this perfectly. Based on his penchant for unique, abandoned sites, he opted for a convent in this case. By having the model Justine Meuleman float and by surrounding her with flowers, he converts the pain into something beautiful and wearable. Here, we revisit the painful photos from the slaughterhouse. Stefaan Beernaert is a talented young photographer, who spares no effort to find the right location for his work. I wish to thank him for his commitment and dedication.

Deze ontwerpen vormen een volgende fase op de collectie ‘Pain’ die ik jaren geleden gestalte gaf. Waar ik aanvankelijk foto’s liet maken in een slachthuis stel ik nu, anno 2011, de meer gestileerde collectie voor die ik eveneens in 1999-2000 ontworpen heb. De rode kleur van de biezen, de broekzakken en ritsen, verwijzen naar de verwondingen opgelopen in het verleden. Zo staat de diepe halsuitsnijding voor de diepe pijn en niet voor het modebeeld dat later trendy werd. De context waarin het model nu wordt gefotografeerd weerspiegelt het geloof waartoe ik mij aangetrokken voelde en waarvan ik genezing verwachtte. De fotograaf Stefaan Beernaert aka Foantje voelt dit goed aan. Vanuit zijn voorliefde voor verlaten, bijzondere plekken, opteert hij hier voor een klooster. Door het model Justine Meuleman te laten zweven en te midden van bloemen te plaatsen, verwerkt hij de pijn tot iets moois en draagbaars. De pijnlijke foto’s uit het slachthuis worden hier herbezocht. Stefaan Beernaert is een jonge talentvolle fotograaf, die geen inspanning schuwt om de juiste locatie te vinden voor zijn werk. Voor zijn inzet en voor zijn toewijding wil ik hem danken.

Scarves

The scarves represent a blow-up of the famous breast cancer (pink) and AIDS (red) ribbons, which are universally recognised as a sign or symbol. Here the intention was to cover the body with the ribbons, albeit partially, and at the same time the ribbons become functional: a scarf protects.
With these designs, Kristof Buntinx subscribes to what is expected from fashion designers, i.e., that their creations occasionally include a statement about a controversial social issue.


De sjaals vormen een uitvergroting van de gekende aids (rood) en borstkanker (roze) ribbons die universeel herkend worden als teken of symbool. Hier was de idee om met die linten het lichaam te bedekken, gedeeltelijk dan toch, en tegelijkertijd worden de linten functioneel: een sjaal beschermt tegen de kou.
Met deze ontwerpen schrijft Kristof Buntinx zich in in het verwachtingspatroon dat actueel leeft ten aanzien van een modeontwerper, namelijk dat zijn creaties af en toe een statement bevatten over een maatschappelijk hangijzer.


Clothes: Pain

When I designed this clothing line I was deeply moved by An and Eefje’s story. I felt attracted to it and at the same time I found it hyped in a sense. Maybe it was my way of coping with this terrible event, young girls who had been raped and killed by a pervert. I had a hard time with the coverage in the media. Laetitia, one of the surviving girls, was asked ‘Are you happy now?’ in front of the camera! Stupid question, in my opinion. It upset me, and I was quite assertive about it. That’s why I called VRT to put pressure on the news and also with the request for adapted news for children – that is approximately when Ketnet was introduced. I wanted to stick up for others.

The aesthetisation of pain can be seen in my collection, which is probably also due to the fact that I have suffered a lot myself, because I was bullied at school, among others, first as the son of the teacher and later due to my homosexuality.

The technique was quite easy: white clothes and red paint, it was a natural. It was fairly difficult nonetheless to have the clothes made. That is how I found the way to Schleiper. When I was staining those clothes, it was important to find a balance in terms of stains. I especially wanted to make the crotch red (photo 5), referring to bloody vaginas, an aspect that has nothing to do with menstruation or my aggression here. It is rather imagining their distress from my own pain, empathy. It also made me think of the painter Jackson Pollock, who launched this trend with his famous 'drippings'. Today it also makes me think of those jeans with white paint stains on them, which can be bought. I did not copy them, since I only saw them subsequently in the stores.

I have also worn pieces from my collection at the Aalst carnival. I had made a sign with the name ‘An’ and someone else carried a sign with ‘Eefje’ on it. When they played ‘I will survive’ at the disco, we danced to it. As far as I was concerned those girls continued to live on and I found it so sad that they were only remembered as victims. I also wanted them to live on in a positive way. People did not all react well to this and some were shocked. However, it wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone.

The deeply cut neckline I designed ten years ago has only become fashionable a few years ago. To me it was not a mere decorative feature, but a symbol for deep-seated pain. Subsequently I created a stylised collection, which is more commercial. To many the blood was too unpleasant and I therefore shifted the red to the collar, pockets and zips. The latter, also on the jacket, represented scars, as in a fight, referring to the suppression of the bad, to resistance, to the fact that we don’t just allow things to happen. In one garment one sleeve is longer than the other, as if that arm was stretched, while the collar conjures up the image of a slit throat.

Eventually I found the photos more important than the clothes, as a kind of statement. They were taken by Stijn Vanorbeek at the Anderlecht slaughterhouse.

The strong mediatisation of An and Eefje triggered the topic of pain but it had always been latent in the pain I inherited, as it were, from my grandmother and mother. In some way I also deal with their pain, and their pain is expressed in me. For my grandmother it had to do with the pain she experienced during the war and the fact that she was an orphan. Sexuality was also taboo to her. She did have two children, but nakedness, cuddling, intimacy were off-limits to her. For example, she had to sleep fully clothed. I also remember that when I got a bit older I was no longer allowed to snuggle up to her, since she found it too sexual. That is when I became resentful of her. At the end of her life she lived with us, and I still remember how she ranted when something intimate was shown on TV, a kiss or something physical. To her it was not acceptable and I had to switch to another programme. When she passed away, I did not feel overly sad since she had not accepted my love.

As far as my mother is concerned, I always thought that something terrible happened to her. In general I feel very involved with women in the family, for example with my aunts and female cousins. My relationship with most men in the family is not nearly as strong.
 

Hats

Thimble (finger hat in Dutch). The word is self explanatory (in Dutch), it is a hat. In the meantime it is one of my classics, which can to some extent be compared with the bowler hat, which was Magritte’s signature.

Head covering (Head lid in Dutch). A hat is indeed something that covers the head, hence “head lid”. I thought of a lid on a rubbish bin, since sometimes people treat each other like garbage. I want to keep it light-hearted since I turned it into a lovely accessory.

Hairstyle hat. Hair can also be considered as an accessory covering the head. Design is based on a children’s drawing of mum’s hairdo, as I would draw it now, in the Jommeke-like yellow of the Flemish comic hero.

Halo, made for the entrance exam to the La Cambre fashion school in Brussels, which refers to the religious and materialisation of light by which saints are surrounded. Initially I made a halo from adhesive tape. Later I had this hat produced from sisal.

Satellite dish hat: for this image Kristof was inspired by a daydream and refers to the contact with the extraterrestrial, the cosmic, God, etc. He chose the colour black in function of a yet-to-be-made photo, whereby the model is seen as it appears in black when it is lit up by a strong light source, as in a solar eclipse when the moon turns black and the sun into a halo.


The hats were created through a mechanism, which is always based on language and this in various ways. First and foremost there are two designs based on the ambiguity of language, namely the "thimble (finger hat)" and the "head cover". Whilst the word thimble seems to unequivocally refer to the small metal implement with which we protect our finger, Kristof Buntinx plays with the word and uses it in its literal meaning as a hat, i.e., like something we wear on our head. The same creation mechanism forms the basis for "head cover". This word typically refers to gear specially manufactured to cover the head. In this creation, however, the designer uses the second part of the word, i.e., "cover", which by association takes him to the lid of a rubbish bin. In this design the endeavour resounds to transform something that is considered to be generally "ugly", into something beautiful. We see how he raises the everyday, exactly as was the case with his "pin cushion": the common implement is raised to the level of a graceful object, which at the same time acquires a new function. In the "hairstyle" design the hairdo is metonymically (through substitution) transformed into a hat whilst the aureole involves the shift and transformation of what is plastically depicted as a halo in painting. Lastly, the "dish antenna" design reflects how easy it is to turn the meaning of a word "upside down". The hats are handmade by the accomplished milliner Martine Verstraeten.

Noose Ties

With noose ties the idea results from the association in terms of sound-image: a tie in the shape of a noose. The scarlet colour of one contrasts with the virginal white of the other tie. Both were hand-made from wool, the latter to soften the sharp edge of the thought of suicide. Kristof Buntinx did intermittently play with the idea, as a mere possibility, as a final self-destination or ultimate self-discipline. At the same time the design implies control over that concept, since all imagination equals suppression. Kristof is nonetheless aware that human thought is at times uncontrollable. This is where fear rears its ugly head. He does understand that it is possible to be frightened by his designs.


Bij de stropdassen spruit de idee voort uit de associatie op het niveau van het klankbeeld: "stropdas", een "das" in de vorm een "strop". De bloedrode kleur van de ene contrasteert met het maagdelijke wit van de andere das. Beide werden met de hand vervaardigd uit wol, dit laatste om het scherpe van de idee aan zelfmoord te verzachten. Met die gedachte speelde Kristof Buntinx wel eens, als loutere mogelijkheid, als ultieme zelfbestemming of zelfcontrole. Tegelijkertijd impliceert de creatie zijn controle over die idee, zoals elke verbeelding een bemeestering is. Kristof weet echter dat die menselijke gedachte soms oncontroleerbaar is. Dan verschijnt de angst. Hij begrijpt dan ook dat men kan schrikken van zijn ontwerpen.


Toga 125 Fashion Award

Kristof Buntinx was interviewed recently as a result of the Toga 125 design contest, organised by the Young Bar Conference in Antwerp to celebrate its 125th anniversary. The event took place in collaboration with the Ghent Fashion Academy, the Ghent Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Flanders Fashion Institute in Antwerp.

The toga that was designed could be admired during a major fashion event at the Antwerp Palace of Justice in the presence of the Antwerp bar, the ministers for justice and culture, the president of the Antwerp Bar Council, judges, lawyers, the press and the public.

The designs were judged during the fashion show by a jury of renowned designers and prominent members of the judicial world.

The show was followed by a prize-giving ceremony and a fabulous reception.

Thanks for being there!









Movies are made by www.advocatennet.be

Ceci n'est pas un advocaat

Kristof Buntinx’s ontwerpen voor een nieuwe toga voor de advocatuur werden onlangs gepreselecteerd door de jury van Fashion Award “Toga 125”. Hij realiseerde één van deze silhouetten en stelde deze voor tijdens een modeshow op 27 mei 2011 in het justitiepaleis van Antwerpen. Het ontwerp is conceptueel en kreeg de naam mee van: “Ceci n’est pas un advocaat”.

Het gaat om een tunica in een eigele crèmige kleur, met daarover een lange zwarte drappage. Het geheel ademt de luxe en de stijl uit van de Romeinse keizers. De snit is heel basic: de tunica bestaat uit één stuk stof, die aan de zijkanten met linten wordt dichtgemaakt. Ook de drappage bestaat uit één stuk stof, nu zo’n zes meter lang, aan één zijde ovaal uitgesneden, zodat de drappage aan de pols afgerond is.

De toegevoegde waarde ligt in de ontlening aan de geschiedenis (Romeinse tijd -- Romeins recht), gecombineerd met het actuele van de woordspeling Advocaat -- de drank “Advocaat”. Het gaat om meer dan een simpele woordspeling: het oeuvre van Kristof Buntinx schrijft zich grotendeels in in de traditie van het Belgisch surrealisme. Hierin gaat de creatie vaak uit van de dubbelheid van de betekenis.

Accessoires: hoed en tas

De hoed is letterlijk een hoofddeksel, hier dan passend het deksel van de fles advocaat, vervaardigd in zwarte sisal. De tas krijgt de vorm van een ei, verwijzend naar de eieren die in de drank worden verwerkt.
De tas is in wit leder, omdat de huidige gadgets (iphone) meestal een witte kleur hebben. “Wit” wordt geassocieerd met het moderne milieuvriendelijke.

Paper Hats

These seemingly paper hats, photographed here by Emilie Vercruysse, were made from printed cotton, reinforced with elasticated cloth. The concept is simple and is a nod to the Flemish children’s song: “Eén, twee, drie, vier, hoedje van, hoedje van, Eén, twee, drie, vier, hoedje van papier!” Paper hats and paper boats are obviously also traditional handicrafts, everyone has made one at some point.
Kristof Buntinx made hats along these lines, which can actually be worn. He designed these hats for the celebrities from the world of the media, who in this way refer to their biotope.
The photographer, who lives and works in Ghent, however, placed the hats on Bonnie’s head and by doing so takes us back to the playfulness of our childhood days. She primarily works with children and her colourful portraits are an authentic representation of the child’s soul.
The collaboration between Kristof and Emilie Vercruysse went off swimmingly and Kristof is delighted that she was willing to complete the project. He hopes to be able to work with other talented photographers in the future.




Deze schijnbaar papieren hoedjes, hier gefotografeerd door Emilie Vercruysse, werden gemaakt uit bedrukt katoen, verstevigd met toile élastique. De idee is eenvoudig en verwijst naar het Vlaamse kinderliedje “Eén, twee, drie, vier, hoedje van, hoedje van, Eén, twee, drie, vier, hoedje van papier!” Het hoedje van papier en het papieren bootje zijn uiteraard ook klassieke knutselwerkjes die iedereen ooit wel eens heeft gemaakt.
Kristof Buntinx maakte er nu hoeden van die werkelijk kunnen gedragen worden. Hij bedacht deze hoeden voor de sterren uit de mediawereld, die op die manier naar hun biotoop verwijzen.
De fotografe, wonend en werkend te Gent, zette de hoedjes echter op het hoofd van Bonnie en voert ons daarmee terug naar het speelse van de kindertijd. Zij werkt meestal met kinderen en haar portretten zijn kleurrijk en geven de kinderziel authentiek weer.
De samenwerking tussen Kristof en Emilie verliep bijzonder vlot en Kristof is verheugd dat zij dit project heeft willen realiseren. Hij hoopt in de toekomst nog met getalenteerde fotografen te kunnen samenwerken.