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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.

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