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Volume 05 — Issue 03

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

Neighbourhood Hourly love Life Pig skinned Style 24 hour party people Music In the club Culture The bubblegum brigade + The design special

The pink album


4

Editorial assistant Sarah Schug Design facetofacedesign + pleaseletmedesign Writers Sabine Clappaert Julie Kavanagh Rose Kelleher Nicholas Lewis Philippe Pourhashemi Sarah Schug Charline Stoelzaed Photographers/Illustrators Joke De Wilde Sarah Eechaut Veerle Frissen Pauline Miko Grégoire Pleynet Virassamy Intern Joke De Wilde Visit us thewordmagazine.com Like us facebook.com/TheWordMagazine Follow us @TheWordMgz Download us thewordmagazine.com/ipad

The Word is published by JamPublishing, 107 Rue Général Henry Straat 1040 Brussels Belgium. Reproduction, in whole or in part, without prior permission is strictly prohibited. All information correct up to the time of going to press. The publishers cannot be held liable for any changes in this respect after this date.

To seasoned followers of our regular rantings about the supposed demise of the print industry, the following might not come as that much of a shocker. Truth be told, we knew we had it coming when we realised we wouldn’t be able to come out with our grey album in January as had originally been planned. Overnight, we had somehow lost our spark. Something needed to change, something that would re-invigorate the troupes and get them back on their toes, back to where they were five years ago. You see, when we launched The Insider Edition, our first one, in January 2008, we were a bunch of ignorant, arrogant loud mouths with much too much to prove. We  had gotten it in our heads that launching a somewhat upscale magazine that was distributed for free was a viable business model. The Internet had us all foolishly chanting ‘free is the future, the future is free’, or whatever the fuck. And, to our greatest surprise, for some time, we actually seemed to have gotten it right. Although we got off to a slow start, our second and third years were our best – from a purely balance sheet perspective. Mid-to-end of 2012 is when things started to get rocky though. The time to take some tough decisions was slowly but surely creeping up on us. So here we are, five years on, having just made a tough decision, one which puts you, our reader, at the centre of things (I can’t believe I just said that). To put it in balance sheet speak, we’d rather have to ‘sell’ our content to our readers than ‘sell’ our readers (and, consequently, our souls) to advertisers. Yes, this is the last edition of The Word that you’ll be taking home for free. We’ll be keeping you in the loop about the re-launch’s progress over the next few months but you can expect a totally re-hashed and re-focused magazine, complete with new format, new paper stock and new sections (photography and contemporary art). It’ll come at a cost, yes, but one we’re hoping you’ll see the value in taking on. In the meantime, we’ll be increasing our online coverage, throwing one big birthday bash in January 2013 to celebrate our fifth anniversary and taking a more prominent position on the local art circuit with a major exhibition of contemporary Belgian photography in April 2013 (The Word presents This is Belgium). It’s been a great few years. (Again, can’t imagine I just said that).

Nicholas Lewis

© Grégoire Pleynet

Publisher and editor-in-chief Nicholas Lewis

The editor’s letter

On this cover Animal farm


6

The contents

Neighbourhood

Style

The design Special

19

44

70

Meet market

Søren

Studio With A View

21

46

72

No strings attached...

Party props

The ones that count

24

50

76

Home-grown high

The weekend has landed

Craft works

Life

Music

Culture

28

60

88

Weightlifting

Soldout

Nightclubs

32

64

92

Prime cuts

DJ tales

Girls just wanna have fun


8

The pinkboard

02

03

01

04 05 06

07

08

09

10

11

12

01. Cubes and rolls of Bubblicious gum. We had initially thought of uniting some strippers in a studio with nothing but a pair of high heels and meters of bubblegum to play with. Whilst it may have sounded good on paper, the idea never really quite took shape. / 02. Turn to page 26 for our interview with Jacques Paulus, founder of the recently-closed cult downtown bookshop Darakan and the city’s own gay and lesbian film festival, the Pink Screens Festival. / 03. Some party records: Hype Williams’ Untitled LP, Bronski Beat remix album Hundreds & Thousands (1985), with the classic cut Smalltown Boy and the Studio One Lovers compilation. / 04. Delirium Tremens’ iconic bottle, with its pink elephant mascot. / 05. One of the best birth announcements we’ve seen in a while. Say hello to our little friend Poppy, born on 10th June to film-making parents Mariola Heslop and David Oeyen. / 06. Classic acid beat track Brussels Sound Revolution’s Qui?, a haunting parody of two-time Belgian Prime Minister Paul Vanden Boeynants’ kidnapping by Patrick Haemers’ la bande a Haemers and Sandra Kim’s J’aime la vie. / 07. Absolut Vodka’s latest foray into the world of exclusivity: the Absolut Unique collection. Each bottle is a limited edition, and comes numbered. / 08. Ralf Schmerberg’s Dirty dishes (Hatje Cantz) and Butt Book, the anthology to Jop Van Bennekom and Gert Jonkers’s Butt magazine, which was launched in The Netherlands in 2001. / 09. A collection of The Pink Panther movies and Pink Flamingos, John Waters’ 1972 black comedy starring underground drag sensation Divine. / 10. Ssaliva’s 10” pink EP Sync Thrills out on Vlek Records. / 11. Belgian rap supremo James Deano’s breakthrough single Branleur de Service, Hole’s First Sessions EP, released in 1997 and which featured a complete recording of the band’s first ever studio sessions done back in 1990 and The Very Best Of Soft Cell. / 12. The exhibition catalogue to Leopoldine Roux’s 2010 show at Lucien Schweitzer Gallery (turn to page 84 for a full portfolio of her work), Wiels Contemporary Art Centre’s 2012 program and a recycled book which was used for the promo of Gonzales’ The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales. The book contains lyric sheets, randomly stuck to the book’s pages. / All photography by Pauline Miko.


Neighbourhood

9

Belgium Family trees

© All images courtesy of the artist

Contemporary fine art photographer Leigh Ledare, who lives and works in New York, first made a name for himself with his shockingly provocative “Pretend you’re Actually Alive” project, a brutal, avert-your-eyes series that explored his ambiguous and highly erotic relationship with his ageing mother, a stripper, over a period of eight years. Ledare opts for a mix of photography, archive material and text in his mission to uncover human relationships, social taboos, and life’s great themes of identity, love and loss – and he doesn’t beat around the bush. This exhibition features over 100 pieces of Ledare’s oeuvre, with works from all his photographic series to date including “Double Bind” which showcases the artist’s ex-wife, photographed not only by himself but also by her new husband. Given the prominent role others play in his work, Ledare has called the show “Leigh Ledare et al.”: Fascinating and highly personal stuff that sometimes borders on the disturbing.

Leigh Ledare et al. From 8th September to 25th November Wiels, Brussels wiels.org

Dark romance

© Courtesy of Aeroplastics contemporary, Brussels

Young Swiss star-in-the-making Léopold Rabus has brought his latest collection of paintings and installations to Brussels’ Aeroplastics gallery. “From a true story” is a haunting domain full of weird, otherworldly creatures set to the recurring backdrop of Rabus’ own natural habitat, the Northwestern Swiss landscape with its woodlands, wood huts and vast forests. Sense of humour intact, the artist takes on themes like origin and destiny, loss, the past, and our concept of reality while evoking black romanticism in an oeuvre that brings to mind Jonathan Meese or Paul McCarthy. Apart from this solo show, there’s also a group exhibition on the bill curated by none other than Rabus himself, and which includes pieces by Sébastian Verdon, Pierre Gattoni and Denis Schneider.

Léopold Rabus & guests Until 27 th October Aeroplastics, Brussels aeroplastics.net


10

The diary

London calling Italian-born Gilbert Proesch and Brit George Passmore met at a London art school in 1967 and have been joined at the hip ever since. As the duo Gilbert & George, they can almost always be found in public wearing matching suits, two eccentric living sculptures that periodically pop up in their own work. With art that's at times provocative, the pair take a poke at society and taboos as well as “the issues”, like religion, violence, death, sex, hope, fear, racial tension and patriotism: “Our subject matter is the world… we are interested in the human person, the complexity of life.” Having lived and worked in London’s East End for about 40 years now, they consider their microcosmic neighbourhood a backdrop for their work; an urban landscape that operates as the basis not only for a city portrait but also a petri dish of life itself.

Gilbert & George: London Pictures © Gilbert & Georges, 2012

Until 6th October Baronian Francey, Brussels baronianfrancey.com

Seeing sounds

© Lawrence Malstaf

This group exhibition features three innovative Belgian artists who all have a thing for multimedia art. Lawrence Malstaf, who once hung himself dangerously between two plastic sheets with only a tube for oxygen, operates somewhere on the border between visual art, performance art and theatre. His fellow countrymen Christoph De Boeck and Aernoudt Jacobs, on the other hand, are into sound, treating it as a visual and tactile medium by separating it from its original context. In an attempt to give sonic energy a tangible presence, whether in the form of vibration or by trying to detach it from its source, the artists wonder aloud whether sound can be experienced, how it relates to its environment and how human beings are affected by it. A selection of challenging, highly intellectual and very modern works that incorporate the newest of newfangled technological developments.

© Christoph De Boeck

© Lawrence Malstaf

Lawrence Malstaf - Christoph De Boeck Aernoudt Jacobs From 14th September to 31 st October Fortlaan 17, Ghent fortlaan17.com


Neighbourhood

11

Body language

© All images courtesy of Axel Vervoordt Gallery

Throughout his artistic career, Japanese artist Kazuogo Shiraga has chosen to ignore the principles of painting and pictorial composition to the extent that at one point he even abandoned the brush altogether. Having joined the Japanese avant-garde movement “Gutai” – which demanded painting suffused with action and performance as well as true artistic originality – Shiraga began to paint with his bare hands and feet. He developed a method that would later become his trademark: painting with his feet while hanging from the ceiling attached to a rope. The goal, apparently, was to eliminate all consciousness and deliberate composition from his work and to “overcome the duality between body and soul”, between the unconscious power of the body and the conscious power of the mind. This tension, the so-called concept of shishitsu, is central to Shiraga’s work. A fascinating look at one of Japan’s most revolutionary artists.

Kazuogo Shiraga Until 20th October Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp axelvervoordtgallery.com

Staged mysteries Kumi Oguru is a Japanese artist who has spent much of her recent past in Antwerp. Her dreamy and atmospheric photographs are mainly inspired by the language of cinema, and attempt to establish tension between the genres. She makes historical, theoretical and visual parallels between photography and moving pictures while evoking cinematic genres like horror and thriller. All this is achieved by staging locations and people, theatrical play and deliberately placed effects. Her sober images are almost invariably inhabited by beautiful but faceless mystery women in unusual poses, set in bizarre, sombre and even bloody surroundings and hint at a before and after that’s never quite revealed. Oguru’s first book, “Noise” has recently been published by Caillou Bleu.

Kumi Oguru

© Kumi Oguru

From 8th September until 14th October Stieglitz 19, Antwerp stieglitz19.be


12

The diary

United Kingdom

From 13th September to 13th January Barbican, London barbican.org

© Bruce Davidson

Everything Was Moving

© The Ernest Cole Family Trust

The Cold War, the Cultural Revolution, America’s Vietnam misadventure, the civil rights movement... the 60s and 70s were turbulent times when the world changed and, along with it, photography. This exhibition celebrates this so-called golden age of photography, when the medium finally began to be recognised as an art form. Up to 400 powerful images from all over the world tell the various stories of two memorable decades. While South African photographer Ernest Cole was busy documenting the ugly face of apartheid, Li Zhensheng from China took to portraying his country through the prism of the Cultural Revolution. Both risked their lives in the process. While Boris Mikhailov was capturing the Soviet occupation in the Ukraine on film, American artist Bruce Davidson was telling the story of the civil rights struggle in the U.S. Also on show are a number of creations by the godfather of Japanese photography Shomei Tomatsu, as well as David Goldblatt, William Eggleston and many other key figures.

© 2012 Succession Naghubir Singh

The golden years

© All images courtesy DACS, 2012

Face to face Düsseldorf-based German artist Thomas Schütte is one of the most important contemporary art figures of his generation with works in the collections of renowned addresses like London’s Tate or New York’s MoMA. The winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2005, his multidisciplinary art sees him dabble in everything from architectural installations to watercolours, sculptures, prints, drawings, banners, etchings and photographs. Working with a range of different materials including clay, plasticine and wood, Schütte’s sculptures tend to depict things like giant cherries and miniature castles, though this show at the Serpentine Gallery focuses, for the first time, on a different aspect of his work. A collection of portraits of himself, friends and acquaintances in the guise of paintings, photos and sculptures that, as with much of his work, question the accepted traditions of art and reflect upon the human condition.

Thomas Schütte From 25th September to 18th November Serpentine Gallery, London serpentinegallery.org


14

The diary

France / Holland Mexican chronicles

© All images Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Manuel Álvarez Bravo is without doubt one of Mexico’s major artists and one of the most significant Latin American photographers of the 20th century. A pioneer of his generation and a great chronicler, Bravo has captured eight decades of Mexican life on film, beginning with the period following the Mexican revolution and the so-called Mexican Renaissance, a major cultural contribution to a country’s collective memory. This exhibition, which displays a selection of about 150 images, takes a fresh look at Bravo’s vast oeuvre and its iconographic themes like minimalism, geometrical harmony, the ambiguity of objects, as well as the spectre of human beings reduced to anonymous masses. Though Bravo’s motifs are rather ordinary, ranging from folk art and local rituals to everyday life and the urban landscape of Mexico City, the artist always makes sure to add a heady dose of either irony or surrealism, turning his images into strange, eccentric and fascinating representations of the surrealist avant-garde.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo From 16th October to 20th January Jeu de Paume, Paris jeudepaume.org

Trips down memory lane Does anyone remember the last time they flipped through the pages of a photo album? In a time of digital storage and the proliferation of online platforms like Flickr or Facebook, the paper album, which for the longest time was the be all and end all of family memories, has become a relic of a bygone era. Reason enough for Erik Kessels, collector of vernacular photography, editor, curator and founder of a communications agency to dedicate a whole exhibition to the visual anthropology of the photo album, a tradition that is slowly but surely dying out. “Album Beauty” showcases hundreds of amateur photo albums, many of which Kessels found during countless browsing sessions at antique markets and junk shops. They all tell the same stories of birth, death, love, happiness, youth, ageing and friendship in their own achingly human way, while at the same time documenting the story of analogue photography. A declaration of love to a vanishing medium.

© Album beauty

Erik Kessels: Album Beauty Until 14th October Foam, Amsterdam foam.nl


16

The diary

The pick of gigs to come Japandroids @ VK on 14th September

Black Dice @ AB on 15th September

Dent May @ Botanique on 21st September

Graham Coxon @ Botanique on 21st September

El-P @ VK on 21st September

Best Coast @ Botanique on 22nd September

When Brian King and David

This Brooklyn-based

American singer-songwriter

Most have probably heard

Jaime Meline a.k.a. El-p

Californian duo Bethany

Prowse couldn’t find a lead

three-piece, who count

Dent May first burst onto

of singer-songwriter, painter

emerged at the peak of New

Cosentino and Bobb

singer they decided to split

Sonic Youth among their

the scene with a ukulele-

and multi-instrumentalist

York underground hip-hop

Bruno caused quite a bit

the job between themselves

adoring fans, have been on

themed debut in 2009,

Graham Coxon, one-time

hype and has been a major

of commotion in indie

– who needs a lead singer

the go for over 10 years,

inspired by Lee Hazlewood

lead guitarist of legendary

figure in the alternative

pop when they released

anyway? Not Japandroids,

now peddling a signature

and Serge Gainsbourg.

Britpoppers Blur. But what

scene ever since, as an

their fuzzy surf-rock debut

a stormy duo from Canada

mix of experimental art-

Since then he’s ditched

many might not know is

artist, producer, and owner

album “Crazy for You”

who are often compared

noise, psychedelia and

the twangly four-stringed

that Coxon, whom Noel

of record label Definitive

back in 2009. This year’s

to the Replacements and

electronica. With a recently

instrument and released

Gallagher once described

Jux. El-p’s sound, which

follow-up “The Only Place”

who showed up on the

unleashed sixth album

a second album called

as “the most gifted guitarist

unites bleak futurism and

pretty much continues their

radar in 2009 with their

entitled “Mr. Impossible”

“Do Things”, once again

of his generation”, has

low fidelity, is famous for its

tried and tested formula

garage-rocky debut album

on the same label as

on Animal Collective’s Paw

produced eight solo records

skilful wordplay dotted with

for success, in this case a

“Post-Nothing”. Equipped

fellow innovators-in-arms

Tracks label. It’s a catchy

over the years, most

science fiction references.

typically catchy blend of

with nothing but a guitar

Animal Collective and

sound with a positively

recently “A+E”. The 43-year-

It's hip-hop of the raw and

lo-fi surf pop, simple and

and drums they deliver

Dirty Projectors, they've

Beach Boys-ish vibe that

old is so far showing

edgy kind and his newest

heavily soaked in Californian

raw, energetic indie rock.

managed to produce a

has clearly undergone a

no signs of fatigue and

creation “Cancer 4 Cure”

sunshine. A bright, clean

And despite such a small

record that's tricky but

bit of an evolution and now

continues to serve his loving

was knighted by Pitchfork

and shiny-happy garage

setup, they're known for the

accessible, something that

includes synths and electric

fans with steaming platefuls

with the “Best new music”

sound, coming soon to a

controlled chaos of their

also rings true for their live

guitars. Worth a listen.

of slightly punky, lo-fi,

honour. His live show is

Botanique stage near you.

wild live shows.

shows.

garage rock. The time has

famous for getting heads

come to catch him on tour.

spinning.

• Play Amsterdam

• Play Paris

(dB’s studio)

(Paradiso)

(Point Ephémère)

on 9 th September

• Plays Paris

• Plays Amsterdam

on 18th September

on 18th September

on 13 th September

• Plays London

(Café de la Danse)

(Melkweg)

• Play Paris

• Play London (Heaven)

• Play Kortrijk

(Scala)

on 17 th September

on 22nd September

(Point Ephémère)

on 26th October

(De Kreun)

on 26th September

• Plays Amsterdam

• Plays Paris

on 19th September

(Melkweg)

(La Maroquinerie)

on 18th September

on 25th September

• Plays Utrecht

on 2nd October

• Play London (The Borderline)

We Have Band @ Botanique on 22nd September

Yeasayer @ AB on 24th September

Israel Vibration @ Vooruit on 1st October

Foreign Beggars @ VK on 4th October

Kid Koala @ Vooruit on 7th October

Ultravox @ Trix on 11th October

We Have Band are married

Brooklyn has proven itself a

Israel Vibration was one of

Foreign Beggars are

Chinese-Canadian DJ,

After a 26-year-hiatus,

couple Thomas and Dede

treasure trove of dab hand

the most successful reggae

a British crew of DJs,

musician and comic artist

British synth pop legends

and their mate, Darren,

indie bands these past few

roots groups to come out of

producers and MCs who

Eric San aka Kid Koala was

Ultravox are back. The new

who all met while working

years, and genre-breaking

Jamaica in the heady 70s.

have been busy marrying

the first North American

wave and new romantic

for the same record label

folk-rock-electro group

After a break-up, a reunion

hip-hop, grime and dubstep

artist signed by UK cult

pioneers released a

in London. The trio hit it off

Yeasayer are undoubtedly

and the loss of one of their

and, in doing so, have

label Ninja Tune. His most

brand new album called

right away and produced a

one of the borough's more

members they’re still going

managed to change the

recent release “12 Bit Blues”

“Brilliant” earlier this year,

debut album called “WHB”,

outstanding contributions.

strong and were even

face of UK hip-hop over

is his fifth album, and is, like

souping up a celebrated

a mix of melodic synth

With their third record

nominated for a Grammy

the past decade. Now the

all the rest, accompanied

signature sound which has

pop and dancey electro

“Fragrant World” released

this year. The reggae

London-based outfit, who

by a comic book by the

been cited as one of the

sounds. Their latest attempt

earlier this year, the five-

trio-turned-duo has played

have collaborated with

dude himself and even

early influences of Detroit

“Ternion”features some new

piece come-back with an

shows with the iconic Bob

artists like Björk, DJ Vadim

a mini chess game. This

techno as well as Visage

wave elements and leans a

original mix of experimental

Marley and their records

and Gorillaz, are coming

playfulness is also obvious

and Gary Numan. Singles

bit further over to the darker

rock and psychedelic

feature quite a few wailers

to Belgium to present

in the tunes themselves, in

like “Vienna”, “Hymn” and

side, A self-described disco-

pop. Their excellent live

from the original Wailers

their latest record, “The

which he uses samples from

“Dancing With Tears in My

rock trio with a weirdo name,

shows come complete with

themselves. Don’t miss

Uprising”. Don't miss it if

genres like 1930s jazz to

Eyes” became worldwide

they’ll be disco-rocking up

cowbells, tambourines and

the chance to catch these

you like your live gigs gritty,

Monty Python singalongs.

hits and earned them

to Brussels this month for a

wood blocks.

legends on stage – good

playful and explosive.

must-see gig.

vibrations are practically • Play Paris (La Cigale)

(La Machine du Moulin

• Play London

on 27 th September

Rouge)

(HMV Hammersmith Apollo)

• Play Amsterdam

• Play Liège/Luik

on 30 th September

on 27 th September

• Play Paris

(Melkweg)

(Caserne Fonck)

• Plays Amsterdam

• Play Paris

(La Gaîté Lyrique)

on 2nd October

on 5th October

(Melkweg)

(Le Trabendo)

on 8th October

on 10 th October

• Play Amsterdam • Play London

(Paradiso)

(XOYO)

on 17 th September

on 26th October

on 25th September

guaranteed.

several platinum records. • Plays Paris


18

The papers

The pink papers The colour of flesh and love-hearts, girls and gays, pink is subject to far more stereotypes than most other colours. That’s why these papers are peppered with clichés – like gay boys and their mothers, girl power and the lovesick lonely hearts. We’ve let our hair down to delve into the business of boys for the girls, tying it right back up again to dine with the bourgeoisie and poke around the country’s Ecstasy rep. Writers Sabine Clappaert, Julie Kavanagh, Rose Kelleher and Charline Stoelzaed Illustrator Virassamy


19

Neighbourhood

ˆ “I see myself as a crayon, I may not be your favourite colour, but I know someday you’ll need me to complete your picture” ˇ

Meet market Money can’t buy you love – but it can buy you some ad space. Love shopping through the classifieds has been promoted to the ranks of “normal” in recent years and lovesick net users are finding themselves selling brand “me” in an increasingly crowded marketplace. But most people have trouble writing about themselves. Personal online dating profiles are often filled with misspelled rubbish and, a hangover from newspapers’ lonely hearts column days when ads were charged per character, the average dating profile is uberabbreviated until it looks more like the human genome. Apart from that, they’re all just so screamingly samey – everybody, it would appear, “likes music” and when not packed with a checklist of boring adjectives, personal profiles are self-conscious and cheesy, like this beauty from a pot-bellied Belgian on Metrodate.com: “I see myself as a crayon, I may not be your favourite colour, but I know someday you’ll need me to complete your picture,” and other examples of inspired assholedom. Profile names offer more room for improvement: women find it difficult to

envision a shared future with anyone called SpunkyHunk; the same goes for WellHung. And it’s likely that the majority of potentials are selected or rejected based on their profile picture, anyway, the rest is just filler: no-one cares which bands you like. Studies suggest, however, that online dating sites are a hotbed of personal misrepresentation, that many people navigate the minefield of 21st century mating in a kind of factually indifferent fog. One big complaint about female online daters is that they knock years off their real age. Men, meanwhile, are often less than candid about their marital status. One anonymous Brussels lady told us she’d been assured by friends she would find her soul mate online. However, she said, you just can’t trust the profiles. “I ended up going on five dates, and I gave up when I went to dinner with somebody who wrote that he lived part time with his kids. In fact he was actually still living with his wife. His concept of living part time with his kids was that he travelled a lot! And the photo was not him at all.” You can’t tell very much from someone’s profile, she adds: “…you can only get a sense of their interests. But the moment they start trying to sell themselves, they stop being honest.” But selling yourself would

appear to be exactly the point. Online daters need to differentiate their “brand”from the other brands on the market. But in contrast to the sharp-witted world of commercial brand development, personal profiles are lifeless blocks of cheese, and often, grammatically off-target. So why not outsource the job? Crafty U.S. marketers have created a creature called the Virtual Dating Assistant who, for a fee, will hack out your profile and pack it full of SEO for the lovesick. They’ll select the pictures (you’d think the “no wedding photos” rule would be obvious) and even write the first few emails on your behalf to be sure you're not dealing with a dud. All you have to do is turn up at the bar and get your charm on. In a cost-benefit analysis, VDAs are an efficient tool for the terminally busy – as romantic as that sounds – while in terms of ethics, it’s all a bit dodgy. It might even make you nostalgic for the days when personal ads were for perverts and sickos only. And if you’re thinking about hiring one to polish your profile, you might rightly worry that some slick marketeer will make you out to be smooth, urbane and sophisticated, when in fact you’re actually 100 percent caveman. That kind of thing is hard to fake in a real-life dating situation. (RK)


20

The papers

ˆ “All of Europe’s Tupperware is manufactured just up the road in Aalst, and Belgium has legions of hostesses still enthusiastically flogging their wares at parties all over the country” ˇ

Came for the lunch boxes, stayed for the bra-burning If you’re a 1950’s housewife, then buying airtight plastic lunch boxes is probably the pinnacle of your social calendar. If however, you have your feet placed firmly in the present, then the Tupperware party is just some retro fifties throwback, something you saw on Mad Men, a marketing meme that brought airtight containers off the shelf and into the living room. Tupperware parties are the firstborn child of the Party Plan, a word of mouth marketing scheme that began with Tupperware and became a multi-billion euro “direct selling” industry. It has many derivatives – most notably the dildos and lingerie variety – and it’s largely an anglo (and specifically American) thing. But how much does Tupperware matter? Tupperware ladies filled into living rooms across post-war America to sell food containers to friends and neighbours

in love with domestic convenience. This promotion of the novel notion of female-as-consumer opened up opportunities for women to move up in the world (albeit without ever leaving the house) and was probably set in motion by the labour shortage that saw women take up jobs in factories during World War II. But this clever marketing scheme seems to have gone one step further and inadvertently made businesswomen out of housewives. Previously excluded from economic activity, women became a marketing niche, setting out their stalls as communication brokers and taste-makers, the best of them claiming to (imagine that) understand women. They regaled their aproned mates of the comforts and freedoms made possible by the purchase of consumer goods. It seems odd when you think about it, though, because women’s role in modern consumer society seems such a natural one; shopping is seen as a largely female pursuit. (This widely accepted “born-to-shop” theory even finds itself an ally in reductionist biology, which claims that the reason women love to shop is the same reason we purportedly love pink: as the gatherer half of the hunter-gatherer team, we looked for the best berries to pick from the trees – most berries are some variation of red or pink – and told each other about it). The Tupperware story seems to claim that the evolution of the

first housewife-to-entrepreneur was not the design of shaven-scalped suffragettes, but rather thanks to the very perma-frizzed domesti-goddesses the feminazis were trying to “liberate”. Anyway. The Party Plan was a marketing ploy that provided women with both income and self-respect (shopping is, after all, just another way to exercise choice and to control one's own destiny) while peeing all over the feminist view of liberation through rejection of the domestic sphere. Uh-oh. Were women seduced by a liberation movement we didn’t design? Depending who you talk to, Tupperware parties either reinforced female stereotypes or brought them crashing down. Either way, they precluded a wave of change, and progress undoubtedly came out of all that plastic. Women are often pressed into salaried employment (and empowerment) not because of budding feminism but because of poverty, like female call centre operators or factory workers in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other cesspits of misogyny. Or in this case, thanks to the marketing wiles of some clever lunchbox merchant. All of Europe’s Tupperware is manufactured just up the road in Aalst, and Belgium has legions of hostesses still enthusiastically flogging their wares at parties in living rooms all over the country. Clearly, nobody has told these girls that the revolution is over. (RK)


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ˆ “The bonus is that it seems I know how to make love to a woman” ˇ

No strings attached, terms and conditions apply Depending on your age, gender, religious leanings and moral compass, women buying sex might seem a) emancipated, b) unnecessary, c) wrong, d) none of the above. Whatever your position on the thorny issue of commercialised sex, women paying to be pleasured remains very much lights-out and under-thecovers. Eager to leave no stone unturned, we turned the spotlight on a Brussels-based gigolo who provides a little something for the ladies. “I always considered myself to be a regular guy,” explains our man of the hour, a 42-year old Brussels professional who goes by the name Alexander and has been moonlighting as an escort for two years. “Many female friends told me I'm not aware of how attractive I am,

but this is something I really don’t understand about myself,” he continues. “I have met all kinds of women of different professions, the vast majority who want sex, a minority to talk with a man who does ‘that’.” For most, it’s a case of a little less conversation, a little more action please and Alexander observes that “the older the woman, the more it’s about sex, they know what they want and they want to explore.” Without ceremony, he adds. “The bonus is that it seems I know how to make love to a woman. They tell me, ‘You’re way better than the average man.’ Again, I don’t know, but if there are many who say it, it must be true.” But neither ego nor prowess lie behind Alexander’s motivation to trade sex for money. He confides, “At the end of the month I find myself a few hundred euros short to cover the costs of school for my daughter.” A night of passion with Alexander would make your eyes water, setting you back the best part of an average Belgian take-home pay. Commanding such a premium allows him to market himself on a monthly rather than nightly basis making it “feasible” to balance his everyday life with this other persona. He does not divulge this lucrative sideline to friends, nor to the partner whom he has met since he started escorting. But there are times when the threads of his

carefully compartmentalised world threaten to unravel. He recalls his worst experience was almost being outed by a colleague. Alexander is very much his own (business) man. Sex, no strings attached it may be, but with terms and conditions that might have you searching for the “I accept” icon. He stipulates an age range (both upper and lower), has been known to refuse a potential client on aesthetic grounds, and insists “time used, is time paid”. Asked about getting a little (ahem) boost from a certain blue pill, he is frank, “I don’t need it. But two or three times, it didn’t work. I didn’t take the money and we said farewell. I’m a human being after all!” But with over half his customers coming back for more (and one whisking him off to the Caribbean by private jet), it’s generally a case of satisfaction guaranteed. From the highs of the mile high club to the lows of being requested to role-play as a dog, Alexander takes it all in his stride, “I enjoy it 75 percent of the time. 25 percent of the time it’s like a job in a factory.” (JK)


22

The papers

ˆ “Is it an empty gay cliché to claim that one of the biggest differences between gay and straight men is an ability to remember their mother’s birthday ” ˇ

Momma’s boys In our big book of gay clichés, stuck somewhere between the squealing wedding planner and the lovable hairdresser is the mama’s boy, the one who picks out outfits for his mother and gossips with her for hours on the phone. Marcelo Maquieira loves his mama, and he does all of these things. The son of a macho farmer, he grew up in 1980’s Uruguay and found that he preferred ceramics and dance over farming and fighting. He left his homeland for a more liberal Europe, and today works as a fashion buyer in Amsterdam.“My mother supported me. Always.” he says. “And she never associated my ‘pink’ personality with gay clichés… unlike my father, who had much more fear of me going out in high heels and makeup.” Everything Marcelo’s father knew about gays he learned from a well-known Argentinian chat show that featured transvestite hosts. “A lot of macho men associate these things with the gay

lifestyle, and it scares them to death,” laughs Marcelo. “…While for my mother, my sexuality has always been accepted.” Marcelo speaks of his mother like a goddess – and he’s not alone. Gay men and their mothers often describe their relationship as close. When Alexander McQueen’s mum died, many even speculated that the loss was so traumatic it precipitated his own suicide. “Mothers spend more time with their kids, and in general are easier accepting it because of this,” says Marcelo. But is it an empty gay cliché to claim that one of the biggest differences between gay and straight men is an ability to remember their mother’s birthday – while ignoring the uniqueness of individuals and their circumstances? Up until the 50s, it was generally accepted that men become gay because their mothers were “too mothering” and for a long time, the mental health profession blamed overly close maternal relationships for the “disease” that is male homosexuality. But now we know better, that “having a close relationship with your mother doesn’t make you gay – being gay makes you closer to your mother,” at least according to a study by Michael C. LaScala called “Coming out,

Coming home.” Compared to fathers, mothers typically interact more with their children, says La Scala, who also notes that the young gay males who participated in the study said they shared many interests in common with their mothers, such as fashion and cooking, and were also sensitive to their feelings. “Perhaps these mother-son connections were fuelled by the boys' need for extra security because they felt like pariahs outside their homes. Whatever its cause, this feeling of commonality and connection to mothers is a unique – and fortunate – aspect of the parent-child relationship in some gay families.” “Your mother can read you,” says Marcelo, “and my mother knew I had a heavy path ahead of me in life, so there was no need to make it more difficult for me.” Ironically for an openly gay man living in the world's most liberal capital, Marcelo takes an unexpectedly conservative, if sweet, view of the family unit. “I think a child needs a mother. The kind of education I got from my mother was completely different from what I got from my father. I am open to adopting, but I would prefer to adopt a child who already has a mother – because what I got from her was so important.” (RK)


24

The papers

ˆ “90 percent of MDMA distributed worldwide is produced in neighbouring countries Belgium and the Netherlands” ˇ

Home-grown high “Do you know where your teenager is at five o’clock in the morning? Some say they’re gone looking for drugs, dirty dancing and pounding techno music.” While most us will probably have nodded our heads at least once to this trashy Soulwax club tune, the lyrics are likely to give many parents a nervous breakdown. The recreational use of Ecstasy, party drug par excellence, became all the rage with the rise of electronic dance music and glowsticks back in the late 80s, and inside these often jolly looking pills, it’s the active substance MDMA that causes the entactogenic effects party people are so keen on. Due to the pioneering role of Belgium and the Netherlands in the experimental and electronic music scene with their world famous music luminaries, scoring E isn’t too hard here. Little to be suspicious of so far. But a United States' Drug Enforcement Administration report claimed in 2000 that 90 percent of MDMA distributed worldwide is produced in Belgium and the Netherlands. Europol’s 2011 organised crime threat assessment confirms similar figures. Werner Verbruggen, Operations Officer at

Europol, says that the bulk of ecstasy production is exported to the US, the UK and Scandinavian countries where the demand is vast. “I am quite sure that ecstasy consumption in Belgium and the Netherlands isn’t higher than in any other country. Maybe even on the contrary,” Verbruggen adds. His colleague Robert Hauschild, head of Europol’s drugs unit, says synthetic drugs can be produced in any country in the world; A to Z drug recipes can be found on the internet after a quick Google search. Despite this freely accessible knowledge, the Netherlands and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Belgium, have a monopoly on high-quality ecstasy production and an iron grip on the worldwide market – something the organised crime groups aren’t likely to give up easily. This appears to be the result of a complex web of factors. With the chemical trade, including pharmaceuticals, the second biggest industry in the region, the ingredients – or “precursors” – for ecstasy production can easily fall into the wrong hands. The lowlands are also equipped with international airports, a capacious railway system and, along with a very open European border policy, the huge container ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, all greasing the wheels of the illicit drug trade throughout the “old world.” The fact that the Dutch government only assessed MDMA as an illegal psychotropic substance three years

after the United Nations did, coupled with the fact that punishment for drug related violations are modest, to say the least, also plays a part. “The relationship between law enforcement and the illicit drug circuit is one of an eternal game of cat and mouse,” claims one former dealer with tight connections to a big-league precursor importer. Due to exhaustive Belgian legislation in which every chemical on the controlled list has to be described specifically, importers are able to buy molecularly adapted chemicals with the same effects as the traditional precursors. “Once these specific spinoffs become illegal, the whole thing starts over again with a once more alternate product,” he says. “I’ve seen kilos of illegal substances being delivered by post, even with an approval form from Belgian customs. By simply using open proxy servers – on which you can surf the internet anonymously – almost anyone can get in touch with precursor suppliers in, for example, China, who will send you what you want, when you want it, possibly even in shampoo flasks. Outrageous maybe, but these guys are always one step ahead.” (CS)


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ˆ “ Proper dinner etiquette goes well beyond knowing that one has to use cutlery from the outside-in or knowing which glasses to use for each wine ” ˇ

Upper crust If you remember just one thing about this paper on dining etiquette, let it be this: never, ever upstage anyone. Even if you know that what they’re doing is incorrect or terribly impolite, etiquette demands that you always remain gracious. “Whatever you may have been told, etiquette is first and foremost about making people feel at ease,” says Brussels etiquette coach Melody Kissoon. In the intricate dance of the high-society dinner party, where menus are strategically chosen, seating plans carefully arranged and the company deliberately selected to ensure an optimum match, both host and guest have distinct roles to play and strict rules to adhere to. “The most important role of the host or hostess is to make guests feel relaxed and comfortable by being gracious, calm, confident and knowledgeable. As guest, on the other hand, it is important that you have the poise and skill necessary to navigate the scene and handle any kind of situation that may arise,” adds Kissoon. Understanding the basic rules of dining etiquette is mandatory. Being appropriately dressed, knowing the difference between a white wine and red wine glass or knowing on which side of your plate the side plate is located, are basic prerequisites to being a polite host or guest. “But in

high-society circles, proper dining etiquette goes much further,” says Kissoon. “Few people, for example, are aware of the difference between the British seating etiquette, which places the host and hostess at the long ends of the table, and French seating etiquette, which has the host and hostess opposite each other in the middle of the table.” Understanding seating hierarchy also helps clarify who’s-who at the table. “The host will always have the most important female guest on his right, while the hostess will seat the most important male guest on her right. There are strict rules as to who sits where at the table and it would be extremely embarrassing if you had to be asked to move, both for you and your hostess,” adds Kissoon. “Also remember: the hostess always governs the table, not the host. When it comes to eating and drinking politely, proper dinner etiquette goes well beyond knowing that one has to use cutlery from the outside-in or knowing which glasses to use for each wine. One of the biggest faux pas guests can make is beginning to eat before the hostess,” adds Kissoon. Finishing a meal in style is equally important. “At the end of a meal, it is polite to place your knife and fork together in the centre of the plate vertically, with the tines of the fork pointing up and the blade of the knife to the centre towards the fork,” which is the British way of indicating that you have finished your meal. Of course in

other cultures there are other ways of doing so.” And what of the napkin? “It is always placed on the left side of one’s plate, but never refolded,” Kissoon points out. After dinner, as guests relax and the night swoons to an end, collars are loosened, laughter rises boisterously and a flirtatious hand is placed on a nearby arm. What is the perfect hostess to do with rowdy guests or inappropriate situations? “She has to be the one to politely and surreptitiously explain the problem to the guest, or if necessary ask them to leave, and all without other guests noticing anything is amiss. Host or guest, in high-society we expect people to have grace, dignity and elegance, whatever the situation,” Kissoon smiles modestly. (SC)


26

The institution

The life and times of Darakan We drop-in for a browse and a chat as a new (and final?) chapter opens in the Darakan saga. Photographer Grégoire Pleynet

Space is at a premium in Darakan. Discounted gay porn DVDs, coffee-table photo books, detective novels and rock biographies are all crammed together in haphazard harmony. No caramel cappuccinos, occasional armchairs nor kilometres of shelving in sight. A lap around the central island would delay a sprightly octogenarian no more than fifteen seconds, whilst a cracked plastic chair is the only comfort granted to the determined browser. Belying its humble appearance, this diminutive, unassuming bookstore has proved a mecca for Brussels booklovers for over three decades. Darakan does not boast an exhaustive inventory nor a shiny interior, rather it eschews quantity and pretension to focus on the serious business of selling books. Books close to the heart of owner Jacques Paulus. “I got it in my head I wanted to run a bookshop, because while I love culture, I wouldn’t call myself particularly creative and so I thought it an ideal way to promote the creativity of others,” he explains. “I’ve always read a lot. My two brothers played football, and I read.” He chuckles at the memory. After an early diet of adventure books and whatever his mother brought home from the second-hand shop, Jacques graduated to the weightier Sartre and Camus as a teenager. “I grew up in a village in the province of Namur, coming to Brussels at 18. I was lucky

Writer Julie Kavanagh

ˆ Towards the end of the 70s I became convinced I needed to sell books, so I started to seek out a location and that search brought me here ˇ because despite a Catholic upbringing, I had friends who were much more open. And they passed me books which opened up a different world to me.” He dutifully pursued studies in economics, spending several less-than-inspired years in the comfortable job that inevitably followed. However his love of books was an itch to be scratched. “Towards the end of the 70s I became convinced I needed to sell books, so I started to seek out a location and that search brought me here.” On the cusp of a new decade, on New Year´s Eve 1979, Darakan was born. It was an auspicious start; a new shop for a different era. Within months, mainly through word-of-mouth, the shop had built up a steady trade and a loyal following.

Darakan was the only bookshop around specialising in crime novels, gay literature, cinema and rock. It was a diverse but winning formula, “In fact, there were less problems at the beginning than now. Everything slotted into place quite fast and within six months we were turning a profit.” If the crosshatch of streets bordering Darakan was not the buzzing gay district of today, on its doorstep were a number of bars where a melee of leftists, artists and gays rubbed shoulders. Jacques charts the genesis of an openly gay pulse in the area, “Well, when I opened Darakan it was early days of the coming-out of the gay community in Brussels. There were a few bars, but a bit out-dated in the sense you had to ring a bell to get in.” He marks the opening of the Belgica bar, celebrating a quarter century this summer, as a turning point. “At first I wouldn’t have labelled it a gay bar, it was quite a mixed bar, but then slowly it started welcoming a predominantly gay clientele.” Many other bars have sprung up since, but Jacques stresses steady rather than stellar growth, “By the late 80s things were more open, but it wasn’t until the end of the 90s that it began to take on the markedly gay atmosphere of today.” Asked if the biggest event on the Brussels gay calendar, Gay Pride, features on the Darakan calendar, he shakes his head, “The shop is


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closed,” adding with an ironic laugh, “After all, who’s interested in books on a day like that!” Considering the changing face of the Gay Pride since its inception in 1996, he explains, “In the early years there were a lot less people, and of course very few straight people apart from the very committed. The atmosphere was a little less party and more geared towards calling for equality for the gay community.” He is matterof-fact about progress, “Fortunately we had a secular government in power, free from the habitual influence of the Church, and in those six to seven years much was achieved, not only in terms of enacting legislation, but in ensuring it was understood and applied.”

ˆ We receive a lot of shit, but at the same time we get to discover some gems ˇ Selling books has not dulled Jacques’ appetite for words and lots of them – he reads two to three books a week, adding up to over 5,000 books during his Darakan era. Reductionist then to enquire if there is a favourite author or book. Unsurprisingly, Jacques demurs. Instead he holds up “Last Night in Montréal”, which he has just finished. His verdict? “Not bad.” Initially at a loss to identify a bestseller down the years, Jacques indicates a small book entitled “Archétypes”. It is the latest comic book available in French by German artist Ralph König. Proffering it, he explains, “A new one is published every year or so, and in recent years it’s been like a bestseller for me. It’s a comic that gay people identify with, and a really funny read.” An avid reader, but also something of a cinephile, Jacques sells a limited collection of DVDs. “In my early twenties I saw a lot of the classics, and with them digitally remastered on DVD I get to enjoy them all over again.” Eclectic in image as in word, Jacques recalls the impact of the controversial Pasolini, and his reaction to Godard’s masterpiece Breathless, but equally finds time for an honourable mention for that most American of directors, Western supremo, John Ford. As founder of the Pink Screens Festival, now in its eleventh year, Jacques, together with a handful of volunteers, is busy preparing for the next edition in November. Currently vetting films for this year’s programme, he admits the task is a labour of love, “We receive a lot of shit, but at the same time we get to discover

some gems.” The festival runs at Cinema Nova. “Definitely the most original cinema in Belgium,” declares Jacques. The decade-long cooperation has been a happy one, “For me, it’s the ideal place, I can’t think of any better setting and to top it all off, there’s a bar!” Those hoping for an anecdote behind naming the shop after hired gun Darakan from French author Claude Klotz’s detective novel of the same name will be disappointed. Jacques reasons “Well I didn’t want to put my name on the shop, and I’d recently read the book and it seemed to suit!” Belgian artist, Eric Adam, was a young art student at the time and he both designed the logo and painted the dark, bold characters that still adorn the shop window. He also occasionally found his way behind the counter where he encountered some of the era’s most renowned cultural figures. He lists visits from French singer Alain Chamfort, Belgian chanteuse Lio, French actor and filmaker Jacques Perrin, and from Hugo Pratt creator

of comic-book hero Corto Maltese. He also recalls a visit from French actor Phillipe Noiret, “he really liked the shop and stayed at least two hours which led many onlookers to come in and flick through gay porn books!” If Darakan was once a portal to an exotic world, the advent of chain stores and explosion of online retail sounds the death knell of the independent bookstore. With his customer base stagnating and business dwindling Jacques, recently made a tough decision – to close-up shop. In June he circulated what he jokingly calls Darakan’s obituary. The dismayed reactions, nostalgic recollections and fond tributes are testimony to decades of dedication. Aspiring new owners notwithstanding, Jacques envisages winding-up within eighteen months. Time enough to savour the disappearing delights of a small, somewhat shabby but ultimately very special specialist bookstore. darakan.net


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The Word on

Weightlifting Weightlifters are often (wrongly) perceived as steroid-hungry meatheads on a superhuman quest to add an extra vein to their biceps and tone their body definition to titanic heights. Truth is, the discipline, resilience and mental strength needed to master this Olympic sport would make any other professional athlete run for cover. Here, we shine a light on six of the country’s best, our very own national pride. Photographer Sarah Eechaut

Interviews Sarah Schug


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Sarah De Coster (26)

Weightlifting is a very complete sport: it requires technique, power, speed, body coordination and mental strength. “Originally I did track and field and hammer throwing, but because I was too light my coach took me to a weightlifting club. That’s when my talent was discovered and I stopped all the other disciplines. Weightlifting is a lot of fun and a very complete sport that requires many different things: You need speed, but also power and technique. It’s important to be very strong mentally, because in a competition three attempts are all you got. And you need a lot of body coordination. Actually it is very helpful for other sports too, that’s why almost every track and field athlete does it. It’s

not about being big and strong, as many might think. So for others it’s hard to believe that I do weightlifting because I look so small. I used to train five times a week at Powersport Zaventem, but right now I am injured and I don’t even know if I will ever be able to weightlift again. But I’ve been practicing it for 15 years and basically reached all my goals, so it’s not the end of the world. I was 10 times Belgian champion,

Alea Fairchild (48)

People expect me to be huge, eat lots of steak and be manly. I am none of the above! “I only started weightlifting at the age of 40. I discovered it when I had to do physical therapy after a car accident. Now I train four days a week at Powersport Zaventem. What I like is that it’s just me and the bar. In weightlifting, you only compete against your own ability, and gravity, of course. In 2009, I won a gold medal at the European Masters and in the same year I won a silver medal at the World Masters in Australia, my biggest achievement so far. Weightlifting requires first and foremost patience, determination and a strong mental framework. It is fun and challenging, and you get to train with a very

diverse group of people – not just ‘jocks’ as many might think. Technique, not power, improves your results. I have been lucky to find a few women who were the groundbreakers in the early days of competitive women’s lifting, such as Corinne Grotenhuis (US) and Sandra Smith (UK) who have coached and supported my efforts, and are now friends. But my all-time favorite weightlifter is Arnold Schwarzenegger, mainly because of the Arnold Classic in Ohio, where I have competed twice now. It is a great event!”

I’m holding the Belgian record in the 53 class and was fifth at the World University Championship in Greece, my best experience so far. I’m not good enough for the European championships, so I’ve pretty much reached everything that is in my capacity. ”


The Word on

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Anna Van Bellinghen (18)

Did you know that almost every professional athlete does weightlifting? It improves all your capacities. “I like the huge concentrated effort that weightlifting requires in just a short moment of time. It only takes a few seconds but it is very powerful and emotional. It’s a beautiful sport. Originally I was doing athletics, but I had to do some weightlifting exercises for it and that’s how my talent was discovered. I participated in the European Championship for under 17 year olds and felt that I could do more. So one year ago, weightlifting became my first sport. Of course it requires body strength, but mental strength is just as important. You also need speed, explosiveness and coordination – it’s a very technical sport. I usually train eight or nine times a week. I’m very serious about it, I want to get better and do my best. It’s just

a pity that the infrastructure in Belgium is not as developed as in many other countries. I mostly train alone with my coach whilst in other countries the weightlifters go to huge training centers and have many people around them that help them as a physiotherapist or a nutritionist. My next goal is to perform well at the European Junior Championship in November. Weightlifting is a great way to gain confidence, especially for girls who are rather strongly built. And it’s not true that it makes you fatter, you actually lose weight

and get much fitter. I don’t feel any prejudices anymore as a female weightlifter. People have evolved in the last 15 years. There are more girls doing weightlifting than you might think. My favorite is Nadezhda Yevstyukhina from Russia: She is very feminine and at the same time has a very clean technique. ”

so you have to be really on the point and use your power in the right way at the right moment. It’s very technical. I’ve been doing weightlifting for nine years now and I am still working on improving my technique. If your technique is bad, your physical strength is useless. You need to know how to efficiently use your power. I opened up my own gym where I trained a few people and all of them

stopped because they found it too difficult. There aren’t many weightlifters in Belgium, I hardly have any competitors. And there are only around 10 clubs where you can actually learn the sport. It’s a shame because it really is a great sport which is good for your whole body. You train every single part of it. Every part of your body needs to be strong and it’s also a great basis for all other sports.”

Nicky Van Wemmel (26)

In weightlifting mental strength is just as important as physical strength. “It’s hard to explain what I like about weightlifting… I just really enjoy it. I started when I was 17. My dad was doing powerlifting and took me along one day. I tried weightlifting and it turned out that I had quite some talent: Only three months later I participated in my first competition. Now I’m the second best in Belgium after Tom Goegebuer and I won several Belgian championships. I hope in four years I will participate in the Olympics. My worst experience so far was when I competed at the European Championships for under 23 year olds. I failed completely because I was too stressed. Many people don’t realise how important mental strength is for weightlifting. You have only three attempts in a competition,


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Hugo De Grauwe (58)

Finding a good trainer is essential, someone who really knows the technique and keeps his eyes open: Weightlifting is a sport that constantly develops and never stands still. “When I was a little boy I thought it was great to have lots of muscles and started doing bodybuilding. I was fascinated by Serge Reding who I saw perform on TV in the late 60s. When I met a coach who showed me weightlifting I instantly got hooked. Unfortunately I was already 15, and that is a bit old to really make it internationally. Nevertheless I participated in the Olympic games in Moscow in 1980 which actually became the worst moment in my weightlifting career: I completely failed. I think I was probably too stressed, it is different to perform

in front of 6,000 people instead of the usual 100. So for me my personal highlight is not the Olympics but the World Championship in Greece the year before where I finished 8th. As a weightlifter you need strength of course, good legs and a strong back plus a lot of dynamic. I can only recommend it, also because it’s a great basis for all other sports, be it judo, football or volleyball. It improves your dynamic and especially your balance. Now I have my own weightlifting club and Belgium’s national Volleyball trainer recently

stopped by, for example, because he wanted me to evaluate his technique. I stopped doing weightlifting in 1988 and changed to Powerlifting, which is similar but requires less technique. As a Powerlifter I was more successful and won two bronze medals at World Championships. A few years ago I stopped competing altogether, but I’ll probably never stop training.”

until I was 12 years old. I practice daily, usually for three hours. Flexibility, speed and strength are the most important qualities you need. It’s a complex movement that only takes seconds, so you don’t need endurance as in many other sports. I’ve competed in the Olympics in 2008 and now in London: I hope I can improve my result from four years ago and possibly make a new Belgian record. But

my biggest achievement so far was probably when I won the European Championship in 2009. My favorite weightlifter is Naim Süleymanoglu, he is just amazing, no one gets near him.”

Tom Goegebuer (37)

Weightlifting has so many components that even after 25 years I can still enhance my style and technique – it never gets boring. “Weightlifting is not dangerous or unhealthy, as many might believe: I haven’t had an operation in 25 years of practicing the sport. But it’s important to do it in a proper way, with a qualified trainer. It’s not about bodybuilding or being big: Sometimes I do competitions in the 56 class. It’s all very technical, like high jump for example, and everyone can do it. Personally I got into the sport through my father, who was a weightlifter too and is now my coach, together with my girlfriend. I already wanted to start as a little child, but he told me I had to wait


The other Word on

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Prime cuts How does the meat you eat actually end up on your dinner plate? Who farms it, slaughters it, transports it, treats it, processes it and sells it? And how? Going up the food chain, we reveal the different stages your prime cut goes through, getting a few tips from the specialists on what exactly makes good meat. Photographer Grégoire Pleynet

Interviews Sarah Schug

Ready for deboning

Loins with bellies waiting to be deboned

Filip Van Teemsche, purchasing manager, research and development

Locks’ assembly line: Every person takes care of a different step in the process. Here, the bellies are being deboned.

Locks Deboning factory, Ghent

We’ve all been to the local butchers and know what a slaughterhouse is, but have you ever heard of a deboning company? Locks, founded in 1982 by Joseph Locks is exactly that. Employing 120 people, the business takes care of removing the bones from pigs’ dead bodies. Every week, Belgian slaughterhouses deliver 550 tons of pig meat to Locks where loin, rump, shoulders, legs and necks get deboned by hand on an assembly line in rooms that are kept at six degrees. “It’s like in the automobile sector,” Filip Van Teemsche

Deboning the shoulders.

explains: “Everyone has his or her own little task.” Only the final packaging is done by machines. But why is deboning necessary? “Everything needs to be deboned because otherwise it’s impossible to process it,” Van Teemsche clarifies: “The only thing that is sold with bones are the ribs.” Whilst most of the bone-free meat is exported and turned into ham or meatballs at other locations, some parts stay at Locks and get directly made into the final product that you’re likely to find in your supermarket’s meat section, such as marinated tender loins for example. “That’s my favourite part,” Van Teemsche tells us: “I like the creativity, creating a

completely new product. When I was in Italy I saw the Pancetta and thought: ‘Why can’t we do that with fresh meat?’ And now you can find a fresh, grilled Pancetta in Belgian supermarkets.” Interestingly, only 8 percent of the company’s deboned meat actually stays in Belgium. Whilst the shoulder meat is mainly used for the Belgian “boulette”, the skin goes to the Philippines (to make chips) and the bellies mainly to Japan and South Korea, where they are used in soups. locks.be


33

Life

The stamp on the shoulder of the lamb shows that it comes from Scotland

Three whole lambs ready to be cut

T-bone and Porterhouse steaks

Manager Julia Craige-McQuaide with her colleague Wesley

Lamb cutlets that have just been cut on the block

A loin of beef which has just been cut into a fillet, a T-bone and a sirloin on the bone

Jack O’Shea Butchers, Brussels

Jack O’Shea, who has one branch in London and one in Brussels, is widely known for its high-quality meat. Ever since 1988, the butcher sells everything from Irish beef and lamb to bio-labelled pork produced in the Belgian Ardennes. Its clients include run-of-the-mill customers but also established restaurants such as Gaudron or Rouge Tomate in Brussels. When the meat is delivered, Jack O’Shea’s three trained butchers get to work and cut it into smaller pieces and process it into ham or sausages – everything is home-made. But how

do you recognize high quality meat? What are the criteria? “Good meat is well marbled, with the fat having a creamy colour. It needs to be firm instead of floppy, not watery and also not bright red as on supermarket shelves,” manager Julia Craige-McQuaide explains: “Beef needs to have aged, and when it is bright red it has not.” At Jack O’Shea, the ageing process is taken very seriously. After the arrival (about 400 kg a week), the beef gets stored in big fridges with circulating air, for anything from three to six weeks maximum. “Through the ageing the beef gets more tender and the flavour more intense because the enzymes break down the muscles,” Julia goes on. To ensure that all products are of

the best quality, founder Jack O’Shea regularly visits his suppliers to check what and how they are producing. All the meat that is sold in the shop comes from small farms and free-range, grass-fed animals. “That’s more important than an organic label,” Julia clarifies. “You can receive the label just because of what you feed the chickens, even if you hold them in little cages.” Rue Le Titien 30 Titiaanstraat – 1000 Brussels jackoshea.com


The other Word on

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All products that go over the counter are fresh and nothing is ever vacuum-packed

Freshly cut roast beef

Jean Gheysels, in business since five generations, attracts customers from all walks of life

Jean Gheysels Butchers, Brussels

Gheysels is one of Brussels’ most historic butchers. For five generations it has been selling top quality meat to its customers, which include everyone from homeless people to politicians and 300 restaurants all over Belgium and Northern France. Up until 2000, the Gheysels used to hang the carcasses of pigs or sheep on hooks in the ceiling all around the shop. But AFSCA, a Belgian organisation responsible for controlling the

food production chain, revised the laws and forbade the traditional procedure. It also imposed a number on each piece of meat to make it completely traceable. “With the help of this number, we can check everything: Who its parents were, how it was fed, where and how it lived,” owner Josiane Gheysels explains. The family business has been working with the same suppliers for 50 years now: “They know exactly which kind of quality we want and we know that we can rely on them,” says Josiane. Most products come from Belgian animals, with a few exceptions:

“Some of the beef we import from Argentina and lamb from New Zealand – it is their specialty and thus better than ours,” Josiane explains. The meat that arrives at Gheysels comes directly from the slaughterhouses, and the butchers debone and cut the carcasses themselves. What’s more, Gheysels make its own cold cuts and sausages, up to four times a day. Rue Sainte-Catherine 24 Sint-Katelijnestraat – 1000 Brussels jeangheysels.com


Life

35

Enrico Bouleau, farmer and butcher

His favorite beef comes from the French Limousin cattle

As Muslims do not eat pork, Enrico makes poultry sausages

Boucherie Halal Temploux

Enrico Bouleau knows his stuff. His parents were sheep farmers and his grandpa worked as a cattle dealer. After almost 20 years as a stockman, he decided to open a so-called Halal butchery – one that operates in accordance with Muslim rules. “I wanted to create a chain that goes directly from the farmer to the customer, a chain that I can control,” Bouleau says. On his farm he keeps about 300 sheep and between three and five of them are slaughtered for the butcher each week. For that, they are transported to a Halal slaughterhouse in Charleroi where a specially trained slaughterer, who is certified by the Brussels mosque, takes care of the killing. “In non-Halal slaughterhouses the animals are either electrocuted or

shot in the brain,” Bouleau explains: “Here, we cut their throats. It’s a cleaner and healthier method because they bleed out, all the blood flows out and it has a bright red colour. When you kill an animal by a shot in the head, the blood becomes very dark.” But is there also a difference when it comes to the taste? “No,” he freely admits. “What changes the taste is how you raise an animal, not how you kill it. But Halal meat is drier whilst normal meat gives off a lot of bloody juice.” The peak of the business is the yearly Festival of Sacrifice, when Muslim families slaughter a sheep as a sacrifice for their god. “Most families already come to the farm now to choose their lamb although the festivities are only in October,” Bouleau says: “Last time I had to cut up 86 lambs in one day.” Whilst the products in

the butchery stem from young female lambs that are between two and six months old, the religious holiday requires the slaughter of male sheep which have to be older than nine months. And the younger the animal, the softer the meat. But Bouleau also sells beef, especially the Limousin kind, the best in his opinion. Every Sunday he visits a few farms to choose the cows in order to ensure the best quality: “I only take females, because the meat of the males is too dry.” Chicken is on the menu too, delivered from the single Belgian Halal poultry slaughterhouse in Antwerp. Chaussée de Nivelles 270 Nijvelsesteenweg 5020 Temploux boucherie-halal-belgique.be


The other Word on

36

Cattle carcasses in the fridge

Pigs’ carcasses after the cooling process on their way to the cutting workshops

The hair of the pig is removed with fire After the killing, cows are skinned, cut open and their entrails removed on an assembly line

Abatan Slaughterhouse, Brussels

Anderlecht’s historical site, which spreads out across hectares, has been used since the 19 th century to slaughter animals, and for many years also hosted a big cattle market. Today, no less than 700 people work at the site on a daily basis and the iron cast construction that dates back to 1890 still serves as a venue for a fresh meat market three times a week. The slaughterhouse, where 230,000 animals arrive each week, has two slaughter lines: One for pigs, who are electrocuted and then exsanguinated, and one for larger

Pigs just after the exsanguination stage

animals such as calves, horses and deer who are shot in the head and then exsanguinated after. All sheep are slaughtered with the Halal method in accordance with Muslim rules. After their death, the animals are hung on an assembly line and well-trained cutters take care of removing the skin, taking out the entrails and cutting the animal in two pieces. At the end of the chain, a veterinarian inspects each carcass and in case of illness they are put aside. “Whilst the cows and bulls each have a number assigned to them, making it possible to trace each one individually, pigs are only numbered in groups: There are just too many,” Jan Van Assche, responsible for

quality control, explains. The slaughter and preparation of one single animal takes about 30 minutes. The approved pieces end up on the cutting tables of a number of butchers who have their studios (30 in total) directly at the site, and who are responsible for deboning and transforming the carcasses into even smaller pieces which are then transported to butchers all over Belgium. abatan.be

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38

The business

Beauty pageants In an attempt to silence the killjoys who dis beauty contests as fuel for the narcissism of contemporary society, personality has moved to centre stage in recent decades as the most important quality in the perfect pageant king or queen. Truth is, though, we’re all just suckers for a pretty face. Here’s our shoutout to the people behind Belgium’s parties for the pretty, which, we’re told, are nothing more than a pleasant diversion. And for that, we’d like to thank Jesus. Photographer Sarah Eechaut

Writer Rose Kelleher


Life

Christian Nolens Director, On Stage Events, organiser and promoter of Mister Belgium

“A male pageant is very different from a female sound like a cliché – it’s more than just physical pageant. You can’t just copy and paste it, because appearance.” The Mister Belgium competition you can’t ask guys to do the same things as girls.” that Christian’s company has organised for the says Christian. The cut off age is also older for past 10 years is glamorous, but not bling bling. boys. “We go till 35 because we think if you “We’re quite traditional actually. We want to want to choose an ‘ambassador’, then you really find young guys who represent their generahave to go further than just 25 years of age. tion… and we’re quite demanding. Sometimes Some girls are really mature at 22 or 23 – but we decide not to organise it because we don’t it’s not always the same with guys. They can be have enough good candidates – we’d rather married, they can have kids, they can be over keep our high standards.” 25. It’s important because – and this might

39


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The business

Darline Devos President, Miss Belgium

“Miss Belgium is really an institution – the contest exists since 1929, and I bought the company in 2005 from the previous owner, who had owned it for 35 years. It’s a bit old fashioned: girls who want to be Miss Belgium want the life of a princess – they all say during the preselection that they’ve dreamt about it all their life. And when you become Miss Belgium you are immediately a famous person.” However, says Darline, it’s not all glamour. It’s a job. “Miss Belgium has to be

the ambassador for the country, she has to do charity work, and she has to be the ambassador for our sponsors. The girls are busy.” And what about accusations that beauty pageants are exploitative? Darline says “When people are negative I always say that there are a lot of people who wouldn’t dare to do what the girls are doing. They can criticise when they have done it themselves… even if they don’t win, the girls get so much life experience from it. The kind of things you can't learn at school.”


41

Life

Tim Wamback Bodybuilder

“Is bodybuilding a talent? Well, genetics are very important. You have to be conditioned, but it also depends on your symmetry,” says Tim, adding that bodybuilding is a way of life and that people don’t have enough respect for the sport. “When you’re in training, you have to eat every three hours, you have to do one hour of cardio before work in the morning and after work you go to the gym. You see participants on stage and they’re smiling, they’re ripped and beautiful with veins everywhere. But they are

really exhausted. You train 24/7 all year long for one competition and you’re only on stage for 90 seconds. It’s one of the hardest sports there is,” he says. Asked about how this rigorous routine affects his personal life, Tim says he has found a kindred spirit in his girlfriend, Olga, recently crowned European Bikini Champion. “My girlfriend understands me and I understand her. She trains and eats like a bodybuilder and I’m so happy to have found her because she knows what it’s like.”


42

The business

Cynthia Ikwene Miss East Africa Belgium

Apart from the more well-known pageant brands, Belgium has lots of spin-off competitions, like Miss East Africa. “I entered Belgium’s Top Model at the same time as Miss East Africa, but I stopped the Top Model contest because I wanted to represent my country,” says Cynthia from Rwanda. She’s very shy, and says entering the pageant has helped her – something that is echoed by many pageant participants. “I study marketing and as part of my studies I have to speak in public. I entered the competition to

conquer my shyness, to learn how to put myself forward,” she says “and the competition really helped. Now I don’t mind people looking at me. I really love the catwalk!” And the criteria to enter? “You have to be from a country in East Africa, you have to be tall and pretty and you have to speak well. You have to answer questions and have a talent. I really didn’t expect to win, and when I realised I had won, it was incredible. It was a blur all around me, I couldn’t hear anything – I couldn’t believe it!”


43

Life

Sebastien Ulens Mr. Personality Belgium, Mr. Universe Model 2012 candidate

“It was the first time I entered a pageant. At first, my friends and parents weren’t so happy about it. Maybe because they thought it wasn’t for me, or because of the cliché that a Miss or Mister isn’t very intelligent. But when they saw that it made me more and more self-confident, they supported me.” Sebastien wanted to be a model, but with no portfolio, didn’t know where to start. “The organisation contacted me through Facebook and asked me to participate. I did photoshoots and I learned

to catwalk… I learned a lot.” he says. But, he says, a Mister and a model are two different things. “My model agency are not so happy for their models to participate in beauty pageants because they think it’s “cheap”, but I don’t agree because I learned so much.” But anyway, he says, it’s his first and last foray into the world of beauty pageants. “I still have the international competition to do, but that’s it. I’m glad I did it because it has made me a more confident person, but it’s really not something for me.”


The insider

© Joke De Wilde

44

Lost in music They’re young, talented and are blessed with good looks. Sitting at the back of Café Normo in Antwerp, Amélie Lens and Rosalie De Meyer are also known as Søren, the DJ act they launched together last year. Both striking and charming, the pair exude self-confidence and strength. Amélie is an established fashion model, having walked for Ann Demeulemeester and graced the Antwerp Academy Show poster last June. Rosalie studies Communications in Antwerp and met Amélie by chance at university, “It’s funny, because we had a lot of friends in common, but never talked to each other. The minute I met Amélie, I knew we would get on.” Inspired by her boyfriend – who is also a DJ – Lens realised there was a gap within the Antwerp clubbing scene and she was looking for alternatives, “There were parties, but nothing we could relate to,” she explains. “We wanted to have our own party and decided to give it a go last summer. People loved it and they started booking us, which we didn’t expect. We’re not into these huge clubs with hundreds of people dancing. We wanted to have something more personal and intimate. At the beginning, our friends came to see us play and we liked this feeling of familiarity.” Søren is not a common name for a DJ either, but, here again, the story stems from personal memories: “When I was a child, my parents used to have a boat,” explains De Meyer. “The guy parking next to us was

Swedish and his first name was Søren. I found it beautiful and liked how masculine it sounded. I guess it contrasted nicely with who we are.” When it comes to music, both girls have exactly the same taste, which makes it easier when it comes to planning sets. With hardly any age difference between them – Rosalie is 19 and Amélie 22 – they could almost be sisters, even though they don’t look alike. There’s an

ˆ It’s funny, because we had a lot of friends in common, but never talked to each other. The minute I met Amélie, I knew we would get on ˇ obvious chemistry between them and they seem to like spending time together, as well as travelling for gigs, “Our first gig abroad was in Amsterdam and it was nice being around each other,” says De Meyer. “We get on and take it easy. During gigs, we tend to be spontaneous and play what we like. We’re dancing and mixing at the same time, which means people see we’re enjoying ourselves. I think it makes a big difference and they like to see

us having fun. It definitely helps.” If having the right look is a plus, it’s not enough when it comes to music, “I’m a model, and I’m aware clubs may book us because of how Rosalie and I look,” explains Lens. “That doesn’t cut it when it comes to playing music though. You will be judged on the quality of your sound and no one will come back if you don’t live up to their expectations. You see acts where girls are pretty, but the music’s bad. Actually, when it’s girls at the tables, they probably have to prove themselves even more. We focus on our mixes and keep developing our own style. We’re looking for finesse in our music, with a feminine touch.” Combining hypnotic grooves with warm vocals and softer melodies, Søren’s mixes are catchy and refined, something that seems to relate to the girls themselves. Their Matterhorn nights in Antwerp and Ghent have been increasingly popular, and they recently played Les Ardentes and Bob Beaman Club in Munich with DJ Hell. Even if they’re part of a young generation where women have more options when it comes to career choices, they still acknowledge the fact that the music industry is mostly male-dominated, “We’re aware that most DJs are men. There are probably only five or six women who are at the top of their game in this field,” asserts Lens. “We’re mixing music, because we love it, and there is no strategy behind what we do. We want to see how it goes and have no master plan. There’s no rush, is there?” (PP) soundcloud.com/soren-mttrhrn


The showstoppers

46

Party props You’re about to step out for the night. Time for a mental check list. Perfume to overpower the guys, check. Shirt to stand out from the pack, check. Pink pumps to add a touch of softness, check. Make-up in case you need a little retouching, check. The jewellery for the added bling, check. The bag to hold it all in one, check. Oh, and the watch. You know, to make sure you get back in time for curfew.

01. Heart-shaped box

Rumour has it, a tiny squeeze of Diesel’s latest perfume will have throngs of men following you to infinity, tongues out and all. Packaged in an angular, rough-edged pink-purpled heartshaped bottle, the latest addition to Diesel’s collection of perfumes is a fatal attraction between opposing forces. Think juicy mandarin flavours, strong-scented liquorice, Sambac jasmine and gardenia petals at the fore, put to bed with undertones of vanilla. An intense and spellbinding fragrance defined just as much by its freshness as by its audacity, use Loverdose at your own risk. (NL) Diesel Loverdose (from ¤45 for a 30ml bottle). Available from Ici Paris XL and Planet Parfum. diesel.fragrance-factory.com


47

Style 02. Framed in pink

Buying a watch can go two ways. Either it’s a purely functional buy, something you need rather than something you actually want. Or it is a purchase made as an extension of your personality, something you wish to express through the watch you’re sporting. And, with its Chrono Plastics range, Swatch seems to be firmly going down the personality extension route. Its latest collection of timepieces, Chrono Plastics features contrasting colour feats which, in this particular case, pits a pink frame against white and blue dials in what can only be described as an exercise in colourful restraint. (NL) Swatch Chrono Plastic Pink Frame (¤88). swatch.be

03. A classic in-the-making

A luxury classic – despite only being 12 years old – Balenciaga’s Lariat bag was inspired by bikers and became an overnight hit after being carried by Kate Moss. Unstructured and supple, the Lariat comes unbranded and is lined with contrasting cotton. With its utilitarian roots and refined fabrications, it keeps revamping itself each year, under the direction of Nicolas Ghesquière, the house’s creative director. This version, made in soft pink lambskin, features an irregular chain detail, adding toughness to its simple shape. It’s a good alternative to fancy evening bags, if you're not into the sequin and satin thing. (PP) Balenciaga Thulian Pink Lariat Bag (¤695). Available from Louis (Antwerp and Knokke). balenciaga.eu

04. Bling upon bling

Launched in 2011, La Maison du Diamant’s Tutti Frutti range is fun and informal, taking an upbeat and playful approach to jewellery design. Designed in-house, the collection focuses on plain and stylish gold rings, embellished with precious stones. Tutti Frutti’s concept is that several rings should be worn on one finger at once, mixing different shades and reflections. Set with pink rubies, this style is a nice way to sample the range before you start piling up. You know, because one ring is never really enough. (PP) Rubies Tutti Frutti Ring (¤540). Available from La Maison du Diamant (Brussels). infodiamond.com


The showstoppers

48 05. Pump-up the jam

If the idea of wearing three-inch high heels on a night out makes you feel nauseous, this is the best footwear season you’ve ever had. Forget clunky platforms and spindly stilettos, kitten heels are back with a vengeance. They’re feminine and exude coquettish charm, whilst the obvious comfort factor isn’t to be taken for granted. This cute style from Belgian brand Orane & Enora, done in a girly, bubble gum pink patent leather, features an elegant contrasting heel. All you need now is a matching vintage Porsche and floral 50s dress. (PP) Orane & Enora Scarlett patent leather shoe (¤275). Available from Ma sœur et moi (Mons). orane-enora.com

06. Glossed over

It’s hard to imagine certain girls partying without their make-up on. If carefully coloured cheeks and smoky eyes sound like too much of an effort, lip gloss usually does the trick. You can’t go wrong with pink as it suits most complexions and has that playful touch. The Croisière range, created by French luxury house Givenchy, promises to keep your lips smooth and hydrated, combining high-quality textures with subtle shades. This is essential knowledge when aiming for that perfect kiss at the end of a long night. Nobody wants dry memories… (PP) Givenchy Croisière lip gloss (¤27). Available from Planet Parfum boutiques nationwide. givenchy.com

07. Too sexy for this shirt

When it comes to basics – with just enough edge to stay relevant – A.P.C. is the go-to label for hipsters and those in the know. Created in 1987 by Jean Touitou, the French brand was a reaction to 80s excess and the greed decade’s pompous clothes. Focusing on minimal lines and essential details, this pink cotton shirt is a must-have, giving you a healthy glow all year long. Yes, pink tends to be flattering and Touitou dresses half of the fashion industry, even though he never tried to be trendy. So ironique. (PP) A.P.C. cotton tailored shirt (¤155). Available from A.P.C. (Brussels) and (Antwerp). apc.fr


50

The fashion Word

The weekend has landed “All that exists now is clubs, drugs, pubs and parties. They’ve got 48 hours off from the world. They’re going to blow steam out their heads like screaming kettles, going to talk cod shit to strangers all night, going to lose the plot on the dancefloor, Tonight, they’re Hip Travolta, they’re Peter Popper. They’re going to get more spaced out than Neil Amstrong ever did… ”

Photographer Kris de Smedt

(Adapted from Human Traffic, 1999)

Fashion Kim Peers


Style

51

From left to right: Stef — Wool felt hat Roeckl, Double-breasted suit Hugo by Hugo Boss, Wool roll neck Agnès B. and Leather boots Boss Orange; Charlotte — Silk chiffon evening dress Hugo Boss, long suede gloves Roeckl and Flower printed coat Annemie Verbeke; Sander — Stretch roll neck COS, Oversized kimono coat Anna Kushnerova at Ra, Printed sheer trousers Jutka & Riska, Long necklace Les Precieuses, Socks Falke and Lace-up leather shoes Fred De La Bretoniere; Anaïs — Silk bra Eres, Embroidered dress Chanel and Stretch leather boots Robert Clergerie


Anaïs — Transparent blouse Meadham Kirchhoff at Ra, Tweed mini skirt Tommy Hilfiger, Silver necklace with stone detail Arielle De Pinto at Ra and Rectangular clutch Delvaux


Charlotte — Sheer dress with bodice Anna October at Ra, Embroidered crochet top Paule Ka, lace trim socks American Apparel and Patent leather shoes E(X)IT; Sander — Three-piece tweed suit Café Costume, tailored shirt Essentiel, Bracelet, necklace and ring River Island and Gold watch Rado


Stef — High hat G-Star, Double breasted velvet suit Diesel Black Gold, Silk and cashmere roll neck Hermès and Necklace with stone detail Swarovski; Anaïs — Satin blouse Jenny Fax at Ra, Round sunglasses Optiek E.Blonde, Slim trousers Chanel and Metal rings Jutka & Riska


Sander — Leather jacket Levi’s, Wool roll neck Filippa K, Printed scarf Access, Rope necklace Jutka & Riska, Gold sunglasses Dolce & Gabbana and Lined leather gloves Tommy Hilfiger


Charlotte — Straw hat American Apparel, Silk monochrome shirt Jean-Paul Lespagnard, Suede trim necklace Jutka & Riska, Metal ring Swarovski, Printed leggings River Island and Patent leather loafers Mellow Yellow; Anaïs — Silk printed blouse A.P.C. & Vanessa Seward, Star necklace Swarovski, Printed jeans G-Star and Patent leather brogues Mellow Yellow


Stef — Wool felt hat Roeckl, Flower print shirt American Apparel, Short cape Agnès B., Wool trousers Melinda Gloss, Silver necklace Wouters & Hendrix, Nylon shopper Kipling and Leather trainers Converse; Sander — Check shirt Lee Cooper, Hooded cape We, Skinny trousers: Agnès B, Necklace Access and Trainers Faguo


58

The fashion Word

Stef — V-neck lace shirt Filles A Papa, Necklace and printed scarf Access and Coated jeans River Island


59

Style

Photographer Kris de Smedt Fashion Kim Peers Styling Assistant Lies Maréchal Hair Ludovic Constant Make-up Esther Wauters for MAC Cosmetics

Models Anaïs, Charlotte, Stef and Sander @ ULLA Models

Retoucher Antoine Melis Special thanks to Erik Vernieuwe Ruben Debuck

Charlotte — Silk chiffon evening dress Hugo Boss, Long suede gloves Roeckl and Flower printed coat Annemie Verbeke; Anaïs — Silk bra Eres, Embroidered dress Chanel and Stretch leather boots Robert Clergerie


60

The music column

Soldout

Soldout’s David Baboulis and Charlotte Maison pictured in our office’s backyard

Almost a decade into their career, Belgian electro rock outfit Soldout is far from running out of ideas. The two-piece, known for its signature blend of 80s new wave with electronic beats, catchy melodies and rocky riffs, just unveiled its new single Wazabi in May and is now working on a third record, scheduled for release early 2013. We invited Charlotte (29) and David (38) over to our offices on a summery Tuesday afternoon to talk about recording their new album, writing a movie soundtrack for the very first time and partying in Berlin. Photographer Grégoire Pleynet

Interview Sarah Schug


Music

Charlotte, you started out with classical music. It’s quite a way from there to electro rock. How did that happen? Charlotte: Well, I learned the basics of music theory just like all the other children and I also learned to play the piano. But what I really dreamed of was becoming a conductor. I always practised with my brother’s magic wands in front of the mirror. Do you think this still influences your music today? C: Definitely. I think a composer like Chopin has elements in his music that can be found in today’s pop. Just think of Agnès Obel for example. How did you two meet and how did you realise you wanted to make music together? Looking at your different backgrounds that was not an obvious choice. C: I recorded a demo with covers of jazz songs, of Nina Simone for example. And a friend of mine passed it on to David because he thought we should do something together. David: I think we really complement each other. And we have a common vision. I was more of an autodidact when it comes to music. When I was 14 or 15 I started playing around with my computer and my synthesiser. Charlotte and me just wanted the same thing at the same time and really understood each other. Her music was a new universe for me just as my music was a new world for her. I heard you are working on a movie soundtrack, can you tell me more about that? C: Yes! The movie is called “Puppy Love” and the director is a friend of ours. We actually just saw the first cut and really liked it. D: It’s very different from what we usually do, because everything needs to be based on the director’s instructions and the atmosphere of the film. Of course we keep our style but we go in a direction that is less dark than usual and more pop, as the film is about two teenage girls. And there will also be some songs that are quite rock, with lots of guitars. As this is the party issue: What’s the best party you’ve been to recently? D: The best ones are always the ones that are not planned, when you just want to have a beer and in the end you’re not home before the sun comes up. The best night recently was in a huge loft in Brussels that belongs to a few architects. All doors were open and there were DJs everywhere. A friend from New York was visiting and he just loved it, he said even in New York you would never find something like this. We told him that it’s like that every day in Brussels, haha.

I have a question regarding your band name, which makes it very difficult to find you on the net. Has that ever been a problem for you? D: When we made up the name Soldout we weren’t even thinking we’d ever play concerts. It just went out of control at one point. But when we were programmed as the support act for the tour of Front 242 they considered not putting us on the flyer because they were afraid everyone would think the shows were soldout and no one would show up! C: When we chose our name, the Internet wasn’t that important yet. We only checked if the name already existed.

ˆ When we were programmed as the support act for the tour of Front 242 they considered not putting us on the flyer because they were afraid everyone would think the shows were soldout and no one would show up! ˇ You released an album in 2004, then in 2008 and now again four years later. How come it always takes you four years to come out with something new? D: That’s not on purpose! After every record we feel like having a break. We don’t want to do the same thing again, so we need to search and grow, and that takes time. Some bands tour and prepare their albums at the same time, but we prefer to concentrate on one thing. C: Each time we reflect a lot on what we did, what was good and bad, where we want to go… It’s important to give yourself time to discover other bands and styles and get inspired. What was the inspiration for your upcoming record then? D: There’s more than just one influence. We wanted to work more on melodies and the voice. Before our music was very rhythmic. I think we are getting closer to our own sound. We always keep what we liked from before and combine it with something new. C: What I like the most is when people say it’s different but still recognise our sound. It’s

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hard to find your own thing because you constantly get influenced by everything you listen to. How far along are you with the album? And where did you write it? C: We are quite busy with it at the moment, not everything is finished. Last fall we went to Berlin for three weeks to come up with new material. Here in Belgium there’s just too much to do all the time, we get calls from friends who want to meet up etc. But in Berlin we could lock ourselves in and do nothing but music. We tried that for the last album too, in the Ardennes, and that didn’t work, because we don’t really have the scout spirit. We need to be in a city, that’s why we chose Berlin. There wasn’t too much distraction in Berlin? Did you go out a bit? D: Of course we went out a bit, we had to see the legendary Berghain. We stood in line for one hour but it was worth it. The interior is amazing, it would be cool to play there one day. What’s so great in Berlin is that everyone goes out for the music and people really dance, whilst in Belgium people mainly go out to flirt, for the wrong reasons basically. But Brussels is changing too, and in a good way. Why is your new single called Wazabi? D: When I work on music with the computer and start a new file I’m obliged to give it a name. First I just numbered them and then I started giving them weird names, but we would never keep them as song titles. But we liked Wazabi and just kept it. Why did you decide to release Wazabi as the new single? C: We have actually some other songs that sound more like singles than this one. But we didn’t want to do the same thing again. It’s less evident with Wazabi, but we don’t like to do what others expect. Also, the Internet brings the advantage that we are not really dependent on radios anymore. How is the new album different from the previous ones? What’s new? C: We focus more on melodies and the voice. The single is already much calmer and quieter than what we usually do. We were a bit scared for the live shows because our concerts have always been very dancy, but then we can always pull out some violent old tracks if necessary. People have always told us that they loved our live shows but wouldn’t listen to our albums at home – with the new one they will do that.

soldout.be


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The playlist

Peter Decuypere As the founding father of legendary Brussels club Fuse and the creative mind behind I Love Techno, the electronic music festival in Ghent which brings together about 40,000 techno heads each year, Peter Decuypere is a pioneer when it comes to electronic parties and a true veteran of the Belgian club scene. We asked him to select a couple of party tracks for us, in line with the current edition’s theme. Don’t expect a technoexclusive playlist though. Instead, as Peter himself puts it, the selection is made up of ‘Just good music to dance to…’ Illustrator Virassamy

Moloko : Statues Echo (2003)

Moloko and Roisin Murphy. We played Moloko in the Fill Collins Club in Antwerp; over and over again without ever getting tired of her voice and sound.

Grace Jones : Slave to the Rhythm Island, Manhattan

The übermusicqueen. Makes every dancefloor turn into a sexy groovy place… Even after all these years. A classic.

Daft Punk : Da Funk Soma Quality Recordings (1995)

Daft Punk first played Fuse in 1995. They were unknown and they played this track, Da Funk. The Fuse went crazy, and I booked them for I love Techno in 1995. Mindblowing performance and the rest is history.

Joan as Police Woman : The Deep Field Reveal Records (2011)

This is warm sexy music by a fantastic performer. I saw her doing the opener for a Lou Reed show in Brussels. A singer and a guitar! Great!

Gorillaz : On Melancholy Hill Parlophone (2010)

This track makes me smile and makes me feel pink all the way! I saw them live in Antwerp and they were just mind-blowing. Everything Damon Albarn does (Blur, Gorillaz…) is musical gold.


Music

The Cure : Boys Don’t Cry Fiction Records (1979)

In Club 55 I did a “New Wave” night called “On the Beach”. After all those years this track by The Cure is still standing. Simple but effective. Almost makes me cry.

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Phon.o : Slavemode 50 Weapons (2012)

Phon.o is one of the most interesting artists on this planet. A German guy who produces amazing tracks combining trance, dubstep beats and techno. If I would start a club, it would be with his music..

Suicide: Ghostrider Red Star Records (1977)

I remember hearing this for the first time some time in 1977. Punk was just in its beginnings and these New York guys released the first ‘electronic punk’ record. In my opinion this is the first techno record ever made. I saw Suicide live in a club in Brussels, “Disque Rouge”, in the 80s. “Disque Rouge” later turned into my club “Fuse”…

Laurent Garnier : Acid Eiffel Fragile (1993)

One of the best techno tracks ever. I remember Garnier playing this live in the Fuse around 1994. Shivering music that still gives me goose bumps and gets me dancing.

Herb Alpert : Rotation A&M Records (1979)

Classic track from 1979! Still makes me happy to listen to it. For me he is “The man with the red face” from the 70s.

James Blake : Postpone RandS Records (2011)

The first time I heard James Blake, it made me very happy because he proved that music can reinvent itself over and over again. The track Postpone has a break around 1:50 that is phenomenal! Just a mind-blowing track… It’s also nice that it came out on R&Srecords, the legendary Belgian label. Can you dance to this? In your mind you can!

New Order : Blue Monday Factory (1983)

This is the best-selling 12" ever, and when it came out it hit the dancefloors to never leave them again. New Order was the band that developed out of Joy Division after the suicide of Ian Curtis. They were so far ahead of their time in 1983 and have my greatest respect. I even went to the club Hacienda in Manchester just because New Order owned the club. I remember standing at about five meters from Bernard Sumner, the lead singer, and I felt extremely nervous. I was a real fan!

Derrick May : Strings of Life Transmat (1987)

From 1987 to 1992 I had my first club, Club 55 (near Kortrijk), and I remember the DJ playing this song for the first time. This was exactly 25 years ago. When I was at Tomorrowland in August this year there was a DJ on the main stage playing this track. Just brilliant and timeless.

Carl Craig : The Boy’s Doin’ It Verve Records (2005)

Carl Craig is a techno god! From Detroit with love.

Noir Désir : Le vent nous portera Barclay (2001)

Probably the best song ever written… No further comment needed.


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The insight

DJ tales What makes a party memorable? Which sound system is the heaviest in the world? Which track is sure to get the crowds going? What is the planet's best club? We put these questions, and others, to some of the world's best DJs, getting a firsthand account of what life in the DJ lane feels like. Interviews Sarah Schug

The party was at one of the biggest Moscow clubs and at one point the police showed up. This tiny promoter girl grabbed my hand and ran with me right past the police to get into a secret hidden room where DJ Sprinkles, Carsten Nicoli and about 10 Russian women were drinking vodka. In the end the police left and I put on a great show. For a good party the absolutely most important condition is to have a crowd of excited people – if they’re your friends, that’s even better. Friends will make any party a good one, even if it’s in the worst location. Good music is important too of course. A track that gets every crowd on its feet is obviously “Head” from Prince. Adonis’ “No Way Back” is a good one too. Lately, I’ve been hearing DJ's dropping Darryl Pandy with “Love Can’t Turn Around”. One of my best experiences was DJing on a roof on a hot summer day – it was so surreal and beautiful. Very memorable was also a show that we did out of my Cadillac in Detroit. I had about 500 people playing out of my sound system and hooked up to a larger PA. If I had to organise the last party on earth I would put Lil Louie, Aphex Twin and T Pain behind the decks.

but the worst party you can be at is when the booth is not comfortable for the DJ, with bad equipment and bad monitoring. Under these conditions you cannot work properly and cannot have a good time. For a good show it’s also important to have a good rest before, a good dinner, connect with the promoter and have a full house – the rest is magic. If we had to organise the last party on earth? Well we’d definitely get Damian Lazarus, Ricardo Villalobos and DJ Harvey to play. soundcloud.com/furcoatmusic

Boys Noize German producer Alexander Ridha, aka Boys Noize has come out of nowhere to literally dominate the distorted electro scene. He runs his own label, Boys Noize Records, which counts Spank Rock and acclaimed New York rapper Le1f on its roster, and, more recently, has teamed up with American post-dub sensation Skrillex under the moniker “Dog Blood”. Their first single will be released shortly.

soundcloud.com/jimmyedgar

Fur Coat The acclaimed duo from Caracas, Venezuela, just moved to Barcelona and the release of their debut album “Mind Over Matter” on Crosstown Rebels is scheduled for this September.

Jimmy Edgar The Detroit-bred, Berlin-based futuristic funk expert just released a new video for his track “Let Yrself Be” and is set to release a John Talabot & Scuba remix of his single “Sex Drive/Let Yrself Be”.

The craziest party I ever played at took place in Russia. I went there illegally through Belarus on a night train because I couldn’t get a visa. Russia has its own style, grey and dreary but with red lipstick and beautiful women.

The most insane party we’ve ever played at was probably the one in Warung, Brazil. The place is just amazing and the crowd was incredible. Imagine more than 5000 people going crazy at night on the beach. The weather, the location, this whole Latin vibe – it was a crazy atmosphere. A venue that we really liked was this underground place in Torino, Italy. It had the feeling of an old bunker, but with a very modern bar. Plus, people showed up with fur coats and crazy costumes. We don´t want to point at anybody in particular,

The craziest party we ever played at was in a private loft in New York that belonged to my friend Jake Shears from the Scissors Sisters. It was his birthday party for which he removed all of his furniture, put up a DJ booth, strobe lights, lasers, and even a fog machine! This party just got super intense with the craziest people and freaks I’ve ever seen together in one room. Unfortunately everything got shut down by the police around 3h30 am. In Berlin we did my 2007 “Oi Oi Oi” album release party in a super run-down house. The funny thing was that you could only reach the entrance through a small turkish Kebab place. You had to go through the toilet which led you to a long dark corridor until you ended up in this fucked up house. I didn’t do any promo or flyers and just by word of mouth 750 people came and totally packed the place. It was awesome!


Music

Another great location was the Sasquasch Festival, three hours away from Seattle. The drive there was so beautiful, we went through all types of landscapes until we arrived on top of a mountain range, where the stage was set up at the edge of a cliff. It is such a beautiful view and the feeling you get when you’re surrounded by this kind of scenery is amazing. The worst party I ever played at was maybe in Miami, I think it was last year. I played in a pretty posh club where the people are used to big room mainstream music. The Black Eyed Peas had a concert that day in Miami and will.i.am came to that party and he wanted to DJ. Of course the promoter was happy about it. So I started to play after Mr.i.am and because he had already played a pretty mainstream set, I wanted to start the party big and put my track “Lemonade” which is always guaranteed to get the people go wild. But there was no reaction, nothing. I tried some other tracks that always get the crowd on its feet and after there was still no reaction I decided to play only ghetto Chicago house stuff, you know, these "suck it suck it, fuck fuck it" or "bitch bitch bitch" tracks. I did a short 70 minutes set and after me the “BEP crew” played again. Their first song was Rihanna… I hated it. For the last party on this planet I’d pick Xavier from † (he always drops some good unexpected fun), 2manyDjs (they’ ve got the biggest collection and the best taste, I’m sure they’d pick the coolest songs), Jarvis Cocker (I heard him once and I started to dance) and some random friend who is not a DJ but just plays music from his iPod. boysnoize.com

Nosedrip Hailing from Ostende but based in Ghent, Nosedrip is one of Belgium’s up-and-coming DJs, his blend of future dub, lazy psyche, broken house, obscure pop and warm retro electronica having earned him quite a reputation as oddball-in-chief.

A party is good when there is an equal amount of girls and boys. The craziest one I’ve ever played at took place in an abandoned school. My favorite venue though is definitely

the Muziekgebouw t’IJ Amsterdam. If I want to make the crowd go insane I play Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” – that track just always works. But once even that was not enough: When I played at some bridal party at Box 68 in Ostend the bride was shouting “You’re ruining my wedding!!!” and in the end I got kicked out by her dad-in-law. For the last party on earth I would hire Floating Points, Cosmin TRG & Caribou/Four Tet. nosedrip.tumblr.com

The Magician The former Aeroplane member has been busy on the remix tip of late, with his remix of Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers” clocking up serious airplay. He’s also collaborating with French producer Yuksek, with whom he just recently released “Memory” on cult label Kitsuné.

The craziest party I’ve ever played at was probably in that club in Los Angeles called “Rhonda”. The temperature was around 40 degrees with strictly no air and no space to move! Everybody was disguised or weirdly dressed up… I had just arrived from Europe, the jetlag was really strong and everything seemed unreal… When it comes to locations, the Ageha Club in Tokyo was the most insane one so far. They had the craziest sound system I ever played. Forty speakers with equal distance between each other, all in light red color and they looked like robots. Before and after you play, you get a mini towel to wash your hands before and after your set. I can’t remember a real bad party… but there was quite a horrible incident that happened at a party in Switzerland. Someone threw some chemical liquid to my face whilst I was playing. I finished the night in the emergency room. Fortunately, after many tests, my eyes weren't injured… But that night was definitely a changing moment in my DJ career. To be able to have a good party I need a flight without delay, a warm welcome, a nice hotel, a good restaurant, a “Moscow Mule” cocktail and a good DJ for the warming up. And my remix of Sam Sparro’s

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“Happiness” always get the crowd on its feet. For my very last party on earth I’d let Daniele Baldelli, Larry Levan (if he was still alive) and 2 Many DJs play. the-magician.be

Lefto Lefto is one of Belgium’s better known DJs, relentlessly touring the world, coprogramming festivals, putting on his own hip hop radio show on Studio Brussel and co-running the B9000 label. We caught up with him at Dour a few hours before he was set to take to the stage.

Every party where people are 100 percent with you is a good party. The best parties are the ones where people are really in it from the beginning to the end, that’s just beautiful. The most important condition is the DJ. In the end the party is always in the hands of the DJ, he’s the one who puts people in a certain condition. That is what our job is about. If it’s not going well we have to try something else and make it work. There are many different DJs. Some just play what they want to play and don’t care about the crowd. Then there are DJs who change to commercial stuff when they have problems, but that’s no solution either. I basically play what I like. I am very lucky that I have a crowd who comes especially to hear my stuff. That’s why it doesn’t happen very often that I play in front of a crowd who doesn’t like my sound. When someone tries to book me, I find out what it is about. If it doesn’t fit I don’t accept it. I’ve played in so many beautiful locations, for example in South Korea, on beaches… I really love Asia and Japan. The atmosphere in Manila is great too. And some of my favorite parties are in LA. But at the end of the day Northern Europe is still the best place to party. I think we are more open to different styles. In some places here you can play house then Cumbia right after and people will love it. For the last party on earth I’d choose Four Tet. I saw his last set and really enjoyed it. And Giles Peterson because he’s been a big inspiration. lefto.be


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The insight

Booka Shade Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier aka Booka Shade are true veterans of Germany’s electronic music scene. They’re currently working on their fifth album, planned to be released next spring. We met the pair shortly before their insane set at Les Ardentes this summer.

It’s always bad when the promoters do something just for the money and without love and enthusiasm, just to cash up. That happened a lot in the 90s when techno was still really young. Two or three years ago we arrived at a party and the promoter had no clue who we were or what kind of music we were doing. He just booked us because he knew the name and we were on everyone’s lips at the time. And once we were booked for a hip hop party in Düsseldorf – very interesting when two worlds collide like that. Of course it can also be a good thing, but it has to be done on purpose, like in Portugal where we recently played at a hip hop meets electronica party. The song that really always works is our track “Body Language”. That’s our safe shot so to speak. But first of all you need a good sound system, that’s just essential. Other than that there should be enough (alcoholic) drinks and a nice atmosphere. You can deal with everything, but if the sound is bad it gets very difficult. One of our craziest party experiences was on tour in Australia. We played at the Future Festival and Sven Väth got into this habit of doing after parties in private apartments. Besides him there were Dubfire, John Digweed and a few other high-profile DJs – the people were quite surprised whom they suddenly found in their living room! And in the morning we all took a plane together to go to the next festival. The most amazing location we ever played at is the Red Rocks in Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains. Disco Biscuits which are not that known here, a jam band from the US, played there. They always do four hour long sets with a break in the middle, and that was when we took the stage. 12 000 people were there in this natural amphitheater. Very impressive. We have to admit that we are very privileged. We get to play in so many beautiful locations.

On the beach at the ocean, in the Canadian mountains just outside of Vancouver… in quite a lot of amazing natural settings. And also in these insane old hangars for example or at various cultural landmarks. It’s really great. But don’t get us wrong, we haven’t seen everything yet. We’d love to play in Australia or New Zealand again, it’s always very exotic there. And we actually never did the Hurricane festival in Germany, that’s something that’s still on our list. Burning Man would be great too or Fujirock in Japan. And, even though we’ve done everything from Lollapalooza to Glastonbury, we’re not done yet! For the last party ever on this planet we’d invite Sven Väth, our friends M.A.N.D.Y from Get Physical, and definitely a pretty girl. Who could that be… maybe this incredible pretty Scandinavian DJ…what’s her name? Anyway, a beautiful woman has to be there!

filler, really spontaneous, to be able to pay for gas and stuff. The crowd is really important. At my last party on earth I wouldn’t let any DJs play. I’d want Sleep, Explosions in the Sky, Drake and M83 there. shlohmo.tumblr.com

Deniz Kurtel The Berlin-based deep house producer stirred up quite some attention with her 2011 debut album “Music Watching Over Me”. Her new record “The Way We Live” is out now on Wolf+Lamb Records.

bookashade.com

Shlohmo Only 21 years old but already touring the whole world, Henry Laufer aka Shlohmo is one of those boy-wonders that’s been on every industry head’s lips of late. We caught up with the LA-based DJ and producer right after his energetic set at this year’s Dour Festival.

The craziest parties are always the hippie festivals taking place in forests and stuff. There was this one recently in the desert in Nevada called Symbiosis festival. It’s right where “Burning Man” is, but on the lake. It’s just so not my scene, so it’s always weird and funny. All the hippies love drugs and base music. The tracks that always gets a crowd on its feet are all RL Grime tracks. Literally every single one of them works. But if I had to name only one track it would be the “Mercy Remix”, the RL Grime remix of that Kanye song. The worst party I ever played at was probably at some kid’s house where I got only paid in weed and there were only 10 people. No, wait, I can actually think of a worse one, it was in Urbana, Illinois where I played for only one guy. We were on tour and it was just a

The craziest place I ever played at was without a doubt Burning Man. It was just so extreme. I was supposed to play at like six in the morning but couldn’t find my friends who had the key to the car where all my equipment was stored. So I took a bicycle and drove through the desert in the dark for about two hours to look for them – in vain. In the end my show was moved to the next day and it was magical. My worst experience I had last year when my mom came to see one of my gigs for the very first time. It was in Geneva and I was super nervous. No one was there, the club was empty and it was just depressing. So my mom got a completely wrong impression of my work. I convinced her to come see me in Paris where I had an amazing time and she could see the real thing. But that’s the industry: You never know how it’s going to turn out. The song that always works is “The L Word”, my most popular one. It’s the safest one and I don’t really like to play it anymore. But people still want to hear it. I enjoy to play stuff that I am excited about, that I want to share with people. If you start trying to please people too much it doesn’t work. What’s most important to have a good party though is the sound system. It’s hard to get into the mood if the sound is not right. I don’t care about the venue, if it’s underground or posh. But it’s important to have a good crowd. For the last party ever on earth I’d hire Wolf+Lamb, Soul Clap and Ross Tanner. denizkurtel.com


Music

Alexander Waldron Alexander Waldron, based in Berlin, is not only a DJ but also the founder of GrecoRoman party collective and record label, which counts releases by the likes of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Joe “Hot Chip” Goddard, Drums of Death and many more.

“Erotic City” from Prince even gets the laziest crowd on its feet. But in the end good parties are all about being with interesting people who don't have anything important to do the next day. Good music and an interesting location are just details. The most insane place I’ve ever played at was in the deep end of a disused swimming pool in Berlin. The craziest party I remember was the GrecoRoman night in Manchester: I’ll only say stage invasions, power cuts and Drums of Death’s debut show. The worst one was in a fake warehouse in London where undercover policemen showed up. For the last party on earth I’d put the Swedish House Mafia behind the decks, of course.

playing in Brazil because those Brazilians just love music. 3000 people dancing on slow mo disco with a smile on their face – that’s pretty unbeatable. I also loved this party called “A club called Rhonda” in Los Angeles this year. It’s a rather gay party, girls get all dressed up, and everyone goes really wild. The line-ups are always top notch, no cheesy superstar DJs, although the party has become super famous (apparently after Dita Von Teese said it was the best one in LA!) and everyone is begging to play there now. The craziest location I ever played at was definitely the Cathedral of Carthage in Tunisia. Although now you may have the feeling that every party is amazing, especially if you look at DJs’ Twitter feeds, there’s always a good proportion of bad parties. The track that always gets a crowd on its feet is the extended 12” mix of “Carly Simon – Why”. The most important conditions for a good party are a good mix of people, a good balance of girls and boys, or even better, girls and gays, who are open-minded and willing to have a good time. A good sound system is also important. But after 15 years of doing this it is still really hard for me to predict if a party is going to be good or not. For the last one on earth I’d hire the following, if I have to choose alive ones: Harvey, Marc Pinol and Gilb’r.

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In general pre-requisites for a really good party are a good soundsystem, 80 percent girls, a lot of green, no neighbours and a cocktail bar – because cocktails get people drunk even if they don't want to. The bad parties I don’t even remember, but oh boy, I had several of those. When it’s not going well there are two tracks that always get the crowd moving: “Welcome to my hood” from DJ Khaled and “Depravity” from Gesaffelstein. For the last party on earth I would pick Andrew Weatherall, Dj Slow & Thee Mike B. brodinski.net  

Jazzanova Juergen von Knoblauch is part of Berlinbased DJ and producer collective Jazzanova, skillfully blending together chillout, nu-jazz and various jazz house styles since 1995.

soundcloud.com/joakimbouaziz

Brodinski greco-roman.net

Joakim French DJ Joakim, based between Paris and New York, just produced Belgian band Montevideo’s new album before embarking on a tour through Asia in October. His latest record “Nothing Gold” was released on his Tigersushi label.

I’ve played quite a few parties, hard to say which ones were the very best ones because memories fade. Lately I played two amazing parties. One was an outdoor daytime party in Sao Paulo, in the courtyard of a museum. I love

In 2007, Brodinski rose to sudden DJ stardom with his debut single “Bad Runner”. Going back and forth between Paris and LA, the Frenchman just released a new EP on Bromance Records.

One of my craziest souvenirs ever is the Bromance Coachella second weekend party 2012 that took place in a ranch with Pipes, Nick Hook, Louisahhh, Thee Mike B, Busy P & Snoop Dogg. It was a proper rap rave! Playing Ben Klock and Juicy J at the same time. When it comes to locations I especially liked Capetown city hall for Sonar in South Africa this year. The place was so amazing… It was difficult to play usual dance music but people were pretty crazy! 

My craziest party ever? The Summersound DJ Picknick in Dortmund 2010 where I played for a crowd of two and three year old kids. An insane location was definitely the Malaga castle Alcazaba in Spain, I played there in 2007. The worst that can happen is when the feedback of the record players and the jog wheels of the cd players are overused and shaky. But a track like “Make it good” from The White Lamp always gets the crowd on its feet. The most important pre-requisite for a good party though is a great record shop with a good selection of new and second hand stuff. For the last party on this planet I’d pick Hunee, Dego and Jazzanova’s Alex as DJs. jazzanova.com


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10

2 Belgium has

designers from Wallonia and Brussels showed their works at this year’s edition of Salone Internazionale del Mobile

design museums: Design Museum Ghent and Grand Hornu

The design special Flanders is home to some

12,000

businesses that see design as core to their activity

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– the number of times the International Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk has taken place

“101% Designed in Brussels”

promotes the most promising and innovative designers, and highlights & creativity in Brussels

100,000 visitors flocked to the last edition of Intérieur


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The space

Studio With A View

Every designer has his or her own unique way of working. Some like it quiet and secluded, others need the constant exchange with their likeminded peers. Studio With A View, located on the fourth floor of the former Bellevue brewery in Brussels, satisfies both needs. Spread out across more than 600 square meters, eight artists (five designers, two photographers and one architect) form like Voltron to do everything from photo shoots to timber furniture. “We all do our own thing, but it is very inspiring to see what the others work on, what materials and techniques they use,” designer Maarten De Ceulaer explains. The huge loft is filled with spray cabins, photo walls, spot welding machines, wood cutters, compressors and is constantly steaming with creative energy: “It is very motivating, there is always someone here, even at eight in the morning on a Sunday,” he continues. Besides the big common space that serves as a kitchen, photo studio and workshop all-in-one, one wall is taken up by a purpose-build two-level wooden structure that provides the loosely-knitted collective with individual spaces: wooden cubicles, 21 square meters of pure privacy, which some use as storage space and others as offices. “It is just the perfect combination of alone and together,” Maarten concludes. Photographer Grégoire Pleynet


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Studio With A View is: Julien Carretero

juliencarretero.com

RaphaĂŤl Charles

raphaelcharles.com

Émilio Correia Maarten De Ceulaer

maartendeceulaer.com

Charlotte Dumoncel d'Argence

charlottedumonceldargence.com

Dimitri Fache Damien Gernay

damiengernay.com

Nicolaas Neefs

niconeefs.com

studiowithaview.be


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The players

01. Jan Boelen Artistic director at Kunstcentrum Z33 in Hasselt and Head of the Masters Department Social Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Based in Kessel-Lo.

The ones that count Scenes don’t just magically take shape. Certain key factors – government support, local craftsmanship, educational infrastructure – play a crucial role in creating what often become microcosms of excellence. That, and people of course. Here, we talk to five individuals instrumental in instigating, supporting and promoting design in Belgium. Photographer Sarah Eechaut Interviews Sarah Schug

I was raised in a small house together with four brothers, so my parents chose every new piece they would put in the house very carefully. They put the right things in the right places and even today it is still appropriate. I think it was this attitude, the way they dealt with what is around us, that steered my interest in design. I do not really have a favorite item because actually I am not that interested in certain objects. What fascinates me much more is the question of why we use certain things and how we respond to certain circumstances: What do we produce and why? I like design that addresses societal developments, is critical, reflective, tactile and sensorial. Design that widens the field and opens up new perspectives. Nowadays we need to ask ourselves: Is there a need for more things? This regards all levels: Design is not only functional. Some of my favorite designers, who take all this into account, are for example Dunne & Raby, Thomas Lomée, Joost Grootens or the Unfolds collective, to name a few. Is there a Belgian design scene? I don’t think so. Most interesting Belgian designers are being educated abroad. At the moment I am following the work of young Belgian designer Tuur Van Balen who graduated from NCA only two years ago. Together with his partner he does some really interesting stuff and uses design in a new way: As a tool, a means, and not as a goal. But what we lack in Belgium is not only a good, but an excellent design education, that engages people with a vision, creates networks and goes beyond the traditional education. We have that when it comes to fashion, but not for product design. Only then you can achieve surprising or unexpected results. We need a critical debate on design in Belgium and see ourselves as a part of a global design world. Pictured with a porcelain milk can, designed by Dutch designer Aldo Bakker in 2005.


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02. Moniek Bucquoye CEO Designcentrum Vlaanderen and Stategic Advisor Interieur vzw. Based in Ghent.

03. Giovanna Massoni Brussels-based art and design journalist.

The item that first got me hooked on design is Le Corbusier’s LC4 which my parents had in the lobby of our family home. My father treated it as a sacrosanct object and although it was always covered with things, I have never seen anyone sitting or lying in it. My father liked everything that was modern and innovative and broke with traditional thinking. My personal design icon is the Panton chair from 1960, the first one-shot chair made from one single material, a real classic and a great idea in terms of mass production. Verner Panton was the first one to create, through abstract thinking, a chair without four legs. But I am also a fan of Charles and Ray Eames’ lounge chair, which launched a completely new typology in furniture design. Ross Lovegrove’s sensual and organic creations are also something I like very much. Because of my engineering background I feel that the choice of material and the choice of technology are the two keys to good design. I think the day when the term “Design from Belgium” impresses people will come, but right now I do not think it is right to talk about a Belgian design scene just yet. I mean, can you name seven international Belgian design brands? Or can you name seven designers who made it on the cover of the Intramuros magazine and were interviewed in publications like Domus or Monocle? When I think of Italian design, it creates an image in my head – which is not the case when it comes to Belgian design. I think the one thing that it is lacking the most is courage. The designers that I really appreciate and follow closely at the moment are Lowie Vermeersch from Gran Studio Torino, the watch designers Benoit Mintiens (Ressence) and Jean-Pierre Lutgen (Ice Watch), Raf Simons at Dior, Jean-Paul Lespagnard at JPE, the girls from Black Balloon, the Big Game trio, the underestimated work of Clemtone and last but not least Alain Berteau.

I got hooked on design not through a certain item but through an experience: My parents are divorced and one of the few times my father visited us (he was heavily involved in the design world as an art director for several companies), he took us to the Triennale of design in Milan. I must have been only five years old. I was fascinated by all these colourful, weird furniture pieces that felt very strange to my eyes and met famous designers such as Joe Colombo. In my memory my relationship to my father and my relationship to design are closely connected. My favorite designers are those who go beyond the obvious and capture the essence of design, as Ray and Charles Eames for example or the Bauhaus movement. They were visionary, had a holistic approach and penetrated all domains of creativity. I’m also convinced that creativity should be closely linked with ethics. Good design takes this connection into account. And good design combines creativity with economical and social aspects. It sees design in relation to other domains of life or human culture, keeps the collective community in mind and contributes to social innovation. Design can be applied to social problems, it is a way of thinking. I really like what the young Belgian designer Thomas Lomée does, for example. I am quite intrigued by his open source design which proposes a very new and collective approach. Is there a Belgian design scene? I don’t think so. Belgian design is very varied and its scope, its range of influence is just not far enough. Plus a common Belgian style doesn’t exist. What we desperately need in Belgium is more dynamism and more support for the industry. There is a lack of direct contact between the designers and the production companies. Belgian design can be very creative, but that is not always a positive thing. You need a link to mass production. I hope I can help to create these kinds of links and connect people, overall by giving more visibility to Belgian design.

Pictured with a Panton chair, special edition in green, designed by Verner Panton in 1959. Pictured with an Alessi shaker designed by her father, Luigi Massoni.


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The players

04. Marie Pok Artistic director at Grand-Hornu. Based in Brussels.

I discovered design rather late in my life, not through a certain object but through an experience. When I went to the very first Biennale of St Etienne, an exhibition that showed many classics and design icons, I didn’t know much about design at all. But I was there in the company of Barbara Coulon, an important design journalist, who explained everything to me, all the stories behind the objects. I think it took us five hours to see the whole exhibition. Until then I had not been aware at all of the whole design discourse, the culture behind design, its reflections on society and its relation to the historical, political and social context. I was hooked! My favorite designer of all time is Jasper Morrison, because of the simplicity and implicitness of his work. Good design is self-explanatory, responsible, and it engages. It takes into account the consequences of each step of production and has an added value, also in an emotional sense. One piece that I would love to have in my house is a desk lamp from Nathalie Dewez, just because mine just broke. Many designers don’t like it when there is talk of Belgian design, because they are all individuals who follow their own projects and in the end there is no direct link between them. Also, there are not really any famous design schools in Belgium. But there is a Belgian industry and a market for design, and a population with a sensitivity for design. When I look at young, emerging Belgian talents I find that Sylvain Willenz stands out. His works have the same qualities as those of Jasper Morrison: They are implicit, honest, and simple. The Unfold collective does some great things too, especially when it comes to finding new ways to produce and distribute. Belgium is missing a lot of things in the design sector, not least a common policy. There are just too many different initiatives (some in Flanders, others in Brussels and in Wallonia) without a common direction. For the long term it is very important for Belgium’s designers that the industry is being supported, because without the industry they cannot survive. Pictured with Christmas ornaments designed by Jasper Morrison.


The design special

05. Dieter Van Den Storm Brussels-based design journalist, creative director at Biennale Interieur Kortrijk and project manager at Bozar.

I grew up surrounded by beautiful things and objects because my father is an interior designer. It helped me to develop a sense for design at an early age. It took a while though until I learned about the meanings and the historical value of the objects in our house. I have a little weakness for Ray and Charles Eames and classics in general, French designer Jean Prouvé for example. My definition of good design is when someone manages to bring industrial production and a sense of beauty together. It needs to be well-made, offer a solution to a social problem and be produced as a series, no matter if it’s just a few hand-crafted pieces or on a large scale. It’s completely natural to talk about Scandinavian or Dutch design. It’s a label and everyone knows what it means. For Belgian design that’s not the case. We don’t have a certain school, a certain style. And our designers are strugglers, they’re very specialised, all looking for a certain niche. On the other hand quite a few Belgian designers are very successful on an international scale and get publicity in magazines. So maybe we are just not aware of it ourselves, but the outside world does have a notion of Belgian design. There are a few emerging designers in Belgium that I really like: The Unfold collective for example or Studio Woot Woot because they have a new approach and find creative solutions in view of the current crisis. Unfold creates dialogues and doesn’t just focus on a new product, but also on finding solutions to problems in a changing world. We need more dialogue in Belgium, more discussion, especially about theory. Which role can design play? In which direction should we go? And the political initiatives are too shattered, for a small country like ours there are too many different platforms offering help. The Dutch and French are very proud when it comes to their design and Belgium should be proud too, we have a lot of great talent. But success also means being sold, something that comes very natural to the Scandinavians for example whilst in Belgium it’s still quite a rarity. Pictured with “Multicoloured Elements” designed by Louise Campbell for Royal Copenhagen.

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The round up

Craft works In our continued quest to bring to the fore those that usually take a backseat, we visit five specialised ateliers who have just as big a hand in that table you’re sitting at or that glass you’re drinking from than the actual designer. It’s a well-known fact: behind every great designer lies a great craftsman. Photographer Veerle Frissen

Leather Ralph Baggaley

Chicago-born Ralph Baggaley came to Europe about four decades ago and has since clocked up more than 30 years of leatherworking experience. Whilst playing nomad in the 70s, living on Amsterdam houseboats and in a hippie commune in Ghent, the American native started playing around with cloths and later leather, selling his self-made bags, wallets and belts on markets. After several years at renowned Belgian leather companies Delvaux and S-en-ciel, the talented autodidact finally opened his very own studio, filled with all types of sewing machines, countless different knives, cutters, hole punches, thinning tools and, of course, all kinds of leather – from poisonous Australian frogs to Colombian crocodiles or pythons. “I like leather that has a natural look to it and a good feel, that is not plasticky. I’ve been to so many places looking at leather to find the right one. Nowadays I know where to go and who sells what. The most expensive is calf leather. It can cost up to 80 euros a square meter,” Baggaley explains. He not only makes the obvious leather products such as bags, belts or wallets, but also uses the material to construct daybeds, decorate furniture or bedheads. His clients include hotels but also designers such as Maarten De Ceulaer, for whom he made a stand out leather collection which stirred up quite some attention in Belgium and abroad. But Baggaley’s true passion are his own creations, where he does everything from design to end product: “A true, complete craftsman is a real all-rounder who is able to do every single step of the process himself. But these are the ones that are dying out. The big companies hire workers who only learn one part of the chain and do that for the rest of their lives. Here, everything has to be your specialty.”

Interviews Sarah Schug


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Metal Hugues d’Oultrement

Wood Walnutsgroove

If metalwork makes you think of kitschy ornaments and swirls, Hugues d’Oultrement will quickly prove you otherwise. Working mostly with interior designers, decorators, architects and antiquarians, the craftsman makes everything from table feet to lamps and interior assemblage, always in a modern and sober style. “Metal is beautiful and has a very decorative aspect. I like its minimal but rigid aesthetics. With metal you have endless possibilities and it lasts forever,” he says as a way of explaining his passion. After having learned welding and all the basic techniques in a forge and later in a metal art workshop, he opened his own studio four years ago. “Quality is the most important thing, so you need to learn the basics. After that it’s mostly learning by doing because you hardly make anything twice. I constantly have to do things that I’ve never done before. You have your skills and then you have to adapt them and use them in the right way. It’s a bit like always doing a new prototype,” he tells us. A metalworker’s job is a dirty and at times dangerous one, requiring eye and ear protection: “It’s very loud and you burn yourself a lot, you just have to love it.” d’Oultrement obviously does, mastering all steps from cutting the cold metal to brazing, assembling, finishing and painting. Besides working for established designers such as William Leroy, he also makes his own creations, giving him an artistic understanding that facilitates the collaboration with the designers. His mission: to renew the image of metalwork. “There is a chance to completely redefine the craft and make things that are much more contemporary which some craftsmen already showed during the minimalism of the 60s and 70s. I’m sure that if we renew the image even youngsters could get interested in the art of metalwork again,” he concludes.

The craftsmen at Walnutsgroove, located on a sprawling 1300 square meter former paint factory, pride themselves on making creations that exist outside the norm. They recently helped build the new Google offices in Belgium, including a walk-in, sound-proof apple (as a reference to Magritte) serving as a phone booth. They also work closely with designers such as Alain Berteau from innovative Belgian design collective Objekten or Marina Bautier, for whom Walnutsgroove created a daybed and a coat hanger. And in Paris they’re making quite a name for themselves too with a bar they’re constructing for the acclaimed French design hub Pool for instance. Founders Frédéric Deswattines and Fabian Daxhelet, who both studied design at La Cambre, focus on design furniture, produced either as unique pieces or in a small series: “It’s not easy nowadays for designers to find a place where they can produce five to 100 pieces. We have a quite unique position, right between the big factories and the one-man workshops,” they explain. What’s more, carpentry has changed quite a lot recently, and it is hard to find those who know how to combine traditional woodwork with operating the newest cutting machines: “The newest technology works a bit like digital printing: We receive a file, put it inside, and a cut-out object comes out. But the assembling and finishing afterwards still needs to be done by hand.” The wood they work with, mostly oak, mainly comes from Belgium and is of the best quality: “It needs to be dried very well, otherwise you get problems with the stability,” one of the eight woodworkers explains. Unlike other crafts, the art of woodworking is here to stay: “Even if the design world doesn’t need us anymore tomorrow, people will always need kitchens or doors,” Deswattines says.

hdoultremont.be

walnutsgroove.com


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The craft

Metal Moker

Moker’s metal sculptures can be found almost anywhere in the world, and chances are you’ve already spotted at least one of them. They can be seen inside Brussels Airport (with 24 meters their biggest creation so far), London’s galleries or in public places in Brussels, Antwerp and even Singapore. Moker’s business has nothing to do with metalwork in its traditional sense. Instead of building balconies or staircases, the company creates artworks for internationally renowned artists such as Dan Graham, Thomas Houseago, Peter Downsbrough or Luk Van Soom. This makes their craft quite a special one: they cannot build on standardised solutions – every piece is a first and completely unique. “We have to rethink metalwork,” founder Flor Broes, a studied engineer and entirely self-taught metal craftsman, explains. “We are forced to invent new processes, even write new computer programmes at times, use rarely tested tooling, create new machinery and use metal in ways it has never been used before.” Moker is at the artist’s side from beginning to the end, from deciphering his or her idea to making the construction plans and finally building the object, which can take up to several months. “A large part of our work is engineering – we have to calculate everything keeping in mind the weight, mass, rigidity, flexibility, tension and so on,” Broes says. Moker is completely involved in the artistic process, helping the artist, who sometimes only shows up with a sketchy drawing on a little piece of paper, to put his idea into practice, stretching the definition of a metalworker. Even for seemingly impossible constructions they find pioneering solutions. “It’s a difficult and challenging job, but I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I am proud to be involved in creating artworks and thus helping to make the world a better place,” Broes concludes. moker.be


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Glass Artglas

When John Dierickx, who founded Artglas in 2002, tells people that he works with stained glass, almost everyone thinks of church windows although that couldn’t be further from reality. Artglas makes sober and contemporary stained glass creations that can be placed as windows, in furniture, in doors or as stand alone art objects. “When I started many years ago, the farmer style was everywhere. But when that market fell away and everything became more modern, I had to rethink the business,” Dierickx explains. With the goal of modernising a 1,000 year old craft, he started making his own designs, working with clear lines, circles and lots of white glass to keep it bright, adding only splashes of colour to avoid it becoming too dominating. One year later he received the Design Vlaanderen quality label for his refreshing, innovative approach. The famous Belgian design duo Studio Job took notice of his work and hired the glass virtuoso for their redesign of a room in the Groninger Museum. “Working for other designers is very challenging,” he says: “Not everything they want is always technically possible, so we have to be able to find very creative solutions. For Studio Job we sawed glass for the very first time, although the usual procedure is to cut it.” The self-taught craftsman and his two employees not only work for designers but also for companies and, the biggest part, private clients. The process is always the same and, as most other crafts, does not require any big expensive machines: A glass cutter for straight lines, one for curved lines, a solder and the tool kit is almost complete. Based on drawings and calculations, the glass workers cut the glass, make a frame out of lead, place the glass pieces inside, solder and finally clean it – a process that depending on the design can take anything up from one hour to two months. Dierickx gets his supplies from a world-famous glass manufacturing company in Germany: “Most of the glass we use is handmade, something that’s not done in Belgium anymore and even throughout Europe is hard to find,” he explains. So is the art of glasswork threatened? “The biggest threat is that one day the demand stops,” Dierickx answers: “That’s why we are trying to bring it back to life by giving it a contemporary touch and a new image.” artglas.be


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The special showstoppers

Back to the drawing board We’ve done a room-by-room survey of essentials, rounding-up those items that were most in need of replacing. From bedroom to bar, here’s our selection of design delectables topping our must-have list at the moment. Photographer Grégoire Pleynet

For the bedroom

Donna Wilson cushions

Nothing says snuggle up as much as these two super soft, hand-woven 100 percent lambswool cushions from young British rising design star Donna Wilson. Inspired by childhood tales, Wilson’s colourful designs are playful, quirky, imaginative and filled with duck feather cushion pads. Everything is produced in the UK and made by hand, from the spinning and dying to the knitting, cutting and sewing. These fluffy and all-natural pillows with their cute patterns and funny creatures are guaranteed to add a little quirk to your bedroom. (SS) Donna Wilson cushions (¤80). Available from La Fabrika (Brussels). lafabrika.be

Jasper Morrison floor lamp

If you’re anything like us, your bed can very quickly become your office HQ. And, if that’s the case, this modern, sober, and elegant floor lamp developed by London-born Jasper Morrison, one of today’s most influential product and furniture designers, will provide the best kind of lighting. The lamp is part of the iconic Glo Ball series designed in 1999 for Italian company Flos and is made of acid-etched, hand-blown opal glass that is held by a stainless steel stand. To round things up, its adjustable dimmer will let you change the light bulb’s glow to adapt to every situation. (SS) Jasper Morrison Glo Ball (¤696). Available from Instore (Brussels). instoreshop.be


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For the kitchen

Muuto salt and pepper grinders

True to its reputation of adding a little lightheartedness to everyday design, Danish design stalwart Muuto revisits the traditional salt and pepper shakers with its highly likable Plus range. Designed by “Norway Says”, the grinders’ seemingly odd shape and form – the mills are split into stacks of different sized elements – actually works wonders in terms of grip and grind. With four different colour palettes (white, black, Maplewood and multicoloured) that new counter top of yours will never look the same again. We suggest black for pepper and multi-coloured for salt. (NL) Muuto Plus salt and pepper grinders (¤59). Available from Design District (Leuven). muuto.com

By Lassen counter stool

Counter tops in kitchens have never really been our thing. The idea of a family sitting high at the kitchen counter having its dinner somehow didn’t quite, erm, sit well with us. Now, maybe that’s because we’re traditionalists in that sense, or maybe it’s just because up until now we haven’t quite found the right furniture to change our mind. So you can imagine our delight when we stumbled upon this three-pronged oak bar stool from Danish design house By Lassen. Originally designed as a stool in 1933 by Mogens Lassen for Fritz Hansen, this re-edition is given somewhat of a modern twist, elevated to high chair status in the shape of an elegant and practical bar stool. Needless to say we’re now re-thinking our kitchen top policy. (NL) ML50 counter stool (from ¤459 to ¤739). Available from Design District (Leuven). bylassen.com

Riess aromapots

The chances of guests complimenting you on your cooking pots are as slim as England ever winning the World Cup again. Cooks and cake stands get complimented on. Cooking pots, if they’re lucky, might get a clean. And even that’s not a sure thing. Imagine our delight then when we discovered Riess’ enamelware cooking utensils, a set of brightly coloured, handcrafted vintage aroma pots. As well as its superior cooking attributes – enamelware’s glass and steel composition results in more intense flavours being whipped up – it really is the modern day twist given to what are Grandma originals that make these office favourites. That, and the fact that we’ll finally be able to serve food straight from the cooking pot next time we have friends over. (SS) Riess aromapot in silent blue (¤120) and slow green (¤143). Available from Pimpinelle (Brussels). truehomeware.com


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The special showstoppers

For the office

Another Country desktop series

Another Country, a young Welsh upstart specialised in handcrafted wooden products, has developed a cute and quaint collection of desktop accessories (a pencil sharpener, a pencil pot, a tape dispenser and an storage pot) that blends British country kitchen style with Shaker influences and traditional Scandinavian as well as Japanese woodwork. Timeless and pleasantly restrained, the desktop series stands out through its clever little details. For instance, the storage pot’s lid is not just a rubber cap but turns out to be an eraser too. (SS) Another Country desktop series. Pen pot (¤23), pencil sharpener (¤29), tape dispenser (¤29) and eraser pot (¤21). Available from La Fabrika (Brussels). anothercountry.com

And Tradition flowerpot desk lamp

The lighting in your office is just as important, if not more so, than the computer you use or the chair you’re sitting on. Indeed, light equals mood, and if you don’t have enough of it, or the right type, chances are you’ll get absolutely nothing done. Or, at the very least, nothing good done. This flowerpot lamp – with its lacquered steel shade, polished steel stand and matching fabric chord – was first designed by design deity Verner Panton as a hanging lamp back in the 60s (hence its name) and is now re-issued by And Tradition. Its spherical shade gives its glow a soft and indirect light that’s guaranteed to increase your productivity without augmenting your stress levels. Think of it as a pot of flowers radiant with natural light. On your desk. (NL) And Tradition Flowerpot VP4 desk lamp (¤374). Available from Design District (Leuven). andtradition.com


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For the living room

Charlotte Barkowski teapot

The tea addicts that we are means we’ve developed a somewhat unhealthy obsession for tea sets of all shapes and form. Be it in design boutiques, flea markets or dusty attics, we’re scouring for long-lost vintage treasures, our eyes seem automatically trained to zero-in on tea sets, the latest of which is this somewhat stocky yet nonetheless lovely teapot by Marrakech-based Belgian ceramist Charlotte Barkowski. Having based her entire practice on the fusion of ancestral Moroccan craftsmanship with a resolutely contemporary approach to design (a clean-lined, less-ismore attitude), Barkowski’s work is a mix of old and new, modern and traditional. Available in a wide range of colours, from grey to bright red, we’re adding this Turquoise version to our growing collection. (SS) Charlotte Barkowski teapot (¤65). Available from True Colors (Brussels). truecolors.be

Ercol nest of tables

No living room is complete without its coffee table and this gem, a true classic in contemporary furniture, is just the one we needed. Ercol’s nest of tables, which conveniently comes in a set of three and was designed by the company’s founder Lucian Ercolani in 1956, was recently reissued – very much to our delight. The smoothly sculptured, retro-style trio, three-legged with D-shaped tops, instantly won us over with its organic curves and simple essence. Handcrafted in the Chilterns out of elm and beech and finished with wax, the tables retain their natural colour whilst also emphasising the grain of the wood. A piece of furniture with timeless appeal. (SS) Ercol nest of tables (¤620). Available from La Fabrika (Brussels). lafabrika.be


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The portfolio

Léopoldine Roux The bubble-gum world of Leopoldine Roux first came to our attention back in 2009, when we featured some of her work in our foodie issue. Fast forward a few years, and the Brussels-based artist has practically shaped her entire body of work around the colour pink. We sifted through her portfolio for some of her standout pieces.

Sweating colours (Japan, 2007) — “A bad salmon sushi experience in Kamiyama, Japan, Wednesday 22nd of August 2007.”


Culture

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Gilbert Colour Suicide (2012) — “In 2012 Gilbert committed colour suicide. Georges didn’t come home last night.”

The Rose Square (Forest, 2009) — “Streetgumming, I’m streetgumming… I’m what’s happening.”

The Rose Square (Forest, 2009) — “Oh no she did it again…”


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The portfolio

Drive in Pink (Before) — “Hello Tilman, Hi Petra, The idea would be to create a coloured wall screen for the back of the building. In the spirit of a drive in. People could park & watch the colour. Why not go for pink, we are all pink, aren’t we? L.”

Drive in Pink (Process) — “Two arms on pink canvas.”

Drive in Pink (Braine, 2012) — “My biggest monochrome @ L’école des Arts de Braine L’Alleud. 200 square meters of RAL 4010!”


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Overflow Travels in Luxembourg (2010) — “Pink cock X-ing.”

Overflow (Musée Rops, 2011) — “Till it dRops!”

Living Colours Psychiatrie (Colombes, 2012) — “The world is becoming an alphabet of signs and symbols. Playing on this results in the appropriation of this world through the creation of a universal dialogue.”

Holicar (Rajasthan, India, 2008) — “In the suffocating Indian heat, Mr Ambassador caught a bad cold.”


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The view

Nightclubs When the lights go out and the bar is closed for business, nightclubs take on a whole different persona. Drawing on two photography series, the first by 354 photographers and the second by Alex Salinas, we look at the other side of clubbing, the one the owners and club promoters would rather you didn’t see.


Culture

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354.be


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The view

Club (Antwerp, 2007) — A club located in the basement of a hotel around my corner – the place is now named “Magic”

Club (Berlin, 2004) — An empty club I visited during the day

Men’s Room (Antwerp, 2004) — Shot early morning in café Sportif, a bar that closed down couple of years ago


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Club (Antwerp, 2007) — “Magic”

Kissinger (Antwerp, 2007) — A popular club in Antwerp that started out in the former military hospital. It has frequently changed locations since

Backstage (Rotterdam, 2005) — In the backstage area of a venue that apparently tried to keep things organised

alexsalinas.com


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The touch

Girls just wanna have fun

The night unfolded in stages. First there was the make up antics in the boudoir, more girl on girl tease than necessity really. Then the obligatory mirror check, just before the customary pre-night out photo session. The walk down the stairs, balloons in hand, just in case you forgot you were, after all, here to have fun. Finally, you’re all set to hit the town with the girls, with not one man in sight to ruin the night. Photographer JC Thonar

Art direction Eleonore Vanden Eynde


Culture

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The touch


Culture

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Models StĂŠphanie Leleu @ Dominique Models

and Paulien @ Models Office


96 Access

Nationalestraat 75 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 231 70 75

The stockists Converse (at People)

Filippa K

La Fabrika

River Island

Cos

Filles A Papa (at Glory Box)

La Maison du Diamant

Robert Clergerie

Rue Léon Lepagestraat 10 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 511 04 88 fillesapapa.com

Boulevard de Waterloolaan 10 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 344 96 37 infodiamond.com

Fred de la Bretonière

Lee Cooper (at Inno)

Roeckl (at Huis A. Boon)

Rue du Lombardstraat 14-18 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 502 18 01 converse.be

Rue A. Dansaertstraat 42 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 512 81 18 filippa-k.com

Rue A. Dansaerstraat 182 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 502 33 25 lafabrika.be

Meir 56 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 222 94 14 riverisland.com

Agnès B.

Boulevard de Waterloolaan 27 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 512 08 77 agnesb.com

Avenue Louise 32 Louizalaan 1050 Brussels +32 (0) 2 503 53 68 cosstores.com

Chaussée de Charleroi 1a Charleroisesteenweg 1060 Brussels +32 (0) 2 538 38 97 robertclergerie.fr

American Apparel

Kammenstraat 14 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 227 00 32 americanapparel.net Annemie Verbeke

Nationalestraat 76 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 226 35 60 annemieverbeke.com A.P.C.

Rue Darwinstraat 61 1050 Brussels +32 (0) 2 346 26 16 apc.fr

Balenciaga (at Louis)

Lombardenvest 2 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 2 232 98 72 balenciaga.com Bellerose

Place Stéphanie 5 Stefaniaplein 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 539 44 76 bellerose.com Café Costume

Rue Léon Lepagestraat 24 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 513 54 44 cafecostume.com Calvin Klein (at Inno)

Rue Neuve 111-123 Nieuwstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 211 21 11 calvinklein.com

Delvaux

Boulevard de Waterloolaan 27 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 513 05 02 delvaux.be Design-District

Givenchy (at Planet Parfum)

Diesel

G-Star

J. Lipsiusstraat 18 3000 Leuven +32 (0) 485 567 121 design-district.be Rue A. Dansaertstraat 38 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 503 34 27 diesel.com

Christian Wijnants (at Hunting and Collection)

Rue des Chartreux 17 Kartuizersstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 512 74 77 christianwijnants.be

De Keyserlei 34-36 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 234 07 01 givenchy.com

Rue Neuve 111-123 Nieuwstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 211 21 11 leecooper.com Levi’s

Rue Neuve 92 Nieuwstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 217 70 41 eu.levi.com Les Précieuses

Dolce & Gabbana (at Verso)

Hermès

Mellow Yellow

Lange Gasthuisstraat 11 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 226 92 92 dolcegabbana.com

Boulevard de Waterloolaan 50 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 511 20 62 hermes.com

Eres

Hugo Boss

Rue A. Dansaerstraat 83 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 503 28 98 Rue A. Dansaerstraat 98 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 512 01 30 mellowyellow.fr Optiek E.Blondé

Rue Jan Stasstraat 15 1060 Brussels +32 (0) 2 539 19 68 eres.fr

Avenue Louise 43 Louizalaan 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 538 03 63 hugoboss.com

Essentiel

Lombardenvest 39 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 2 233 36 65 essentiel.be

InStore

Rue Tenboschstraat 90-92 1050 Brussels +32 (0) 2 344 96 37 instore.be

E(x)it

Huidevetterstraat 38-40 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 231 40 63 exit-and-co.be Faguo (at Fresh)

Rue Du Midi 57 Zuidstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 511 93 25 faguo-shoes.com

Nationalestraat 141 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 234 22 43 e-blonde.be Orane Enora (at Ma soeur et moi)

Rue de la Coupe 18 7000 Mons +32 (0) 6 584 15 12 orane-enora.com Paule Ka

Jean-Paul Lespagnard (at RA)

Kloosterstraat 13 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 292 37 80 jeanpaulespagnard.com

Boulevard de Waterloolaan 48 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 347 28 85 pauleka.com Pimpinelle

Jutka & Riska

Rue de Flandre 57 Vlaamsesteenweg 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 513 57 77 pimpinelle.be

Kipling

Rado (at Claes-Coolens)

Nationalestraat 87 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 203 04 97 jutkaenriska.blogspot.be

Falke (at Inno)

Rue Neuve 111-123 Nieuwstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 211 21 11 falke.de

Rue du Marché aux Herbes 26 Grasmarkt 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 513 16 66 kipling.com

Lombardenvest 2 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 232 33 87 roeckl.de Swarovski

Meir 47 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 707 22 02 swarovski.com Tommy Hilfiger

Rue A. Dansaertstraat 48 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 3 232 94 99 g-star.com

Chanel

Boulevard de Waterloolaan 63 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 511 20 59 chanel.be

Nationalestraat 139 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 226 66 03 bretoniere.nl

Rue Wayezstraat 150 1070 Brussels +32 (0) 2 522 92 45 rado.com

Avenue de la Toison d’Or 20 Gulden-Vlieslaan 1050 Brussels +32 (0) 2 513 67 87 tommyhilfiger.be True Colors

Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 48 Oude Graanmarkt 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 513 79 62 truecolors.be WE

Rue Neuve 111-123 Nieuwstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 217 56 86 wefashion.be Wouters&Hendrix

Lange Gasthuisstraat 13 a/b 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 231 62 42 wouters-hendrix.com


The Word Magazine Reloaded Out on Monday 8th April 2013 A different format, a different paper and a different grid A fine-tuned distribution network, where free gives way to paid Five updated sections : Neighbourhood, Style, Music, Photography & Art The same content mix, with a re-energised focus on photography & the arts Which means we’ll be taking a leave of absence in the next few months to work on the relaunch

Until then, here’s a schedule of key dates on The Word’s agenda : * November 2012

The Word’s blank book launch * January 2013

Five-year birthday bash * April 2013 The Word presents

This is Belgium – A contemporary Belgian photography group show In the meantime, make sure to visit us, like us and subscribe to us for Daily posts on facebook.com/thewordmagazine Weekly updates on thewordmagazine.com Twice-weekly newsletters


98

The timeline

It all kicked off with our 32-page dummy issue ≤ which we launched back in November 2007. We had brought it out essentially as a calling card, mailing something like a thousand copies to the press as well as to potential advertisers. Once The Word was out, interest started brewing, advertising bookings started coming in and, with that, we started work on what was to become our first, fully-fledged edition, The insider edition which hit the streets in January 2008. ≥ µ There clearly were improvements to be made, especially in terms of the quality of photographs and the amount of typos ≥ that still slipped through the nets ∂ but, all in all, a tight-knit team of inexperienced writers, photographers and designers (Delphine, Pierre, Damien, Benoit, Yassin, Sébastien and Nicholas) had managed to launch what would come to be known as a ground-breaking and game-changing publication. The team grew over the years (Sarah, Hettie, Randa, Virassamy, Meli, Geoffroy, Melika, Hans, Antoine, Jane, Veerle, Grégoire, Pauline, Rose and Philippe) , as did our ambitions. ≥ After three years of themes,

and parties ≥

exhibitions ≥

time

was

ripe

for

an

u p d at e .

µ True to form, in January 2011, we started a whole new cycle, focusing on colours this time. First up was The black album ≤ which was then followed by The red album, The yellow album, The blue album and The white album. Colours were much more liberating than themes and didn’t box us into set narratives. Interpretations were looser, our scope larger yet the end result always seemed more focused. 2011 also saw us organise intimate launch parties for each new edition hitting the street. We started small, with the first party in honour of The black album held at Brussels’ Delecta ≥ but things very quickly got out of hand.

≥ Now, with five years of publishing trials and tribulations behind us, and what many agree are copycat projects having surfaced, it’s

once

again

r e - i nv e nt i o n

time.

∂ So, what’s next? A couple of months of gruelling brainstorms, workshops and creative toing-and-froing, the aim being to come back out, with a BA N G , on Monday 8th April with a new and improved publication. We’re starting anew, a blank canvas of sorts, and the least that can be said is that the team is bubbling with excitement, the office buzzing with ideas. In the meantime, we’ll be continuing our daily postings on facebook.com/thewordmagazine, our weekly updates on thewordmagazine.com as well as our regular The Word nights here and there (the next of which will be a five year anniversary bash in January 2013). E xciting time s…


The pink album  

Neighbourhood: Hourly love / Life: Pig skinned / Style: 24 hour party people / Music: In the club / Culture: The bubblegum brigade + The des...

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