Page 1

Volume 04 — Issue 02

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

Neighbourhood Seeing red Life Rosy cheeks Style Fireworks Music Ruby rockers Culture Brick city + The Fashion Special

The red album


4

Publisher and editor-in-chief Nicholas Lewis Editor Randa Wazen Design facetofacedesign + pleaseletmedesign Writers Vincent Dechamps Rozan Jongstra Nicholas Lewis Philippe Pourhashemi Stijn Verlinden Randa Wazen Photographers/Illustrators 354 Photographers Toon Aerts Ulrike Biets Sarah Eechaut Veerle Frissen Merel ‘t Hart Memymom Sarah Michielsen Ismael Moumin OBLIQUE Yassin Serghini Brecht Vandenbroucke Virassamy Interns Antoine Ghuisoland (graphic design) Kathy Boros (editorial) For subscriptions (5 issues)

Transfer ¤ 21 (Belgium), ¤ 30 (Europe) or ¤ 45 (World) to account n° 363-0257432-34 IBAN BE 68 3630 2574 3234 BIC BBRUBEBB stating your full name, email and postal addresses in the communication box.

The editor's letter

I don’t really like red as a colour. I find it aggressive, sometimes even distasteful. It is loud and primitive and leaves nothing to the imagination. Be it in fashion, interiors or even urban architecture, red is often nothing more than a faux pas, a wrong-footed attempt to make a statement which often ends with squints and eyesores for all. Red is a colour that works well on paper, but somewhat falls short in practice. Red. It does sound nice on paper. As nice as the red-tinted stories, features and interviews we have lined up for you in this edition. To begin with, there’s the piece we did on anger management, the profile of snake-breeding hybrid hero Sebastien Rien as well as the editorial nod given to slasher movies. There’s the feature on Brussels' notorious devil den Le Bar Rouge, and the series capturing boxers seconds after stepping off the ring. There’s also the explosive fashion story, and the visual document on Flanders' standard-setting red brick houses. On the music front, we spoke with Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes, skyped London's Autokratz and Paris' My Sister Klaus as well as gave a disposable camera to Belgium's Vermin Twins. We also digged deep into our national heritage, talking to Belgian punk pioneers Red Zebra and capturing L'Ancienne Belgique in its full glory. For our annual fashion special, we did our part for local talent (both established and emerging) and spent an afternoon with Walter Van Beirendonck and Dirk van Saene. We also organised a round table debate on the topic of sustainable fashion, wondering if the hype was really deserved. Eight industry professionals (of which an art director, a fashion designer and a retail pioneer) got together for an honest and insightful exchange, discussing everything from the true definition of sustainability to what the fashion folks should really be doing to make the world a better place. You can watch a video of the talk on thewordmagazine.be. This edition also marks the introduction of QR codes to the magazine. The idea is quite simple. As soon as you see a bar code somewhere on the page, scan it with your smartphone and you’ll automatically be redirected to the content (and much more) on our website. We’re getting with the times, and digitalising our paper.

Nicholas Lewis

The Word is published five times a year 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.

© Sarah Eechaut

Visit us thewordmagazine.be Like us facebook.com/TheWordMagazine Follow us @TheWordMgz Download us thewordmagazine.be/ipad

On this cover What you think you looking at?


AVAILABLE AT

BELLEROSE


6

The contents

Neighbourhood

STyLe

The faShioN SpeciaL

21

36

64

The temper trap

The showstoppers

The prodigy

22

40

68

SĂŠbastien Rien

Ruby greyscale

Walter & Dirk

Life

MuSic

cuLTure

30

51

76

Painting the town red

Lydia Lunch

The shelf

32

52

80

Speak of the devil

Brick by brick

60

88

Playing with fire

Lip reading

Red bulls


www.essentiel.be


8

The contributors

It’s a Word’s world Simon-Pierre Toussaint stylist

Brecht Vandenbroucke illustrator

Memymon photographers

Pages 40 — 49

Pages 78 — 79

Pages 88 — 93

About Currently completing his final year in graphic design at HEAJ, Antoine keeps busy designing flyers, working on his personal exhibitions, helping with his great-grand-father’s exhibition at Botanique (see page 11), and interning at The Word.

About Since recently graduating with honours from Antwerp’s fashion academy, SimonPierre has been splitting his time between styling editorials, staging installations and launching his own label, Dearest.

About A young illustrator and proud Belgian, Brecht sketches every day, in a trademark style that features his bitingly sardonic humour in magazine illustrations or painstakingly detailed spreads.

About Mother (Marilène Coolens) and daughter (Lisa De Boeck) duo Memymom sees photography as a leap through the rabbit hole: whether making a statement, taking their revenge against life or simply creating beauty (and the beast).

Task Antoine has helped out with everything from drafting presentations and designing our annual greeting card, to spreading The Word out on distribution rounds.

Task Simon-Pierre's avant-garde and bold aesthetic, a mix of emerging and established style, proved to be the perfect tone for this edition's colour-splashed fashion feature.

Task For this edition, we asked him to give Wally the Brecht treatment, transposing our cherished comic hero in a dark world of strange settings and twisted tales.

Task For this Portfolio, the ladies imagined something of a Lynchesque intrigue following a mysterious lipstick trail.

Quote “Sorry I’m late again…”

Quote “Red. It forbids, excites, punishes, underlines, alerts and stands out.”

Quote “You may rest when I'm dead.”

Quote “It was a nice stay in the Red Room (all the rest is yours to fantasise about).”

Antoine Ghuisoland graphic design intern

brechtvandenbroucke.blogspot.com

memymom.com


EAU DE LACOSTE L .12 .12 THE LACOSTE POLOSHIRT IN A FRAGRANCE COLLECTION


10

The blackboard Exhibitions Arts Music Shows Parties

01

02 03

04

06 05 07

08

09

10

11

The 10 th Kitsuné Maison Compilation, dubbed the Fireworks Issue. Stand out tracks: Punks Jump Up’s Blockhead and Justus Kohncke’s Sorry (featuring Alexis Taylor). / 02. A red hot chili pepper. / 03. Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine lipstick. / 04. Deep Throat (1972): a young woman who can’t have orgasms is told her pleasure point is nestled in her throat. You guess the rest. / 05. Atypyk’s Kiss, a makeshift lipstick stamp. / 06. Prince’s infamous 1999 album. Little Red Corvette is track number two. / 07. Our new intern Kathy suggested we add a pinch of Wild Hibiscus flowers to our end-of-week drinks, instantly colouring them red. / 08. Other red-faced magazines: Berlin’s 032c, an August 1990 copy of Brussels’ The Bulletin (featuring breakdancing crew Brussels Rap Convention on its cover), Redbull’s The Red Bulletin, the UK’s original The Word and, last but not least, NME. / 09. A red pen. The ultimate office essential come proof reading time. / 10. An infrared lamp. We can't quite imagine how we faced the biting cold winter days without this one. / 11. A nostalgic look back at the many (red) report cards we got at school. / All photography Yassin Serghini. 01.


11

Neighbourhood

The days of the autonomous, immutable and material nature of art are long gone. Celebrating this realisation with a big bang, Wiels has opened its space to young international artists for whom a situation, event or action is the central medium. American performance artist Sharon Hayes (pictured) will show an installation of her staged demonstrations in different cities and Berlin-based Tino Seghal will present his latest brand of living sculptures, which has Wiels’ attendants spontaneously reciting the day’s newspaper headline to each visitor as they purchase their ticket. The Other Tradition

 Until 1st May  Wiels, Brussels  wiels.org

* The PARTY YOu CAN’T MISS

03.

The haunting faces of our past

01.

Born to a family of miners, Norbert

Ghisoland spent 40 years of his life photographing his peers from the Borinage region, at the start of the 20th century. By inviting them in his studio to pose in front of exotic backdrops, he was able to offer them a break from their grim reality. Despite the lavish settings, details such as a missing button or eyes filled with sadness betray the harshness and precariousness of their living conditions. Acting as what could be described as an “accidental anthropologist”, Ghisoland’s sole ambition was to project and offer his customers the image they had dreamed of for themselves. The result is at times entertaining, at others deeply moving.

02.

Norbert Ghisoland

 Until 24th April  Botanique, Brussels  botanique.be 04.

© Courtesy Rodolphe Janssen Gallery

breaking with tradition

one in, one out

In a world saturated with images, our eyes gorge on visual stimuli yet simultaneously seem to bring on forgetfulness, every new sight erasing past ones. These ideas form the catalyst for Dubois Friedland Gallery’s latest group show, whereby four artists have joined around the themes of time and memory. Whether facing the formatting of Carole Benzaken's motifs, Gregory Forstner's intimate and surrealistic sights, the dreamlike materiality of Thomas Fougeirol's paintings (pictured) or the mental investigation that accompanies Hervé Ic's compositions – the focus remains on the human consciousness that gives the world's mechanisms an inquisitive look.

 piasnites.com 02.

Standing on the shoulder of giants

Thomas Lerooy took the international art scene by storm with his sculptures of men suffering the weight of their disproportionately enlarged heads. Using the typical trademark of caricature humour, the Belgian artist’s grotesque creations, whilst managing to move beyond the stereotypical joke, never fail to make one laugh. Toying with visually contradicting propositions, he places his sculptures within the highest traditions of sculptural art (the production’s solidity and systematic use of a plinth to emphasise the artistic pretensions of the statue) yet undermines those very same conventions (such as proportion, symmetry and balance).

Thomas Lerooy

 From 2nd April to 14th May  Rodolphe Janssen Gallery, Brussels  galerierodolphejanssen.com

03.

Of The Limits of my Thoughts

 Until 7th May  Dubois Friedland Gallery, Brussels  duboisfriedland.com © Marc Ghuisoland

pias Nites @ Tour & Taxis (Brussels), on 25th and 26th March – The cult Belgian label has convened the finest acts of its current roster for a double whammy of dance and rock‘n’roll with, amongst others, Faithless, The human League, Matt & Kim, Crystal Fighters, Cassius as well as local talents The Van Jets, Aeroplane and Mustang.

* The FeSTIVAL TO CATCh 04.

domino festival @ AB (Brussels), from 6th to 12th April – For it’s 15th edition, the AB plays host to about 30 performers in seven days, ranging from headliners such as Battles, Belle And Sebastian or José Gonzales and his 20-man string ensemble Göteburg String Theory orchestra, to rising stars hype Williams, Darkstar, and Wu Lyf. We’re there already.

 abconcerts.be

© Courtesy Dubois Friedland Gallery, Bruxelles

01.

( 01  10 )

© Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin

Belgium


12

05.

The diary

05.

Mapping the invisible

Part of the Brussels Art Fair’s side-

© Michel Mazzoni

program, You Are Here! gathers contemporary artists whose works explore the notion of territory. The ideas of maps, trails, space, borders, landscapes and explorations are evoked through photographs, videos, drawings, paintings or sculptures. In this day and age of globalisation, it seems that our world is ever shrinking. Yet art manages to perpetually explore and re-invent this very same world, just as “constituting a territory is almost akin to the birth of art,” as French philosopher Gilles Deleuze duly noted. You Are here!

© Courtesy Twig Gallery, Brussels

06.

 From 22nd April to 14th May  L’Escaut, Brussels  escaut.org 06.

07.

Time to unwind

After exploring timeless staples such as

patterns or the use of black, the MoMu takes a deep look into another omnipresent fashion component: knitwear. For long the playing field of OAPs, knitting has today become more relevant than ever, and this timely exhibition aims to challenge any preconceived ideas that come with the craft. Expect a mix of contemporary and classic knitwear design houses, as well as young designers and historical garments presenting different technical and conceptual approaches. With a focus on high fashion pieces and their vernacular interpretations, catching the show is sure to have you digging through the attic for yarn and needles. unravel: Knitwear in Fashion

 Until 14th August  MoMu, Antwerp  momu.be

Seeing sounds

The LA based artist Tyler Vlahovich

07.

has been attracted by the intangible essence of music for as long as he can remember. His obsession with music software, which he manipulates with amateurism, has allowed him to transpose musical notes into paintings or drawings. And just as a sound becomes music, the imaginary grouping of gestures and lines become a pictorial composition. Softer strokes and tense contours co-exist in what becomes an improbable tangled mess. The viewer’s eye is guided by the dynamics of each line, Vlahovich’s works carrying the same rhythm as musical arrangements. Tyler Vlahovich

 Until 2nd April  Twig Gallery, Brussels  twiggallery.com

* The LeCTuRe TO GO TO Shapeshifters @ Beursschouwburg (Brussels), on 6th and 29th April – Investigating the way in which graphic designers use signs to achieve sensitivity, Shapeshifters invite German Andréas uebele and British Peter Crnokrak of The Luxury of Protest platform, as well as Lizá Ramalho and Artur Rebelo of Portuguese design studio R2 to address the matter.

 shapeshifters.be

08.

abstract reasoning

Labelled “the father of a new abstraction”,

© Etienne Tordoir

* The PARTY YOu CAN’T MISS

08.

bozar Night @ Bozar (Brussels), on 26th March – Begin by catching a late-night run of Luc Tuymans’ exhibition before dancing the night away to the sounds of T. Raumschmiere, Schakleton, headhunter, Vermin Twins and the likes.

© Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

 bozar.be

Jack Whitten underwent numerous reinventions throughout his career. The American artist began experimenting with colours and dynamism in the 60s, turning to abstraction and a new method in the 70s, dragging paint across his canvas with unusual tools such as squeegees, rakes and Afro combs. Reintroducing gesture with aspects of sculpture and collage in the 80s, Whitten experimented with “casting” acrylic paints to create new surfaces and textures, before moving closer to sculpture in the 90s. For his first show at Zeno X, Whitten will be showing three paintings and 10 drawings from 2009-2010. Jack Whitten

 Until 7th May  Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp  zeno-x.com


13

Neighbourhood

United Kingdom ( 11  16 ) you’ve come a long way baby

Unfolding stories with fictional characters, situations and landscapes, sometimes in a detailed and elaborate manner, other times in a few but precise lines, Paula Mueller shares her thoughts and strikes the spectator. Reflecting on drawing (“that is never able to lie”), the German artist deems painting more playful. In So Far, Honey, she will show works on paper as well as on canvas, combinational frames and works on glass in frames, installed on a wall drawing. And by stimulating dialogue between her works, the room and the spectator, it is more than paintings that will be on show. Expect to enter a whole new dimension.

11.

09.

Dirt: The Filthy Reality of everyday Life

10.

 From 24th March to 31st August  Wellcome Collection, London  wellcomecollection.org

* The FAIR YOu CAN’T MISS

© Courtesy Vintage Gallery, Budapest

Paula Mueller: So Far, honey

 Until 7th May  Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp  timvanlaeregallery.com

12.

to know about the Dieter Roth exhibition opening this month at London’s Hauser & Wirth. No less than 31,035 photographs taken by the composer/musician/poet/writer and artist will be shown simultaneously on multiple projectors. Inspired by the distinctive character of Icelandic architecture, Reykjavik Slides documents every building of the city. The exhibition offers a mindboggling homage to this beautiful and mysterious capital, where the Swiss-German artist had settled, and the sensation of actually being there.

11.

 artbrussels.be

When east meets west

Dieter Roth: Reykjavik Slides © Wellcome Library, London

Joy and Disaster will revisit the issues raised 30 years ago when former S.M.A.K. director Jan Hoet selected six Hungarian artists for the Prospect 80/1 exhibition. These artists acted on motivations similar to those of their western peers, by withdrawing themselves from society (a necessity in the East). The show comes just in time for the Hungarian presidency of the European Union, offering a wonderfully challenging dialogue between the work of contemporary Hungarian artists and those from the Belgian cultural institution powerhouse’s own collection.

Travelling without moving

Iceland enthusiasts will be delighted

art brussels @ heysel (Brussels), from 28th April to 1st May – With over 170 galleries showing, the majority of which coming from abroad, Art Brussels is once again the go-to place for an immersion into contemporary art’s most promising talents.

10.

dirty pretty things

Taking a closer look at the “filthy reality of everyday life,” the Wellcome Collection’s latest exhibition travels across centuries and continents to explore our ambivalent relationship with dirt. Assembling around 200 artefacts spanning visual art, documentary photography, cultural ephemera, scientific artefacts, film and literature, the viewer is faced with a rich history of disgust and delight in the grimy truths and dirty secrets of our past. The highlight of the show points to the uncertain future of filth, which poses a significant risk to our health but, whether we like it or not, is also vital to our existence.

©Courtesy Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp

09.

12.

 Until 30th April  Hauser & Wirth, London  hauserwirth.com

* The FeSTIVAL TO CATCh camden crawl @ Various venues (London), on 30th of April and 1st May – What started out as a low-key conduit to showcase emerging artists alongside surprise guests to die-hard music lovers has grown into an established urban festival, which will see no less than 250 gigs and events take place in 50 venues of the North London borough.

Joy and Disaster

 From 26th March to 5th June  S.M.A.K., Ghent  smak.be © Dieter Roth

 thecamdencrawl.com


13.

The diary

american life

In An American Experiment, 12 paintings by George Bellows and the Ashcan Painters are presented, introducing viewers to a seminal period in the history of American painting. The Ashcan School was formed at the beginning of the 20th century as painters, principally in New York City and Philadelphia, began to develop a uniquely American point of view on the beauty, violence and velocity of the modern world – and a new way to represent them. Don’t miss the 1913 painting The Big Dory (pictured), one of Bellows’ most audacious images – which anticipated the stylisations of Art Deco a generation later – and the true highlight of this exhibition.

15.

Take no prisoners

A pioneer of feminism, the late Nancy Spero was politically active throughout her life. The American artist created work that was often radical – making strong statements against war, violence, male dominance and abuses of power. Using a more ephemeral and immediate way of working, the ideas come alive through the use of tools such as painting, collage, printmaking and installation. Spero’s approach and school of thought – which she described as “peinture féminine” – created a vibrant visual language that balanced ethics with aesthetics.

13. © Alex Morganti, courtesy New Britain Museum of American Art

14

14.

Nancy Spero

 Until 1st May  Serpentine Gallery, London  serpentinegallery.org 16.

* The ShOW YOu CAN’T MISS powder Train @ Cielo 3 (London), until 12th April – Collaborative duo Ant&Co are showing a selection of portraits touching upon the contemporary art scene as well as pop-culture’s fixtures. Photographer Alisa Connan captures celebrities; the pictures then transformed by artist Karl Anthoney’s painting or silkscreen techniques.

 antandco.com

© Florian Kleinefenn, courtesy of the artist

 Until 30th May  National Gallery, London  nationalgallery.org.uk

rising stars

Be the first to spot the new generation

of YBA’s at The British Art Show’s seventh edition. Widely recognised as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art, it will feature the works of 39 artists, selected on the grounds of their significant contribution to international contemporary art in the last five years. Since its beginning in 1979, the list of previous exhibitors reads like a Who’s Who of British Art – Lucien Freud, Gilbert and George, Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin – many of whom were shown long before they became household names.

15.

© Courtesy of Collection G&R Mayer

An American experiment

16.

The British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet playfully yours

The Tate Modern’s retrospective of Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco has generated much deserved hype. Featuring over 80 works – including a new installation – it highlights his substantial production of sculpture, photography, drawing and painting. Orozco is renowned for his experimentation with found objects, both natural and man made, which he subtly alters. This will be your chance to witness some of his most famous creations, including Black Kites, a human skull upon which Orozco drew a geometric checkerboard pattern, Horses Running Endlessly, or La DS, a classic Citroën DS that has been sliced into thirds and deprived of its central part to exaggerate its streamlined, aerodynamic design. Gabriel Orozco

 Until 25th April  Tate Modern, London  tate.org.uk

 Until 17th April  Southbank Centre, London  southbankcentre.co.uk * The ShOW YOu CAN’T MISS Modern british Sculpture @ Royal Academy of Arts (London), until 7th April – Brush up on your knowledge of British sculpture with this comprehensive review of 20th century works, including landmark pieces such as henry Moore’s Festival Figure, Anthony Caro’s early One Morning, Julian Opie’s W or Damien hirst’s Let’s eat Outdoors Today.

 royalacademy.org.uk

© Alasdair Gray, courtesy of the artist and Sorcha Dallas

14.


Shave your style. “Make life your canvas.” Emil Kozak, 29, Artist

Watch exclusive video footage of Emil and find out how to shave, style & trim your statement of style with cruZer on braun.com /cruzer

cruZer


16

The diary

Holland ( 17  18 ) 17.

France

images moving slowly

( 19  20 )

17.

19.

Known for its socially driven exhibitions, the Noorderlicht space in Amsterdam turns to the photographic medium, challenging it with Taste My Photons. The exhibited photographers, local (Ruth van Beek, Wim Bosch, Bert Danckaert) and international (Michael John Whelan, Sabrina Jung, Ingo Mittelstaedt) are invited to show works that are seemingly formal and abstract, soliciting a longer and deeper look from the viewer. Equally acting as a counterbalance to the daily bombardment of images we are all subjected to, this show is one that is not to be missed.

Evoking the legendary New York skyscraper, the exhibition by Société Réaliste – a Parisian cooperative that works with political design, experimental economics and social engineering consulting – is articulated around two pivotal pieces: Culte de l’Humanitée (a new collection of colours) and The Fountainhead (a movie based on the eponymous Hollywood film made by King Vidor in 1949, itself based on Ayn Rand’s novel). By removing the soundtrack, as well as the characters from the original film, the viewer is left facing 111 minutes of pure architectural setting, devoid of narrative. An absolute mustsee for building buffs. © Ruth van Beek

Taste My Photons

 Until 17th April  Noorderlicht, Amsterdam  noorderlicht.com

Société Réaliste: empire, State, Building

 Until 8th May  Jeu de Paume, Paris  jeudepaume.org

18.

* LAST DAYS TO See

C

* LAST DAYS TO CATCh patrick guns @ Polaris Gallery (Paris), until 30th March – The Belgian artist will be presenting a series of drawings featuring the trademark irony that he casts upon the world. Titled May 35th, the exhibition sees Guns taking a crack at hitchcock, migrations, and police brutality.

19.

 foam.org

 galeriepolaris.com

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Caldic Collection, the Kunsthal displays a selection of over 80 paintings, photographs, installations and sculptures that have all been purchased over the last 10 years, some of which have never been made public before. Recent works by contemporary renowned artists like Tracy Emin (pictured), Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer, Yayoi Kusama, Ernesto Neto, James Turrell, Sam Taylor-Wood and Robert Zandvliet are exhibited – showcasing the undying love collector Joop van Caldenborgh vows to art. A once in a lifetime chance to peruse one of the most important privately owned art collections in the Netherlands. I Promise To Love You: Caldic Collection

 Until 15th May  Kunsthal, Rotterdam  kunsthal.nl

© Société Réaliste

Love never dies

20.

© Courtesy the Estate of General Idea

18.

M

Y

CM

© Caldic Collection

Joris Jansen @ Foam (Amsterdam), until 23rd March – Revolving around one single old picture, Kosmos is Jansen’s ode to analogue photography. By using words and microscopic images to analyse the photo, the result is both encyclopaedic and mesmerising in its abstractness.

empire state of mind

20.

art made to be laughed at

The first Parisian retrospective of General Idea offers an impressive selection of 300 works by the Canadian collective. Founded in Toronto in 1969, the trio adopted a generic identity that “freed itself from the tyranny of individual genius.” Their complex intermingling of reality and fiction took the form of a scathing and often parodic take on art, society and media culture, including beauty pageants, boutiques, television talk shows, and trade fair pavilions. All in all, the show provides a comprehensive overview of the collective’s refreshing oeuvre, considered by many as true pioneers of early conceptual and media-based art. haute Culture: General Idea

 Until 30th April  Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris  mam.paris.fr

MY

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18

The diary

The pick of gigs to come The go! Team @ Botanique on 23rd March

aloe blacc + Maya Jupiter @ L’Ancienne Belgique on 28th March

The Kills @ Trix on 29th March

dan le sac vs Scroobious pip @ Botanique on 30th March

i blame coco + Washington @ L’ Ancienne Belgique on 31st March

dum dum girls @ Vooruit on 7th April

If you haven’t experienced

Although he’s been

When Jamie Hince isn’t

Scroobious Pip’s fast-paced

Although having a father

Riding on the wave of 60s

the explosive energy,

around since 1995, it’s

pictured in tabloids with

MCing and his insightful

called Sting undeniably

inspired lo-fi fuzz-rock,

instrumental eclecticism

the 2010 track I Need A

fiancée Kate Moss, he’s busy

lyrics, together with dan

helped Coco Sumner get

with the likes of Vivian

and clashing madness of

Dollar – the theme song to

recording with Alison Moss-

le sac’s bouncy electronic

her name out there, her

Girls, Crystal Slits and

The Go! Team live on

HBO’s How To Make It In

hart – recently on vocal duty

rhythms and banging beats

strong debut The Constant

Best Coast, Dum Dum

stage, now is your chance.

America – that saw Aloe

with super-band The Dead

have earned the Essex duet

quickly put to rest those

Girls have assembled all

After two critically

Blacc’s smooth retro soul

Weather – in stripped-down

a wide following and solid

who might have dismissed

the elements that foster a

acclaimed albums, the

gain mainstream reach. His

and blues infused garage

live rep. And whilst their

her as yet another “daugh-

well-deserved hype: catchy

exuberant Brighton-based

charisma and feel-good

rock outfit The Kills. Catch

sophomore effort The

ter of”. Supported by Wash-

reverb-laden tunes, a well-

sextet is back with Rolling

tunes are sure to turn the

them in Antwerp for a chance

Logic of Chance might

ington, this one promises to

tailored goth-punk attire

Blackouts, their latest psy-

AB into a church of love

to hear their fourth album

not live up to the striking

be a refreshing evening of

and a critically acclaimed

chedelic pop/rock release.

and happiness.

Blood Pressures before

brilliance of their 2008

disarming female talent.

debut on legendary indie

anyone else.

debut Angles, we’re still

Just close your eyes, clap your hands and let yourself get carried away.

 Play Rennes (L’Ubu) on 24th March  Play Paris (Flèche d’or) on 25th March

 Plays Paris (La Cigale) on 21st March  Plays Amsterdam (Paradiso) on 27th March  Plays London (La Scala) on 1st May

definitely there.

 Play Amsterdam (Melkweg) on 30th March  Play London (Heaven) on 31st March  Play Paris (Bataclan) on 6th April

 Play Rotterdam (Rotown) on 31st March

label Sub Pop.

 Plays Köln (Luxor) on 27th March  Plays Paris (Théatre de l’Alhambra) on 1st April  Plays Luxembourg (Den Atelier) on 2nd April

 Play London (Dingwalls) on 5th April  Play Rotterdam (Binnenstad Festival) on 7th April  Play Paris (La Machine) on 24th April

Zombifff Night @ Magasin 4 on 9th April

deerhunter + Lower dens @ Botanique on 11th April

The young gods @ Botanique on 13th April

The Subs @ L’Ancienne Belgique on 14th April

angus & Julia Stone @ Cirque Royal on 2nd May

Metronomy @ VK on 6th May

Cheap Satanism Records

Ambient punk quartet

The Swiss trio has some-

No one gets the party start-

Angus & Julia Stone’s sweet

After conquering clubs

paired with the Brussels

Deerhunter, hailing from

what stepped away from

ed and the kids dancing

folk pervaded pop seems

in 2008 with the electro

International Fantastic

Atlanta, are renowned for

the aggressive machine-

like Ghent’s home-grown

to have taken the world

pop dance floor favourite

Film Festival to program

their intense live shows.

driven post-industrial

rave-punk sensation The

by storm. The Australian

Heartbreaker, Metronomy

a ghoulish bill to end the

With Baltimore-based

music that saw them rise

Subs. Playing their new

siblings have a soft spot

returns with the equally

Zombie Parade day. Invit-

Lower Dens (whose

to fame in the mid-80s, in

record to a packed AB, and

for acoustic music, clean

catchy and bittersweet She

ing Parisian experimental

ghost-heavy weird-fi has

favour of a more approach-

after more than 150 shows

arrangements, vocal har-

Wants from sophomore al-

psychedelic duo Zombie

gotten everyone excited)

able and polished upbeat

under their belt, The Subs

monies and simple produc-

bum English Riviera. Don’t

Zombie, French dark-pop

supporting them, get ready

sound. The result is none-

have honed their stage-

tion. At times too gentle

miss their even funkier

duo and “goth’n’roll” outfit

to lose yourself in a sea of

theless captivating and

craft to the millimetre.

and soft, their music will

live show, which includes

Cercueil, Philippe Petit

guitar-driven shoegazey

their live performances

provide the perfect back-

quirky dance routines and

– as well as all the acts of

soundscapes.

remain legendary.

drop to anyone’s excessive

lights beaming out of the

May Day partying.

band members’ chests.

 Play Paris (Le Trianon) on 26th April  Play Luxembourg (Rockhal) on 3rd May

 Play London (Shepherd’s Bush) on 16th April  Play Amsterdam (Paradiso) on 5th May  Play Paris (La Cigale) on 4th May

their current roster (Vitas Guerulaïtis, Keiki, Baby Fire, Joy As A Toy and Trike), it’s safe to say that the Belgian label managed to pull off what promises to be one hellish night.

 Play London (Shepherd’s Bush) on 31st March  Play Amsterdam (Melkweg) on 2nd April  Play Paris (La Gaîté Lyrique) on 9 th April

 Play Utrecht (Tivoli) on 11th April  Play Paris (Café de la Danse) on 21st April  Play Toulouse (Le Bikini) on 19 th May

 Play Ghent (Vooruit) on 7th April  Play Ostende (Kursaal) on 16th April  Play Bourges (Printemps de Bourges Festival) on 20th April

See page 96 for live venue contact information.


Brussels. Palais des Beaux-Arts TOCCATA Saturday. 09.04.2011. 20:00 Martinu . Haydn . Tchaikovsky Conductor. Andreas Delfs Soloist. Claudio Boh贸rquez. cello

FANTASTIQUE Friday. 13.05.2011. 20:00 Enescu . Mozart . Berlioz Conductor. Seikyo Kim Soloist. Alina Ibragimova. violin

reservation & tickets www.symfonieorkest.be

Order your programme leaflet for our concerts in Brussels at tickets@symfonieorkest.be

Alina Ibragimova 漏 Sussie Ahlburg


20

The papers Society Photography Industry Cinema

The red papers A lesson in cooling-off, breeding snakes as art, why your local porn haunt is no more and the absurdity of slasher movies. We've got today’s community of the weird and wonderful covered. Writers Vincent Dechamps, Rozan Jongstra, Nicholas Lewis and Randa Wazen


Neighbourhood

21

ˆ “ Some people nervously click their pen, others tap their feet. As for the people I work with, this is when they snap ”

© Virassamy

ˇ

The temper trap What sets your nerves on edge? The idiot who suddenly cuts into your lane? The stubborn printer that always breaks down when you most need it? If these trivial daily mishaps are likely to send you into a fit of rage, you just might have a problem. “There are three stages in anger,” explains anger management trainer Annemie De Boye. “The first is physiological, where your body prepares to fight something it perceives as a threat. Your temperature rises, breathing accelerates, muscles tense up… The second stage is cognitive, as your mind interprets the situation. You start wondering, for example, why your boss is giving you a hard time, again. The third stage is your reaction. Some people nervously click their pen, others tap their feet. As for the people I work with, this is when they snap.” Before anything, it is important to note that anger is not to be confused with aggression. Anger is part of our behaviour and is not necessarily linked to emotions, whereas aggression is purely emotional and acts as a warning signal. So what triggers a tantrum? “It comes down to frustrations accumulating and your current level of tolerance; an outburst is the result of one frustration

too many.” Anger issues are a sign of our times. Crushed by the constant pressure to perform, countless minor incidents get in our way towards achievement, like unpredictable traffic jams or unreliable alarm clocks. Additionally, elements such as fatigue and an imbalanced lifestyle lower our level of tolerance. De Boye tends to deal with two kinds of patients: “Perfectionists, who are irritated by the slightest flaws and therefore continuously frustrated, or overly principled people, for whom it’s black or white and who can’t let things go.” Owning up to this lack of self-control is tough – people rarely call on De Boye of their own accord. “Usually employers or family members have – as a final warning – ordered them to seek help.” So what does ‘anger management’ entail? “I teach people how to recognise the signs of an oncoming outburst. Cooling down is an effective remedy, while sports are a good outlet for frustration. Next, think positive; it’s only a dirty coffee mug – not the end of the world. Thirdly, control your actions. Are you pacing? Sit down. Naturally, anger management isn’t something you learn in a day, but I hand people the tools to get there.” Kamil Uygun, former European Free Fight Champion, confirms that sports can help counter a burgeoning aggressive streak. “Professional fighters are incredibly disciplined; we are obliged to watch our diet and nights out. If anybody knows about self-control, it’s us.” The intense physical

exercise is also an efficient way to evacuate builtup adrenaline and frustration. “The ring is not the place to vent your emotions, though,” Uygun warns. “Anger will make you weak.” Geraldine Laurys, Chief Inspector of the St Josse ten Noode police station, spent 10 years on the streets and dealt with aggression on a nightly basis. “Mainly marital disputes, drunken brawls, people with psychological problems. But fighting aggression with more aggression doesn’t work; stay calm but show them you’re not to be messed with.” Another profession to suffer the rage and venom of countless incensed consumers are phone operators. “In one ear, straight out the other – it’s the only way to cope,” admits Silvia Picciau, who has been working in Sony’s complaint department for over three years. “Some people are so worked up, they forget to say hello.” Not all callers are angry, but those who are upset easily resort to verbal abuse. “The names I’ve been called!” she gasps. Her advice on dealing with temper tyrants: “Speak quietly. In order to hear you, they’ll have to lower their voice!” (RJ) For more information on anger management training visit hipepe.be Visit thewordmagazine.be/dribbles/ thetempertrap or scan the QR code on the right for more anger managment tales and testimonials.


22

The papers

ˆ “ His current project, Sang Mêlé (literally translated as “blended blood”), sees him play God by crossbreeding colubrids in order to create new hybrids”

© Sarah Eechaut

ˇ

The snake farmer Any artist’s main goal and driving force is creation, and creating life could be deemed the ultimate achievement. Sébastien Rien, a 27- year-old multidisciplinary artist fascinated by reptiles and marine creatures for as long as he can remember, found a way to regroup his passion with his work as an artist. His current project, Sang Mêlé (literally translated as “blended blood”), sees him play God by crossbreeding colubrids in order to create new hybrids. Messing around with snakes is no innocent choice; such is the strength of mythology associated with them and the fear they seem to elicit in a vast majority of people. “There is a clear will to demystify the animal,” admits Rien, “but they’re also of an extreme beauty, colour and texture wise.” Working in collaboration with other breeders, Rien purchased several snakes, mostly red ones, and began experimenting three years ago. “You can predict the outcome of the colour and pattern, but there are no guarantees.” One could obviously question the true artistic value of this project. After all, this

could very well happen in nature. Yet the boundaries of artistic creation keep on being pushed, as technology, scientific research and biology merge into new forms of expression. Commonly referred to as BioArt, made popular in the late 90s when Eduardo Kac introduced Alba, the world’s first transgenic fluorescent rabbit, Sébastien’s work is more traditional in that he simply exploits accidents and genetic flukes. The overiding power of the selection is key in differentiating his approach to that of a scientific researcher or a mere breeder. Sang Mêlé is a study on form and colour. “Just like a painter, I chose my colours by selecting certain individuals, and like the sculptor, my work operates in shapes as the snake is a threedimensional object,” he explains. Sang Mêlé could therefore very well earn its place within art history, even though having living creatures as main medium inevitably tests its archetypes and the way people perceive art. If anything, the dichotomy between nature and human productions is one in which Rien does not believe, as he firmly stresses. “We often speak of nature as being something external to our productions but when you think of it, if we are products of nature, then our very own productions are those of nature too.” Having worked on Sang Mêlé for three years, he lacks distance and results. His

livestock currently counts about 18 specimens and he produced one baby in August, which sadly died a few weeks later. The product was a blend of four different species, and Sébastien is unsure as to the exact causes of this failure. The defunct one has now been recycled into another project. “It sounds sordid, but I’ve always kept all my carcasses in a freezer,” he says with a mischievous smile. Frozen into interesting shapes, his colubrids, boas and pythons have become sculptures, which he then photographs. Busy with countless other projects, such as his collective Phase 3 or Le Bestiaire – a line of silver pendants cast in the shape of small animals’ jaws, created in collaboration with jewellery designer Artamonoff – Sang Mêlé currently remains a non-profit side-enterprise (the artist can’t sell the products in order to keep the process going). It is also a never-ending one: “there will always be new ways of pushing the selection in other directions. It’s a work in movement, like life. Like the world.” And just like life, this project doesn’t have an ultimate goal, if only perhaps to achieve the creation of specimens that become as far removed from their original forms as possible. (RW) Sébastien Rien’s photographs of frozen specimens will be displayed at the MAAC, Rue des Chartreux 26-28 Kartuizersstraat, 1000 Brussels, from 27 th May to 25th June. sebastien-rien.be


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Neighbourhood

25

ˆ “It is precisely the honest – perhaps naïve even – nature of the genre that turned it into a repetitive and bland exercise”

© Vincent Dechamps

ˇ

Kitsch, crimes & Ketchup With Wes Craven's Scream 4 due for official cinema release in spring, avoiding slasher films has become quite the challenge. This was not always the case. In fact, slasher movies are more of a subcategory within horror films, verging onto caricature and exaggeration. The rules are simple and have yet to be changed: a masked villain – often disfigured or who’s identity is concealed by smart camera angles – leads the action, perpetuating several bloody crimes, devoid of pity and hungry for violence. He’s usually after a defenceless heroine, surrounded by her posse of spotty teenagers. John Carpenter's Halloween – which goes back to 1978 – was the first blockbuster to impose the slasher movie's basic protocol with its legendary opening scene. A distressed audience witnesses the ruthless murder of a teenage girl through the eyes of a masked killer. As he leaves the house where the killing took place, two pedestrians – who happen to be his parents – stop him. Once they remove his mask, one discovers the angelic face of a 10-year-old. With that, the evil Michael Myers’ cult figure status

is sealed, as he quickly adopts a huge butcher knife and a terrifying anonymous white mask to commit his sins. From that point onwards, the slasher caravan was on the move and the killers barking, drawing more pints of blood and generating increasing revenues each year, its most prominent figures being Jason Voorhees, who sports his signature hockey mask and machete in Friday the 13th (1980) and the disfigured Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). The 80s marked the heyday of the slasher movie, spawning iconic features that are still worth watching today. The success of the genre resides in its directness and simplicity, making it rather effective and pleasurable to watch. However, it is precisely the honest – perhaps naïve even – nature of the genre that turned it into a repetitive and bland exercise, boring audiences towards the end of the decade as a result. Producers felt forced to increase blood scenes, looking for more disturbing ways to kill their victims. In the early 90s, irony was the new black. Films were no longer about frightening audiences, but having them in stitches instead. Peter Jackson's Braindead (1992) is a great illustration of how horror and humour could happily coexist at that time. There had never been that much haemoglobin on screen before, but there was laughter in equal parts, too.

In the early 90s, American horror films were not in great shape. Only mainstream productions – such as Interview with the Vampire (1991) or Jurassic Park (1993) – could get people queuing at the box office. The era of B horror films seemed over, but someone came along who revived the category. Thanks to an unknown writer called Kevin Williamson, Scream was born in the mid 90s, convincing studios and audiences of its appeal. A huge commercial and critical success, Scream was initially thought of as an homage to slasher movies and revived their scope, paving the way for new categories, such as “torture porn” with Saw (2004) and Hostel (2005), as well as “gore parody” with Piranha 3D (2010). With its fourth instalment ready for release, Scream is set to prove that slasher films are far from over, with audiences enjoying what can only be described as a bloody good laugh once again. (VD)

Visit thewordmagazine.be/dribbles/ kitschcrimesketchup or scan the QR code on the right for a selection of cult slasher scenes.


26

The papers

It would be fair to say that Lionel Samain got into photography by accident. He studied law, then decided to branch out into cinema instead (his first movie, a tribute to The Jazz Man, was selected for a number of festivals in both France and Belgium) before finally setting his sights on photography. And, even then, it was more out of sheer necessity than vocation: “Cinema wasn’t paying the bills. A lot of my friends worked as journalists, so I started going on assignments for them.” One thing leading to another, the Belgian-born, self-taught photographer quickly found himself doing portraiture, finally then taking up fashion photography in the shape of magazine editorials and advertising campaigns. His approach is clearly informed by his early obsession with cinema, although his overall aesthetic is shaped by his own personality – timid, somewhat tormented (“My wife always says I’m a tormented artist.”) and restrained. “I find it harder when I’m given complete free reign over a shoot’s artistic direction,” he says in between two long drags on his cigarette, “I work better when given some boundaries to work within.” Not one to be pigeonholed, Lionel’s photographs

© Lioenl Samain

Shoot or die

retain a certain mysticism to them, one which he clearly entertains through a continuous reevaluation of his work. Indeed, despite having honed his singular technique of shooting against a backdrop of projected imagery – one which has defined his work ever since – he felt confident enough to set it aside for a while in order to avoid any categorisation. His clearly is an approach to photography that comes from the gut, an extension of his own self: cerebral, intense and painful. (NL)

lionelsamain.com Visit thewordmagazine.be/wonders/ shootordie or scan the QR code on the right for a portfolio of Lionel’s recent work.

Looking back at the 20th annual International Festival of Eroticism of Brussels, held early March, the lack of local talent amongst the 180 stalls was striking. It turns out not much is left from the domestic business since the worldwide web took us all by storm. “There is no more industry in Belgium, whatever was left has disappeared,” stated Patrick Deltour, the founder of the festival (which happens to be the first of its kind in the world). With most video stores and specialised newsagents closing down, skin flicks and dirty mag production has ceased. Everything is available online and people quite obviously prefer making these kind of purchases in the privacy of their own homes. Considering German online megastore Pabo dispatches more than 35,000 parcels a day, it’s no wonder that local sex shops are slowly vanishing from the streets too. With the amateur style gaining so much popularity, even the industry’s big guns such as Video Marc Dorcel – the leading production company in France – has started exploiting the genre. Flemish filmmaker Eddy Lipstick, one of the last survivors in Belgium,

© Yassin Serghini

www killed the xxx star

recently dropped the gig too, devoting his time to the management of his swingers website. “It became impossible to rival with the online competition. I don’t bother with DVD’s anymore. The only productions I’m involved with are aimed at Video On Demand. That’s the future for the industry.” Yet his 90s masterpieces such

as Polder Sex or Hete Nachten in Gent have become sought after classics, and proof that there still is a definite appreciation for good old fashioned homegrown hanky panky. (RW)


The fuTure iS free buT free doN’T coMe cheap Support The Word Magazine by SubScribiNg to receive your five yearly issues at home 7.

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0 4 0 1

0 4 Volume 04 — Issue 01

ANGELIC DESIGN BY RADO

0 2

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

T h e

0 4 Volume 04 — Issue 02

0 2

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

T h e

Neighbourhood Shades of grey Life Mining Belgium’s DNA Style All blacks Music Behaving badly Culture Nocturnal knights + The Car Special

b l a c k

Neighbourhood Seeing red Life Rosy cheeks Style Fireworks Music Ruby rockers Culture Brick city + The Fashion Special

0 4 Volume 04 — Issue 03

0 4 Volume 04 — Issue 04

0 2

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

T h e

Neighbourhood Life Style Music Culture + The Special

0 2

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

T h e

Neighbourhood Life Style Music Culture + The Special

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

T h e

r e d

r e d

r e d

r e d

a l b u m

a l b u m

a l b u m

a l b u m

J a n u a r y

M a r c h

M a r c h

M a r c h

M a r c h

A p r i l

A p r i l

A p r i l

A p r i l

2 0 1 1

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a l b u m

F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 1

Volume 04 — Issue 05

Neighbourhood Life Style Music Culture + The Special

r 5.5 JUBILÉ / HIGH-TECH CERAMICS / WWW.RADO.COM

Pro,

The black album Ad_r55_Angelic_210x295.indd 1

1. January — February

The red album

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2. March — April

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02.03.11 15:55

What you need to do Transfer ¤ 21 ( Belgium ), ¤ 30 ( europe ) or ¤ 45 ( World ) to bank account number 363-0257432-34 ( IBAN Be68 3630 2574 3234, BIC BBRuBeBB for international transfers ), stating you full name, the address to which you wish the magazine to be sent to as well as your email address in the communication box.

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28

The study Graphic design Illustration Talent

A spicy meal by OBLIQUE oblq.be


The Word & Levis present

The red album’s colour chart

C0.60.30 C0.40.20

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— A collaborative study in different shades of red


30

The institution Nightlife Society Heritage

The interior of Brussels’ Le Bar Rouge.

Painting the town red Reknown as an eccentric, sometimes even seedy, after-hours haunt symbolic of everything that is right and wrong with Brussels, Le Bar Rouge didn’t originally begin as such. We talk to the owner about record-breaking champagne consumption, its celebrity clientele and that infamous little red book… Writer Randa Wazen Photographer Veerle Frissen

Despite its attempts to keep a low-key profile, you won’t find many people in Brussels claiming never to have heard of Le Bar Rouge. Founded in June 2004 by Didier Plasch, a well-known figure on the city’s night scene, this intriguing club with a racy past rapidly became the spot of choice for high society’s party-hungry night owls. Didier – who already had three successful restaurants under his belt – wanted to open his own after-hours playground and discovered the tiny bar out of sheer luck. “At the time I was looking for something and an architect friend of mine, who was in charge of renovating a building that had a bar on the ground floor, thought I might like it. The private club had been closed for two years but everything was still intact. Vases with fake flowers were still lying on the tables,” he remembers. “The minute I entered, it was love at first sight. Pure and simple.” Didier acquired the building and refurbished it, making sure to keep the same dimmed vibe and lush spirit. Everything was red, from the

wooden entrance to the floor and low ceiling, walls, velvet couches and tables. The previous owner, Otto, had set up the premises in 1962 and christened it the Tudor. It was – despite the urban myth – not a real brothel per se, rather more of an “amateur escort bar,” as Didier puts it. “Sure there were girls, but they weren’t professionals. Let’s just say they were punching in extra hours.” Alcoves covered by heavy velvet crimson drapes had been set-up, behind which customers could be privately entertained. The small locker behind the bar containing keys labelled with room numbers even suggests that some of the chambers upstairs might have been used for, you know, a “happy ending”. The Tudor was also famed for being a poker hotspot but above all, for attracting a very exclusive clientele, apparently the country’s most powerful and influential men. As for the rumour of the owner’s little book containing the names of all the clients, “it’s true,” reveals Didier. “We did find a few of them. At the time, all private

clubs had a register at the entrance and whomever passed the door was requested to check in.” Not one to name drop, he remains carefully discreet, only disclosing that the bar was “extremely well frequented.” This heritage of exclusivity is one Didier firmly intended on perpetuating, establishing an ultra-strict door policy. Simply put: you had little chances of getting in unless you were a friend or acquaintance. This resulted in the overly familiar and carefree vibe. With everyone knowing everyone, it had the casual atmosphere of a house party. Only one where bottles never ran dry and the owner wouldn’t kick you out at one in the morning. Initially called Le Club, regulars quickly came to refer to it as “Le Bar Rouge” for evident reasons, a name that stuck and has been adopted as its official appellation. Didier has now entrusted his baby to Morad Wabi (pictured on the opposite page), who’s been part of the team for the past four years and has become the current manager


Life

31

and main shareholder. Both men are as bubbly as the champagne that flows there on a nightly basis. Asked to define Le Bar Rouge’s concept, Morad’s answer is to the point: “champagne!” He proudly states that his is the bar that has the highest champagne turnover in Brussels which, by the size of the watch on his wrist, we’ll take as a given. Very fairly priced at ¤55, it’s no wonder to find Mumm buckets gracing every table. “When we first opened, the bottle was sold for ¤50. It was unheard of at the time, especially for such a decent brand,” asserts Didier. “It’s more festive and gives people a sense of prestige,” adds Morad.

ˆ The previous owner, Otto, had set up the premises in 1962 and christened it the Tudor. It was – despite the urban myth – not a real brothel per se, rather more of an “amateur escort bar” ˇ Pigeonholing the clientele is an impossible task, such is the odd mix that composes it. It’s probably one of the only venues in Brussels where old and new money, average Joes, jet setters, restaurateurs and celebrities (local and international such as Kim Bassinger or David Copperfield) as well as plain oddballs mingle with such ease, creating an unusual combination of high meets low. There is no apparent link or connection between these people, if not a shared love of all the excesses the night can offer, and a rather loose set of morals. What truly sets Le Bar Rouge apart from other clubs is the complete absence of clan behaviour. The place is tiny and narrow, at times claustrophobic even, with the booths tightly fitted next to each other. It’s almost impossible to avoid eye contact or physical interactions, leaving you with little choice but to strike up a conversation or share a drink with whoever is next to you. Those are the only house rules, and you’re expected to play by them the minute you step in. Think of it as the place where everybody just might know your name. Die-hard fans of Le Bar Rouge treat it like a second home and can be found there most nights of the week as of 10pm. Others stumble through the entrance – whose door policy has relaxed quite a bit in recent years – in the wee hours of the morning, when all the other clubs have shut their doors. And some folks simply seem to have landed there by accident, curious to see what the fuss is all about and experience the legend for themselves. Chances are this last group of people will either love the cramped, sweaty and shady atmosphere, or run for their lives before ordering the first round, as time has proved over and over again that Le Bar Rouge certainly has a knack for generating divided opinions.

The place’s notoriety built up over the years. Didier had initially seen it as a champagne bar that opened at five pm but quickly realised that the party rarely stopped before five am, so he shifted the opening time to 10pm. Doors close at five am, but the festivities go on until six, often even later. The service is excellent and guaranteed by a steady staff of four, lead by Fifi, chief barman, Rob and José, who tend the room and Morad, always firmly posted behind the bar, managing the till and popping champagne open all night long. Music-wise, expect corny mainstream dance hits and French classics such as Dalida (during which it’s not unusual to see customers grab wigs from behind the bar and lip-synch). Old movies and animated Pixar’s are continuously screened to create an atmosphere – not that you’re bound to get bored people watching. “During the first couple of years, we used to project a slideshow of previous party pictures,” explains Morad. “But clients repeatedly asked us to end this tradition. It’s obviously tricky to chat up someone when your face

suddenly appears on a screen, in someone else’s company…” The entire neighbourhood used to have a vibrant nightlife, paved with bars and restaurants. The red façade of Le Bar Rouge is one of the last remnants of that era, and one whose thick curtains hardly betray any of the action going on inside. “People who enter for the first time are usually taken aback, but once you’ve been here two or three times, you’re most certain to become hooked,” assures Morad. And although many might argue that Le Bar Rouge’s heyday is long gone, the exuberant party spirit still reigns supreme and whether the loud and sleazy – often verging on seedy – vibe is or isn’t your cup of tea, it is still as infectious. Le Bar Rouge Open from Tuesday to Saturday 10pm – 6am Rue du Pépin 41 Kernstraat 1000 Brussels


32

The Word on People Photography

Red bulls There’s nothing embarrassing about a man who blushes. At least not when he’s just spent an hour in the ring, knocking his opponent to the ground harder than Jake La Motta. Photographer Sarah Eechaut

Ivo Cilurzo – 20

Portrait taken at the Capitol Academy in Ghent, after two boxing matches with a 20-minute rope skipping session in between.


Life

Jeffrey De Clercq – 19

Portrait taken at the Golden Gloves Boxing Club in Ghent, after an intensive training session followed by a match.

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34

The Word on

Jean-Pierre “Junior” Bauwens – 22

Portrait taken at Het Godshuis in Sint Laureins, after giving a 30-minute boxing lesson. A few days earlier, he sucessfully defended his lightweight world champion title.


Life

Anthony Bombello – 13

Portrait taken at the Capitol Academy in Ghent, after a 20-minute warm-up.

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The showstoppers

36

Fashion Beauty Technology Consume Play

Red hot like a chili pepper We’re raising the stakes and turning the temperature up this month with our pick of red marvels – everything from a life-changing camera to a revolutionary little notebook. Photographer Benoît Banisse Art direction and styling Flore van Ryn

01. Just click it

We’ve become experts at commissioning photography, art directing as well as styling it, but when it comes to photography itself, we let the professionals do the talking. It’s not like we wouldn’t enjoy getting behind the camera and shooting a gorgeous pair of… shoes. Its rather that, well, we can’t really be bothered with the technical aspect of it all – you know, aperture, shutter speed, contrast, focus and what not. Imagine our joy, then, when this beauty landed on our desks for a little test. It’s light, has interchangeable lenses and, wait for it, does it all for you. α NEX-3 16mm interchangeable lens camera by Sony (¤500). Available from Sony Centers throughout the country. sonycenter.be


Style

37

02. prints please

It’s a known fact that we’re of the type to look down on people when first meeting them. Often wrongly interpreted as snobbism, it's only really a sometimes worrying obsession with footwear. We won’t judge you by your looks, your intellect or even your personality, but we will judge you by the shoes you wear. Call us shallow, we believe the shoes a person wears are just as telling a character clue than, say, whether or not you bite your nails. You’re on safe ground though if we meet for the first time and these are the shoes you’re wearing. Part of Converse’s collaborative collection for women with Finnish textile printmaker Marimekko, they’d say three things to our trained eyes: she’s cool, confident and carefree. Jack Purcell x Marimekko (¤89,95). Available from Bellerose (Brussels). converse.be

03. The revolution in red

Although you could argue that, in this day-andage of virtual protests and desktop unrests, all you need to organise a revolution is a Facebook page and a handful of Twitter followers, we’d like to think of ourselves as a touch more old school – even in the small matter of deposing governments. Fact is, if we ever were to seriously consider overthrowing the powers that be (not such a far-fetched idea considering the country’s record-breaking political deadlock), we’d start with plotting the downfall on paper. Not any kind of paper of course. You see, if we’re going to spend time musing on coup conspiracies, you better believe it’s going to be done in keeping with a certain colour-coded structure. Thus, a red notebook. What else? Red notebook by Atypyk (¤13), available from Bozarshop (Brussels) and Magazin (Antwerp). atypyk.com

04. Teenage angst no more

For as long as we can remember, bloodshot eyes and red spots were as central to our teenager looks as Dr. Martens and ripped 501s. For bleary eyes, Minhavez was the make of choice, never failing to whiten our eyes just in time for afternoon classes or inquisitive dinner with the elders. For the red spots, the perfect miracle remedy somehow eluded us as we painfully saw our faces turn from smooth operator to rough calculator with each year going by. If it were today, however, we’d find solace in Kiehl’s blemish control cream, a now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t kind of magic. Minhavez eye drops (¤4), available in pharmacies. Kiehl’s Acne Blemish Control treatment (¤39), available from Senteurs d’Ailleurs (Brussels) and Kiehl’s (Antwerp and Ghent). kiehls.com


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05. death traps

Equally as terrifying as they are beautiful, these carnivorous plants feed off small flies and insects that get lured into their traps. And whilst some species from the exotic jungles of Borneo or Guinea are big enough to gobble up entire rats, these apartment-sized carnivores won't be turning your living area into the Little Shop of Horrors just yet. Indeed, these imported versions rarely outgrow their pots, although that’s not to say you won’t catch them snapping up a fly or two. You know, just for starters. From left to right: the venus flytrap (dionaea muscipula), cobra plant (darlingtonia californica) and the rosy sundew (drosera hamiltonii), between ¤4 and ¤6. Available from Velvet Café (Brussels). velvetine.be

06. The red hiking hood

Come spring, this pullover jacket by favoured hiking and extreme sports brand Napapijri could very well become your new best friend. Part of the label’s Geographic line, which focuses on sportswear and urban pieces, this summer take on their classic Skidoo cut packs a polyamide shell fabric that makes it extremely lightweight, windproof and water repellent. We’ve always been purvey to somewhat of a mix-and-match aesthetic, and this bright but bold hoodie just about does it for us. Skidoo summer jacket for men by Napapijri (¤199). Available from Napapijri (Antwerp). napapijri.com

See page 96 for full stockist information.

Visit thewordmagazine.be/dribbles/redhot or scan the QR code on the left for full purchase links.


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The fashion Word Consume Photography

Ruby greyscale She teases, plays with the camera and engages, whilst he’s slightly more passive, neither here nor there. She’s clearly the one having all the fun, putting on a show whilst he’s in the passenger seat, at the mercy of her sanguine singularity. Photography Sébastien Bonin

Fashion Simon-Pierre Toussaint


Style

Jules wears Scarf Celine De Schepper – Anne-Laure wears Hat Christophe Coppens, Silk shirt Diane von Furstenberg, Bra Eres, Necklace Cats

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Neoprene "Fox" jacket Celine De Schepper, Long silk dress Jean Paul Knott, Platform shoes Lanvin


Dress Leonard Archive (from Pièce Unique), Massaï jewellery


Wool cap Elvis Pompilio, Socks Uniqlo, Massa誰 jewellery


Striped polo Hackett London, Panties worn as a bow tie H&M, Parachute sleeveless vest Michèle Bagdassarian


Stetson hat Elvis Pompilio, Silk scarf Hermès, Sleeveless leather jacket Maison Martin Margiela


Anne-Laure wears turban made of an Hermès silk scarf as well as an Yves Saint Laurent vintage scarf (from Pièce Unique), Vegetabletanned leather dress Ada Zanditon, Socks H&M, Platform shoes Lanvin, Lambskin gloves Hermès, Sunglasses Thierry Lasry – Jules wears Suit jacket DEAREST, Underwear HOM, Socks Uniqlo, Massaï jewellery


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The fashion Word

Raincoat Ermenegildo Zegna, Plastic cape DEAREST


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Photographer SĂŠbastien Bonin Photographer's assistant Ludovic Hanton Fashion Simon-Pierre Toussaint Retouching Jonathan Steelandt Hair and make-up Sigrid Volders for Chanel and Bumble & Bumble

Model Anne-Laure @Dominique Models

and Jules Hugal @New Models See page 96 for full stockist information.

Teddy Raf Simons Archive, Mask Michèle Bagdassarian, Shirt, mesh top and printed pants Cacharel


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The columns Consume Talent Nostalgia Heritage New release

02. belgian punk's not dead

03. a good presentation is half the battle won

© Yassin Serghini

01. The city slicker

The way My Sister Klaus' magnificent debut LP Chateau Rouge (2007, Tigersushi) begins, with Guillaume Teyssier – the 30-something singersongwriter behind the somewhat disturbing moniker – hauling out “its privateer, never shed a tear” on the haunting opener Privateer, you'd be forgiven for thinking the album would turn out being yet another perfectly-crafted ode to The Velvet Underground – well-made yes, but safe and overdone. The moment you get to the album's next track, Chateau Rouge, you sense there's something more to it tough - a simplistic and seductive succession of songs, bound to the past certainly (“I admire someone like Dylan”) but with a modern-day relevance. To give you a little context: “Chateau Rouge is a neighbourhood in Paris with an important African community, a lot of junkies and dealers,” says Paris-based Guillaume, who used the notoriously shady 'arrondissement' as a lifelike moodboard upon which to pin his many urban visual references and shape much of his writing. The daily struggle of big city living coupled with the violence often experienced in such areas as Chateau Rouge gave the album its intensity, its edge. “It’s clearly an urban album,” he says. In the space of 14 tracks, it goes from Joy Division-like hypnosis and psychedelic rock to garage and electro. The tempo from song to song differs too, with energetic, punk belters such as Kick of Sand a reminder that, in certain ways, Guillaume sings about the urban angst shaping our generation, whilst softer, more poetic tracks such as La Tour de Nestle confirms his talent to combine a somber, sinister even, lyrical ability with a touching and courtesan delivery. With the painful insight of a poet living on society’s fringes, he takes a condemned, forgotten and fallen area of Paris and turns it into his metaphor, his memory, his territory. (NL) The soundtrack to La Femme Invisible, written by Guillaume Teyssier, is out now on Tigersushi.

The year is 1978. The Sex Pistols have disbanded and punk rock is taking its last breath. Yet it is at that very moment that a 16-year-old Peter Slabbynck discovers their music on a Dutch radio show, instantly finding his calling. Recruiting three friends from his local Boy Scout troupe, they went on to form Bruges-based Red Zebra, the country’s finest contribution to the genre. “We got together but couldn’t play,” he recalls. After a few performances, a name change and a slot opening for The Cure in 1980, they release an EP whose B-side I Can’t Live in a Living Room would become an instant hit and seal their fate as a cult band. In typical Belgian fashion, the lyrics weren’t intended as serious, yet their urgency and sense of constantly feeling out of place struck a chord with an entire generation. Choosing to keep music as a passion project, all band members kept day-jobs. “We’re punks in a certain way and we didn’t want to depend on money,” Peter explains. Coming from someone who chose to make a living in the advertising business, it rightfully sounds phony. But then again, in a world where Johnny Rotten sells butter on TV and Iggy Pop advertises car insurance, who are we to judge? Spanning three decades, the history of the band has been filled with line-up changes, break-ups, reunions, and the drama continues. Last December, the remaining members attempted to oust Peter, yet he ended up kicking them out. Currently recruiting a new set of musicians, he’s set to hit studios this fall. Unsure about the new sound or direction, he does however have a title: There’s No Future For The Future. Mr Slabbynck might have lost his childhood friends; he certainly hasn’t parted with his sense of humour. (RW)

myspace.com/mysisterklaus tigersushi.com

If you think record labels were the hardest ones hit in the digital revolution's onslaught of the music industry, think again. Opera and symphony orchestras have it worse, way worse. Think of them as the Harrods of the music industry: aloof, arrested and with a dying audience. Not so long ago, symphony orchestra bosses could previously bank on sales of live recordings to fill the financial gap left by empty seats, the Last FMs and Pirate Bays of this new world make that now a thing of the past too. So, what options are left to a national symphony orchestra's management intent on reshaping itself for the digital generation? Facebook fan pages are a good start, as are podcasts and live streaming sessions - all very 21st century. Those in it for the long run however know the change they need to engineer needs to go deeper – a point Flanders’ Symphony Orchestra seems to have understood all too well. Its entire communications strategy is an exercise in contemporary relevance: an engaging and fresh visual identity (clean fonts and bright colours), an instantly recognisable advertising campaign (vivid colours and tongue-in-cheek imagery) as well as a magazine. That’s right, a magazine. Published four times a year, the magazinecome-program perfectly captures the orchestra’s spirit, never straying too far from its core (and, consequently, its loyal fan base) whilst at the same time appealing, essentially through its graphic design, to a younger audience. Designed by studio MDASH, its design has obvious classic undertones (the paper stock as well as the format) whilst also being bold (most of the magazine’s content is set against a backdrop of striking, diagonal red lines). But it really is the magazine’s cover (arresting and eye-catching) which further anoints the orchestra as a forward-looking cultural institution. And, whilst you may be wondering how reshaping oneself for the digital age involves a print publication (so very old media), it is the conversation the orchestra has with its many stakeholders, and the way it initiates them (with understated style and confidence), that will, ultimately, cement its relevance to a new breed of Schubert and Mozart lovers. (NL)

myspace.com/redzebra1 symfonieorkest.be


Music

05. rage in full

With its minimalist rectangular design and humble size (151x57x40mm), one can’t quite make out what the exact nature of the Jambox is at first glance. Yet what could easily be mistaken for a slightly oversized paperweight is in fact a speaker and one that is not only wireless but also introduced as being “intelligent.” Conceived by Jawbone, the Jambox connects to computers, tablets, iPods, mobile phones or any other Bluetooth device. It acts as a seamless portable speaker, as well as a hands-free kit and conference call unit thanks to its built-in microphone. The absence of a screen is resolved with a lovely female voice who'll update you on the state of the battery life and even awkwardly spell out the caller ID, should someone call you. As for the sound, it’s pretty impressive for such a small device and definitely beats weak laptop builtin speakers. However, don’t expect to host the party of the year relying solely on the Jambox as its sound quality’s limits are betrayed when played at high volumes. If anything, volume is a factor you’ll probably want to keep at median since the little one tends to judder all over the place with each bass throb when played full blast. That said; the Jambox is still more than decent for a portable speaker and ideal for outdoor use, just toss it in a bag without worrying too much as it is fairly sturdy. Wrapped around in a stainless steel grid, every side of the speaker is exposed and it’s molded rubber-casing gives it a nice feel and firm grip. Looks like the kids have found their palm-version answer to the 80s boombox. (RW) Jawbone’s Jambox (¤199). Available from jawbone.com.

06. Lady revolution

© Richard Kern

© Yassin Serghini

04. pump up the jam

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Autokratz almost instantly popped into my mind the minute I started getting into “red album mode”. I clearly remember being oddly drawn to the red cover on their debut EP Down and Out in Paris and London (2008, Kitsuné). Definitely one of those records I bought judging it more by its cover (I had at the time only heard one track of theirs, Pardon Garçon) than for its track listing – although it did turn out to be one the year’s strongest releases. “We’re here to make a point. We’re not here to make polite, friendly music for people to drink tea and talk about the weather to,” says one-half of the now London-based duo Russel (they are originally from Manchester). Since their first LP, the band have released another album – Animal (2009), also on Kitsuné and also with a predominantly red cover. “From the outset, it (red) seemed to link in a lot of the ideas of what Autokratz is about… anger,” says Russel only half seriously. On Opposite of Love, the EP they’ve just released in anticipation of the band’s third album, the contrasting spirit of Autokratz’s music is once again in full view, with David’s soft-spoken vocals confronting Russel’s hard-edged production with the kind of songs Autokratz has now come to be known for: uncompromising, unremitting and unapologetic. Think of them as bareknuckle fighters talking about love. (NL)

Lydia Lunch is angry. You’d think the American queen of the underground would mellow down after three decades of confrontation, radicalism and uncompromising creativity, but by the looks of it, she isn’t about to run out of steam just yet. Since first stepping onto the music scene aged 16, with her band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks at the forefront of New York’s No Wave scene back in 1976, the multidisciplinary artist has made a name for herself through her relentless battle against apathy. Be it through musical projects (solo or collaborating with alternative heavyweights such as Nick Cave, James Chance, Henry Rollins or Sonic Youth), her involvement with the Cinema of Transgression, art installations, spoken word performances (“words punching the audience in the face”), or written and photographic works, the intensity of Lydia’s work remains uncompromised. “I’ve just been constantly reinventing and sophisticating my message, finding different ways of expressing the same problem, which incurs the same amount of rage,” she quietly explains over the phone, speaking from her home in Barcelona. And although her name is still relatively unknown outside of art schools and indie scenes, that is a thought unlikely to give her sleepless nights. “I’m always amazed there’s anyone at my show,” she honestly states. “It’s something I still have to do, out of duty, perversion or exorcism. I still have to and will continue saying the things that I say, even if it’s one woman out on a hill with a bullhorn and a shotgun!” And what a shotgun of a woman Lydia is. Catch her and her band Big Sexy Noise at Brussels’ Magasin 4 on 19th March. Don’t miss it. We could all use a shot of the Gospel according to Lydia Lunch, or at least – in her own words – “a good kick in the head.” (RW) lydia-lunch.org

Autokratz’s third album, Self Help for Beginners,

Visit thewordmagazine.be/radar/

is out on 25th April on Bad Life.

ladyrevolution or scan the QR code on

autokratz.com

the left for the full interview.


The Word with New release Talent We love

Speak of the devil Often introduced as “one of Josh Homme’s side projects”, Eagles of Death Metal have gained a serious following of their own, thanks in large part to frontman Jesse Hughes’ sleazy charisma and his self-proclaimed sex-appeal. We talk to rock ‘n’ roll’s ultimate lover about girls, God, and his infamous feud with that other redheaded rocker. Interview Randa Wazen

© Ulrike Biets

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The way Eagles of Death Metal function as a band is quite special: the core is based around Josh and you writing and recording the music, yet you’re often the only one repping it on the road. Do you ever miss Josh on stage or are you just happy getting all the attention? Well I’m a vanity queen, honey; I would hate to share the spotlight. But then in the same respect, Josh was the best friend I’ve ever had in my life. I feel a great – I hate to say it but – respect and honour for the way I’ve been brought out to the world of rock‘n’roll. This band was some sort of magical fluke, we never tried to promote it in any way – it just promoted itself. It also started in an unusual way – you were in a bit of a rut when Josh stumbled upon some tunes you had made and just dragged you into the whole project. That’s exactly how it happened. We did a Desert Sessions right before I got married and I just remember thinking: “This is lame, I would never wanna be in a rock band, but I love you Josh”. So we went our merry way. Everything I ever did in my life was directed towards being a real square, in every sense of the word, do you know what I mean? It’s hard to imagine… But it’s true, you know. Imagine being a werewolf your whole life and seeing your first full moon when you’re thirty. That’s what it was like. And it can’t get any more romantically magical than this: the true story is that on New Year’s Eve, Joshua broke into my apartment because he was worried about me – my mother had called him saying that I was acting crazy – and on my computer were two songs that he heard. When I got home, he asked me “Could you write more shit like this?”, and I said “yeah dude”. So I think I wrote the whole first album in a week. He then flew back in from a tour, my mother picked him up and we drove to Hollywood in my mom’s car. He drove me to a studio and literally locked me in for four days and we recorded the first album. And from that point on, you just morphed into a rock star with the shades, lightning bolts, tattoos, embracing the lifestyle and all its excesses to the full? Kind of more like rock ‘n’ roll started to scar me up, real fast. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done it purely but the second I saw the world that was opening up to me it was like: “You’ve got the wrong motherfucker here, ‘cause now I’m about to be kazzoted!” Someone who loves the devil shouldn’t come to the devil’s playground.

Speaking of the devil, you’ve been known to sport several nicknames (The Devil, Boots Electric, Mr Boogie Man,…). Which one are you going with for the moment? Boots Electric. And where did that one come from? If you wanna know the true story, I used to rollerblade and Josh called me Fruit Boots, so when we were recording Speaking In Tongues, the original chorus was “Fruit Boots”, as a kind of homage. But while we were recording the album, I hooked up with this girl and her boyfriend came back one night so I snuck out of her bathroom window. Joshua said that I had to have electric boots to have gotten out of there so fast. So yeah,

ˆ “Someone who loves the devil shouldn’t come to the devil’s playground” ˇ Boots Electric kind of stuck as a great nickname. Back to the music, the two first records of the band were about celebrating the joys of sex. Then Heart On was a wonderful ode to what seems to be a love/hate relationship you

entertain with LA and the Hollywood scene. The next one is titled Ladies Only. Are we right in assuming it will mark a return to the celebration of the joys of sex and women? That’s correct, the next Eagles Of Death Metal is called Ladies Only. But the secret is that I’ve recorded a Boots Electric solo album with Money Mark (pictured above). I’m almost finished and it will be ready for release in a couple of months. Is it long awaited Fabulous Weapons? No, I’ve decided to call it Cold Lawyer. Or Raped by Miracles. We’ll like, figure it out right now. So you’ll be hitting the road by yourself then? Well by myself and probably with the same people that are in Eagles of Death Metal, you know how it is. We’re all like a very incestuous gang. We believe that we surround ourselves with the best in order to be the best. And the sort of music on this new album is pretty interesting. It’s like Gary Numan butt fucking George Clinton inside Little Richard’s small intestine, it’s really trippy. It’s going to take the right sort of match to play it. What themes can we expect? I just recently went though a really terrible breakup with Satan’s daughter. It was really rough, so I decided to channel that. I think rock ‘n’ roll and music has forgotten about women for real, so this album is my love letter and Valentine’s card to ladies all over the world.


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The Word with

In terms of music, what’s your current guilty pleasure? My current guilty pleasure is the paedophile’s chorus. I’m just kidding… I must say I’m a little disappointed because not much has shaken me recently. Do I have a guilty pleasure? Ah yes, Barbara Streisand’s Greatest Hits from 1975 to 1995.

Another Belgian band you’re familiar with is The Black Box Revelation, who were supporting you two years ago. Yeah, they’re here right now in LA recording with my friend Alain Johannes. I love those guys; I think I might actually ask them to come record on my album. When we caught up with them this summer for a chat, we asked them what was the craziest anecdote they remembered of that time. Apparently, your girlfriend was on the road too and would be in charge of selecting the groupies that were allowed backstage. According to them, she only picked the least attractive ones and they were complaining about being stuck with them after because you guys would always bail after five minutes… (Laughs) That’s so funny that they remembered that, I love those guys! Yeah that happens on occasion, but see that’s a really clever way of weeding out the ugly, no I hate to say ugly ‘cause there’s no such thing as ugly… We would take the cream for ourselves and let only – let’s say the mediocrity – hang out backstage. So it would appear that the only girls allowed in were the ones that were backstage, but see that wasn’t true: the cream of the crop had already been diverted to our tour bus, very sneaky shit! You’re quite the womaniser and it makes sense that you would have been asked to contribute to a book called Sex Tips From Rock Stars. What are some of the tips you chose to share? Yeah, I was interviewed for that, it was quite fun. At the time I was sitting out on the veranda of the Sportsmen hotel and I was with some chemically altered girls, just like me. So I don’t even remember what I said, but I think it was honest and horny.

© Ulrike Biets

Being a Belgian magazine, we were quite curious about how a guy like Tim Vanhamel (pictured right) would end up in the band… Birds of the same feather flock together, opposites just get together and fuck, you know what I mean? Timmy’s a weirdo, and we’re all weirdoes. And when you have a universal love of Hannelore Knuts, the way I do, it’s easy to be united in the spirit of beauty and music when you’re around such weirdoes as them. On stage with on and off bandmate Tim Vanhamel.

ˆ “I like girls in a way that most dudes don’t typically do. I love women, I really do. But I’m also horny as fuck and I can’t help it” ˇ You’ve quoted your father as saying: “There are two types of rock bands. The rock band that come out and jacks off for everyone to see, and the rock band that comes out and fucks everyone in the room”, and specifying that you simply want to be in the second rock band all the time. From what I recollect seeing you perform, you sure seem like a very generous lover… Thank you baby, you’re a sweet talker you. Oh boy. It goes back to something my grandmother used to say. She said, “If you make a girl banging, don’t tell anyone you get to do it again.” And I was raised by a bunch of girls, not in a typical macho kind of way. So I like girls in a way that most dudes don’t typically do. I love women, I really do. But I’m also horny as fuck and I can’t help it. So the way I look at it is: I would much rather have girls talk about me in their locker room than me having to talk about myself in my locker room, so that is the philosophy of the sort of lover I strive to be.

Another interesting thing you said during that gig was how you had been labelled the Ned Flanders of rock ‘n’ roll, and by a Belgian magazine of all things? Yeah it was a Belgian magazine, it was great! I fucking loved it! But see, the joke – and I hope that everyone gets it – is that there’s an episode of the Simpsons where Flanders comes out of his shower and they pixellated his dick down to his knees. That’s how I have to interpret it. Do you prefer being on the road or in the studio? Those are two different animals and I love them both equally. Recording is such a beautiful scientific process in it’s own and being on the road and the live performance, that’s pure possession by the spirits and demons of rock ‘n’ roll. And how does one manage to get fired from a Guns N' Roses tour? It was weird; we arrived in a 25,000 people arena where only 5,000 had shown up. It was a dismal Guns N’ Roses turn out. So we went on stage and the welcome we got wasn’t the warmest but it wasn’t the worst either. By the time Axl went on, he was 45 minutes late. I’ll never forget, I was backstage with three hairdressers – they were so fucking hot – and Axl had strung PA speakers all along the backstage stadium so you just had to listen to the set. He got into the third song and said: “What did y’all think of the Pigeons of Shit Metal? You better feel sorry for them little fellas cause it’s their last night on the tour.” I was drinking a sip of Coke, just spit it out and went “What the fuck?!” For a minute I was scared but then thought “Fuck that! This dude’s a dick, I


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want people to know that he doesn’t like me.” I think the reason we really got kicked off is because Axl Rose hates Dave Grohl and I love Dave Grohl so much. Dave actually said the next day, “Being disapproved by Axl is like being Knighted by the Queen.” He made my career in a single move with that comment, because he put me on AOL.

And the last record you bought and liked? The Meteors – Greatest Hits – and Electric Wizard. I fucking looove Electric Wizard. Check them out; they’re heavy as fuck. Funeralopolis, that’s the song you gotta check out first. Do you believe in God? Of course. I believe in God, I don’t care to believe in magic talking monkeys just to kill my sins. I’m a fucking stone sinner; I’m an evil dark motherfucker, that’s the cold hard fact. But is there a God? Of course there is. I’d be a fool to disavow what I think. I look at evolution and the concept of accidentalism and here’s what I see: so magic gases blew up, magically created everything and magic talking monkeys turned into us. OK. You can either have magic talking monkeys or a magic man. I’d rather have a magic man.

So you just went and got it tattooed on your arm… Yeah, well you know, we sell so many “Pigeons of Shit Metal” t-shirts it’s fucking hilarious. I invited Axl to do a Christmas record with me and do it as the Pigeons of Shit Metal. It could have been a fucking rad song and be like, “Come on Axl, come back into the club of rock ‘n’ roll.” But you know, I never got any word back.

You do consider yourself as a proper redhead, right? Oh yeah, absolutely. I disguise my redheadedness a little bit because I know how fucking nuts we are. Do you consider yourself as a redneck? I am a hillbilly, girl. What’s the difference? A hillbilly makes sweet blue grass music and when he shoots his gun, he hits what he’s aiming at. A redneck is a lowdown illiterate son of a bitch. One lives in a house, the other in a trailer. Could you tell us more about the place you grew up in? I grew up in a place called Greenville, South Carolina, which is literally like the fucking buckle in the Bible belt; we’re talking about 450 Baptist churches in one small little town. When my parents divorced, I moved and finished growing up in the desert of Southern California, which is probably by far the weirdest place any child could ever have grown up in the world. It was a freak show of extremities, like third grade kids in 1981 selling drugs and knocking girls up. Just unheard of, because it was a weird clash of lowbrow working class families with kids, brushing up with the richest of the rich. The desert is a vacation community; it’s where the president goes for holiday and where movie stars hang out all the time in places like Palm Springs. A lot of drugs and a lot of fast action.

© Ulrike Biets

You seem to be surrounded by or in conflict with a lot of redheads – what’s that about? We’re fucking out of our minds, girl. We’re fucking crazy. And did you grow up in a musical environment or was it not too much part of your upbringing? When I was with my dad yeah, but by the time I was eight, I grew up in a very strictly religious environment. I listened to a lot of music but I had no real interest at the time. It happened by accident and by fate. Let’s put it that way; I never ever wanted to be in a band.

ˆ “I believe in God, I don’t care to believe in magic talking monkeys just to kill my sins. I’m a fucking stone sinner; I’m an evil dark motherfucker, that’s the cold hard fact” ˇ What’s the first record you remember getting? Destroyer by Kiss, with my dad in 1986.

Do you believe in hell? Of course, and it'll be hotter in hell for me than it'll be for you. You’ve had quite a few struggles with substance abuse in the past but managed to kick them. What’s your current vice of choice? My current vice of choice is the ultimate female that has ever been created by the devil’s hand and laid to Hollywood Street. I’ve been chasing the tail of the ultimate queen of Hollywood and her name is Tuesday Cross. Is she the one who broke your heart? Hell no! She’s the one who took my heart and re-made it in the devil’s own image. You’re very vocal about your republican views. Being quite unimpressed with Obama’s performance, what would you do if you were in charge of the Oval Office for a day? Let’s see, let me think about that (pauses for a second). By executive order I would eliminate the department of education and homeland security. Constitutionally convene a session and hold a hearing on the validity of the Patriot Act, which I would then attempt to have eliminated before day’s end. I would ban all surveillance of citizens in America, repeal the income tax completely and abolish most federal legal oversights in each individual state by executive order. And then my last act in office would be to declare myself eternally as the American biggest dick in the world of all time, greatest lover and most magical person with the greatest hands ever, beautiful eyes and a great smile. Jesse Hughes, forever and ever, amen. myspace.com/bootselectric eaglesofdeathmetal.com


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The venue Heritage Photography

National hero What is considered today to be one of the best music venues in Europe – if not the world – nearly became a parking lot in the early 70s. It certainly was a long and bumpy road, but following decades of uncertainty, Brussels’ cult live venue L’Ancienne Belgique stands tall and triumphant, having done a fine job at placing our capital on the musical map and establishing it as a necessary stop on any touring itinerary. Located in a 10,000 sqm complex that is said to go back to the 11th century, L'Ancienne Belgique – or AB as it is also known – was a popular concert hall in the early 20th century. Often threatened with closure due to noise complaints from the neighbourhood, it underwent several renovations and even filed for bankruptcy in 1971. Saved by funding from the Flemish government in the late 70s, the main hall was completely soundproofed and reconditioned in 1982, resulting in the AB as we currently know it. Entirely tinted in a deep cardinal red – commonly used in most theatres as it absorbs the stage lights – the venue retains a unique warmth and intimacy, even when at full capacity (2,000). Upgrading the entire equipment with state of the art technology and a perfect acoustic system, it has become the venue of choice for live recordings of artists such as Iggy Pop, Oasis, Kings of Leon, Goldfrapp, Queens of the Stone Age, The Hives and Yeasayer to name a few. Mike Patton has been quoted saying, “AB is the best venue in Europe. No, in the world!” and Lou Reed was in awe when he discovered the main hall before performing at last year’s Domino Festival. Praises coming from such demanding musicians who have toured throughout the world are no mean feat, and the 300,000 concertgoers who flocked in last year can’t be wrong either. The 233,450 tickets sold in 2010 have earned the AB the third spot in Pollstar’s annual list of Top 100 Worldwide Club Venues, making it the only European venue in the top 50. Photographer Merel ‘t Hart


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01.

02.

03.

04.

05.

06. 01. Lights, fixtures and fittings. 02. For the Morcheeba or Iron & Wine fans, 730 balcony seats are available. Free seating is on a “first come, first served” basis. 03. State of the art technology has been customised to suit all the needs of the wide breath of artists that come through AB’s door. 04. The venue employs a staff of 45. This is in addition to cleaners, security agents, bar and restaurant staff. 05. The backstage zone in front of the production room. 06. A couch from the Stella bar.


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The venue

07.

08.


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09. 07. The catering canteen. “Proper food” is a luxury touring artists don’t take for granted, something that the AB understands only too well. Former house cook Lut De Clercq was even renowned abroad for her dishes and wrote several books on the subject. 08. A dressing room. 09. The AB Sessions room, which also doubles as an extra dressing room on busy nights. Two microphones and a camera are on hand to record sessions of acoustic sets broadcasted on the venue’s website. 10. The AB Sessions room. 11. “If you get lost, just follow the red line” is a sentence often overheard in the backstage zone that stretches from the main hall to the recording studio and catering canteen.

11.

L’Ancienne Belgique Boulevard Anspachlaan 110 1000 Brussels abconcerts.be Visit thewordmagazine.be/dribbles/ nationalhero or scan the QR code on the right for more backstage pictures and 10.

videos of cult AB moments.


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The fetish Play Photography We love

Playing with fire True musicians will say that the way their instrument looks matters little as opposed to the way it sounds. Fair enough. But there’s nothing wrong with favouring style over substance every once in a while. Call it the “red Ferrari syndrome”... Photographer Toon Aerts

Tim Vanhamel Frontman (Millionaire) Pictured with his Gretsch G5810 Bo Diddley (2009, USA) Purchased for ¤399

“First of all, it’s not a real vintage, I only bought it about two years ago. I was at Music Store in Köln when I saw this guitar and I just had to buy it. I had been coveting one of these for a long time, because of its shape. I always had a problem with the shape of most guitars because in a way, they’re all alike. Certain designs, like Fender’s or Gibson’s, are well known, but you rarely see a guitar that has such a futuristic look like this one. And of course, this is a Bo Diddley design and I’m a really big fan of his. He’s The Originator,

the father of rock ’n’ roll; it doesn’t get any better than that. When I look at this guitar, I can already imagine a whole album. I have only used it once on stage. I guess I want to keep it for the right project. Maybe for the new Millionaire album, or maybe I’ll just tune it in a weird way and use it for some really crazy shit, who knows... It’s only available in red, so I didn’t have much of a choice. It’s the authentic colour of Diddley’s Gretsch.” myspace.com/millionnairetheband


Music

Aldo Struyf Bassist (Creature With The Atom Brain) Pictured with his Guild B-301 (1997, USA) Traded for a vintage Fender Mustang guitar

“What can I say? This bass is just incredible. I don’t think it looks that great. Actually, it’s so ugly; it makes it cool in a certain way. It’s a pretty unique bass and has this amazing pumping tone. I’ve had other bass guitars like a Fender, but this one just sounds right straight away. And it plays so smoothly, too. I have no idea how old it actually is – I got it from Bas, the bass player from Millionaire, who bought it in the States. I traded a Mustang for it, which I never really used anyway. I record at home a lot, so I play both the guitar and bass parts myself. When recording, I don’t want to spend too much time figuring out how to make the bass sound good, that way I can focus on other things, like the structure of the song. Guild is a well-respected brand of guitars, but you don’t see too many bass models, so I have no idea what it’s worth. It’s a very strange and unique colour; kind of a deep red that is infused with brown undertones. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the colour. For me it’s all about the tone and feel of this bass.” myspace.com/creaturewiththeatombrain

Greg Remy Guitarist (Ghinzu) Pictured with his Meazzi Zodiac (1963-69, Italy) Purchased for ¤400

“I found this guitar at my local repair shop. It had been lying there for the past two years and I went there every six months, asking the guy if he would sell it. The guitar belonged to someone who had forgotten it and the shopkeeper tried getting in touch with the owner to see if he would sell it. After two years of begging, I finally got it. I was drawn to it because I like the way it looks. I love the futuristic wave that thrived in the 50s and 60s and this guitar totally embodies the fashion and design of that era. It’s a bit like the poor man’s Bo Diddley guitar. I also like the fact that it bears my name. There’s an old worn-out sticker that reads ‘Gregory Music’ on the headstock, which is probably a shop from the 70s that sold the guitar. It has a very nice neck and sounds very ‘bassy’. It sounds great with an effect pedal like the Bigg Muff. I‘ve used it live, but had to fiddle with too many knobs in order for it to be aligned with my other guitars. I actually have two red guitars, this one and a Reverend, but the Meazzi is definitely more unique.” myspace.com/ghinzu

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The throw away project Play Behind the scenes Photography

Vermin Twins The throw away project debuted during festival season last summer. Dozens of disposable cameras were dished out to a handful of artists and bands (everyone from HEALTH to Jamie Lidell and Jimmy Edgar, visit thewordmagazine.be/tags/throwaway-project for the full series) with one simple instruction: click away, then send it back to us. We’re now pleased to introduce the on-going series to these pages with, as first-timers, Belgium’s very own Vermin Twins. The up-and-coming experimentalvocoder-driven-electronic two-piece gives us an insight into their daily lives, starring synths, guitars, raging bonfires and a teensy-weensy Chihuahua. Photographers Vermin Twins

Some hooligan we picked up...

With thanks to Ulrike Biets

Jean-Pierre Jarre, Jean-Michel’s secret twin brother.

Visit thewordmagazine.be/office/vermintwins or scan the QR code above for more of the band's throw away pictures.


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Too many stickers, no talent.

Fire in the hole!

5 Point Finger Fire Split Technique Skill (5PFFSTS).

Get out of my dreams, get into my car.


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The Fashion special


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© Veerle Frissen

The Fashion special

The prodigy Talent is a peculiar thing. You cannot pinpoint where it comes from nor analyse why it moves us, but fashion is just like any other field: you simply know talent when you see it. Despite being in her early 20s and still figuring out how to launch her own label, Alexandra Verschueren has this unique combination of creativity, drive and flair that singles her out from the plethora of new graduates. Sitting in the living room of her Antwerp apartment – which also serves as her studio – she comes across as warm and funloving, a risk-taking forward thinker with both her feet firmly grounded in reality. This combination of pragmatism and imagination is alluring, but it’s her typically Belgian modesty that will win you over. Even though Alexandra graduated with great distinction from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts not once but twice – for her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s in Fashion Design – she’s far too humble to point this achievement out. Her perfectionist streak is, nevertheless, immediately noticeable. “I work a lot with details and really focus on them. My silhouettes are simple and minimal, but I like the idea of embellishment.

I love origami, because pleats give me a sense of meditation. I remember ironing each piece individually for ages last year, but didn’t mind at all,” she explains of the collection she presented at the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival, which won her the Grand Prix of the Jury. If pleats are one of Alexandra’s trademarks, she also finds inspiration in everyday objects, translating their appeal into clothing. “I’m quite neurotic at work and get obsessed with certain things. At the moment, I’m really into these Japanese water bottles, with their sleek design and moulded curves. I’m trying to work out how to reproduce these waves into fabric, which is not easy to do.” Things have been hectic since her triumphant victory at Hyères, although having a lot on her plate is not something that scares the Antwerp native. Inspired by paper, Japanese traditions and architectural shapes, she produced a strong and beautiful show, which not only managed to excite the international press, but aroused the interest of industry key players as well. The online site of French Vogue added her to their list of last year’s most influential fashion names, an accolade she still cannot come to terms with. “It was surreal for me and I felt like I didn’t deserve it,” Alexandra admits. “It’s an honour, of course,

but other people on that list have achieved much more than I have. I think it pushes you to prove yourself more.” Currently working on the 15 new outfits she will present during her comeback show at Hyères, she’s also busy with the launch of her eponymous womenswear brand. Researching a PhD on the relationship between fashion and architecture at the University of Antwerp has allowed her to get funding and teach students on a regular basis. She will also inject part of her ¤15.000 Hyères prize into the launch of her debut collection and has talked to banks, industry professionals and experienced insiders to find out about financing and production options. “People here always tell you not to start your own thing, but why shouldn’t I? I’ve already met quite a few manufacturers and will focus on my own label after Hyères. Manufacturing in Belgium is expensive, but there may be openings in France or Japan. I’m planning on presenting my first collection in Paris next October.” (PP) alexandraverschueren.com Visit thewordmagazine.be/radar/ theprodigy or scan the QR code on the right for a visual rundown of Alexandra’s Hyères collection and sketches.


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The fashion papers

© Yassin Serghini

Industry Talent Consume

Faguo: world dominance one tree at a time There’s something rather heart-warming about seeing a start-up coming-of-age, especially in the fast-paced and unforgiving world of fashion. If you’re anything like us and keep a close watch on the daily going-ons of the industry, you’ll agree that certain new arrivals somehow seem more astute than others at remaining at the top of the hype chain, with unconventional launches, meaningful communications strategies and, above all, strong products with distinctive brand attributes. Faguo, that unassuming shoe that seems to have popped out of nowhere, is one of those intriguing new arrivals. Launched in 2008 by Frenchmen Nicolas Rohr and Frédéric Mugnier as part of their end of year project, they make starting up in the notoriously fickle fashion industry sound easy. “We went to Beijing as part of our Erasmus exchange program, were taken aback with the entrepreneurial culture there and came back to France knowing we wanted to start our own company,” explains Nicolas. The pair already

being sneaker aficionados (“Not necessarily Air Force Ones but, rather, Fred Perrys and Feiyues”), the decision to move into sneakers was instinctive as well as contextual, China being sneaker kingdom. Back in France, they asked their professors if they could, instead of doing the classic internship in one of France’s major employers, work on the launch of their own brand; he accepted. “The most challenging part at the time was balancing our student life with launching a start-up,” continues Nicolas, who is quick to point to their inexperience in the field at the time. “Our philosophy was: lets design our little shoe, put in an order for 5,000 (the minimum quantity allowed) and see what happens.” It turns out that “what happened” is nothing short of spectacular. The pair decided to launch entirely through Facebook, creating a Faguo fan page (“The perfect tool to put us in touch with our network of friends from business school”), which racked up a mindboggling 5,000 fans in 15 days – and without even one pair of shoes having hit the shelves. True to form, Faguo was on everyone’s lips, with every self-respected hipster wondering (worrying, even) who would end up getting the first pair. With such preliminary buzz, it is no surprise that the brand’s first collection sold out in 12 days, whilst attracting the attention of key stockists. “We begged Kiliwatch (the avantgarde Parisian style boutique) to come visit us at one of our private sales,” Nicolas fondly remembers. “The buyer ended up coming, was

instantly seduced by the shoe and, the following Monday, Faguo was sold in their store.” The apparent ease with which Faguo manages to win the hearts and minds of its ever-growing fan base is essentially due to the brand’s essence, its spirit. Simply put, it ticks all the boxes as far as successfully launching a new product in today’s digitally-literate and well-informed consumption culture goes. Sustainable sensitivity? Check (for every Faguo bought, a tree is planted in either of three forests in France). Responsible approach? Check (reduction of CO2 emissions, transport by sea). Smart communications strategy? Check (witty use of social media platforms, reliance on non-traditional media). Transparency? Check (“Right from the start, we acknowledged our Made in China label”). Appealing design? Check (think the finesse of Tretorns, the comfort of Keds and the style of Jack Purcells). No wonder, then, that within four years, the company’s workforce grew from two to 10 (including a staff of two in China), and its turnover from 375,000 euros in 2009 to 700,000 euros in 2010, with the figure set to double in 2011. (NL) faguo-shoes.com


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© Veerle Frissen

The Fashion special

Jessie Lecompte: when structure meets style Step into the minimalistic white office and your eyes are immediately drawn to the large black and white mood boards. Three recurring themes stand out amongst the abundance of images: feathers, modern architecture and strong women. Meet Jessie Lecomte, winner of the 2010 Modo Brussels Award. That Jessie would grow to become a designer made no doubt. From age 14 to 24, she worked at a jewellery shop in Bruges, her hometown, where she created her own pieces. Studying jewellery design, however, wasn’t on her agenda. “Jewellery completes a silhouette. I always pay attention to accessories within my collections but for me, limiting myself to jewellery design wasn’t enough. I wanted to dress a woman from head to toe,” she firmly asserts. So it was off to Antwerp, where she graduated in 1996. Unlike other aspiring fashion designers who try to make it by settling down in Belgium’s

perennial fashion capital, Antwerp soon proved too small for her and she moved back to Brussels. “I love to get lost in the anonymity of a city like Brussels. In Antwerp, that’s impossible.” Brussels is her home base, the city in which she works and lives with husband Jean-Louis and daughter June. Nevertheless, the capital isn’t her primary source of inspiration. “Brussels is a great place to come home, to structure my thoughts and start the production of each collection. I usually get inspired during holidays and always carry a sketchbook with me. Nothing is more inspiring than drawing while gazing at a beautiful sunset or watching my four-year-old daughter play in the sand.” Her fondness for travels and exotic countries is most noticeable in her Un peu Pop collection, for which she reinvented Indian embroidery and mirror work fabrics. She also uses a lot of pleating in her work. “I love pleats. I use pleating to create new volumes. It’s very architectural but also very elegant.” Her graduate collection at Antwerp’s Royal Academy featured strong structures, something that is still noticeable in her current collections, yet in which she has also developed her own aesthetics. Having come of age during the golden years of brands such as Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto, she still admires their designs. Another long-standing passion of hers is modern architecture. On her wall of inspiration are pictures of le Corbusier alongside the organic shapes of Zaha Hadid, although her collections are far from futuristic. “I guess I

want to create new shapes with my creations, but I also want them to be timeless and elegant.” The woman who wears Jessie Lecomte is certainly artistic – perhaps a gallery owner or art collector. “She wants to feel special but not outrageous and she appreciates quality fabrics such as cashmere and silk.” As my eye wanders further on her mood boards, I spot pictures of three different women coming back: Grace Jones, Audrey Hepburn and Leigh Lezark. “I think they represent my collections very well. Grace has her own personal style and Audrey embodies pure elegance. Leigh is a contemporary style icon, I just love the way she dresses.” One last glance at her mood boards reveals her soft spot for birds. She loves their feathers and movements. Their presence is either obvious – feather prints on silk and large embroideries – or more subtle in patterns. “Maybe birds are metaphors for freedom. I love travelling and I want to do what I truly love to in life, and I guess that’s what I’m doing right now.” Next on her list: pursue the development of her brand and, hopefully someday, show her collections on the runways of the prestigious Paris Fashion Week. (SV) Jessie Lecomte collections are available from Glorybox (Brussels) and Alex Schrijvers (Antwerp). jessielecomte.com


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The insight Talent People

Walter & Dirk Walter Van Beirendonck and Dirk van Saene are a bit of an oddity in the fashion world. Think of them as the industry’s answer to Eddie and Patsy, Cagney and Lacey or Laurel and Hardy. Both men were part of the infamous Antwerp Six – which also included Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester – although their story began much earlier than that: the Belgian, bearded and bear-like designers have been partners for the past 33 years. We meet them on a cold winter afternoon in their Antwerp store. Writer Philippe Pourhashemi

Photographer Veerle Frissen


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The Fashion special

Walter is the flamboyant one: massive rings on each finger, a thick beard and a bright sweater. Dirk appears more discreet, slouching on his chair and with a preppier look. What unites both men is a deep-rooted creativity, a complicit sense of companionship and an ability to enjoy themselves. Their story reads like the ultimate telenovela, minus the expected drama, “We were really young when we met,” explains Walter. “We both came from outside of Antwerp and were here to study. I got into the Academy (Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts) to do fashion and Dirk started his degree while I was in my second year. I remember thinking about jewellery or architecture at that time, but it was seeing the graduates' fashion show that sealed the deal. You know, it's not something I got into when I was 12 years old, playing dress up with dolls in my room. No Barbies for me, please!” Despite his Big Jim-less childhood, little Walter was not into macho comics either, “A lot of people think I'm crazy about them when they look at my pieces, but that's not the case. I guess you can find traces of superheroes and other figures in my work, but it was never a fixation for me.” Van Beirendonck's clothes have an urban and direct appeal, which he has been working on and refining since the 80s. Colour, geometry, ease and utility are all part of his vocabulary. His clothes make you smile, but they also make you think. Making statements that are often political, social, sexual or cultural, his shows promote inclusiveness, as opposed to elitism. His decision to use bigger guys for several collections was seen as a clear reaction to the industry's limitations. “I think my clothes have always been very personal and my message hasn't really changed with time. I had used bears and larger guys in a previous show in 1996 and remember that it was quite a small scene then. When I did it again recently, I was taking a stance against anorexia and models that were too skinny. I just wanted to show another type of physique on the runway.” One could describe van Saene's fashion sense as more subdued and elegant. “I guess a lot of people talk about a Couture feel when they describe my clothes, and it's something I'm actually fine with. Deconstruction was all the rage in the mid-90s and what I was doing was so different... People thought I had lost it,” he jokes. “They couldn't understand what I was doing. It was just so out of context in a way, but also true to my own taste. I wanted to react against that movement and do exactly the opposite.” Van Saene hesitated between canvases and clothes before joining the Academy. He could perfectly live without fashion, “I don't really need fashion to feel creative. Walter does. I've developed a new passion for ceramics lately and am still learning about the craft. I've always loved the act of painting, too. You need a team when you're making clothes and there are so many external forces involved. I'd rather spend time alone and create what I want. Fashion is such a huge investment, both financially and emotionally. You see that with young designers now. There's hardly a chance to grow anymore. People expect you to be huge in three seasons only.” Although they never worked on a collection together, the pair opened WALTER in 1998, a

unique space located in the heart of Antwerp which stocked furniture as well as edgy fashion brands. During our conversation in the store, I can't help but wonder what it must be like for two designers to live together. Fashion being the “Cursed Land of Inflated Egos,” many would probably end up strangling each other. “It's a lot,” admits Walter. “Everything is doubled: deadlines, commitments, pressure. When we started our careers, we were in it 24/7, but now we're much better at taking a step back and separating things. I still take a lot of my work home, but it's different now. We never felt the need to compete with each other either. There was no reason to.” Dirk is very much involved in Walter's work, helping out with the shows, models and offering constructive feedback. “I do give my opinion, yes. I also work on the casting for his shows. We were invited to San Francisco last May to show his Spring Summer ‘10 collection and that was a lot of fun. There were many fans coming to the event and we felt very welcome. We're used to doing things like that together.”

They also can't help finishing each other's sentences, which is both sweet and amusing. The initial reserve I felt at the beginning of our chat slowly disappears and I'm enjoying being with them as times passes by. The store closes and it's time to say goodbye. When I ask Walter what he would do if he were not in fashion, he answers with his now customary cheek, “I've always loved animals, you know, so I could have worked in a zoo, or something to do with flowers. And porn, too… I would direct, of course.” But of course.

waltervanbeirendonck.com dirkvansaene.com Visit thewordmagazine.be/radar/ walteranddirk or scan the QR code on the right for catwalk images of Walter’s latest show.


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The round table Industry Debate Sustainable fashion Photography

Sustainable fashion : Believe the hype As hot and trendy as it may be, sustainable fashion remains a divisive subject. Eco-evangelists believe it's the only way forward, while others cannot help raise an eyebrow or two. We invited leading industry professionals and fashion insiders to Brussels to discuss the issues at stake. As we settled down in the cosy settings of the Amigo Hotel’s Blaton suite for the day, the six participants could not wait to get started. The coffee had barely been served that thoughts were already being exchanged and minds educated. Moderator Philippe Pourhashemi

Photographer Merel t’Hart


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The Fashion special

Ada Zanditon London-based designer dedicated to innovative ethical fashion. She set up her eponymous company in 2008 and presented her womenswear line for the first time at London Fashion Week in September 2009. Laurent Dombrowicz Fashion editor and consultant. he styles for various international publications, casts models for shows and talent scouts for companies. he lives and works in Paris, but hails from the Walloon city of Liège. Didier Vervaeren Artistic director of Modo Brussels, an association promoting the work of Brussels designers in Belgium and abroad. he also teaches accessory design at La Cambre and is a firm fixture of the local fashion scene. Left to right: Alexandra Lambert, Javier Barcala, Philippe Pourhashemi, Ada Zanditon, Sonja Noël and Didier Vervaeren

Sonja Noël Retail pioneer in Belgium and the owner of two designer stores in Brussels: Stijl and haleluja, her latest project focuses on high-end, luxury sustainable clothes. Javier Barcala Belgium-based art director, photographer and film-maker. his latest project, called “The Believers”, is dedicated to sustainable fashion and raising awareness across educational and industry circles. Alexandra Lambert Director of the Fashion/Design/Luxury Products department at the Foreign Trade Department of Brussels export. She’s also involved in the creation of a forthcoming Centre of Fashion and Design in Brussels.

Laurent Dombrowicz and Javier Barcala

Laurent — The problem I have with the word “organic” is that it is not perceived the same way in every country. Look at “organic cotton” for instance. How do you precisely define it? The same rules don't apply to this label everywhere, depending on the area where the fabrics are developed. Sonja — To me, “organic” means that no herbicides or pesticides were used to produce the yarns and this is something that is regulated and controlled. Ada — There are a lot of rules actually. Laurent — Still, the word “organic” is not protected by law the same way in every country. American regulations are therefore completely

different from Indian or European ones. Philippe — There are no real standards in place then, unlike the food industry where labels are clearly indicated. Laurent — Let’s say you have produced organic cotton and want to dye it. How do you do that sustainably? We know there are some colours that cannot be reproduced with vegetable dyes only. Sonja — That is something we know about and are working on. With Haleluja – my latest retail project in Brussels – I want to go much further than a bioshop and try to see how negative impact on the environment can actually be minimised.

Laurent — It’s not even the production that is the main problem. What do we do about the packaging and shipping of these garments? People should be informed about how these steps were carried out when they buy sustainable fashion. Sonja — I completely agree with you. We try to use our common sense when it comes to such issues. I'm not here to impose rules on anyone, this is not what I'm trying to do. I guess we should be rational and logical about it, trying to see how we can improve on each step gradually. Javier — I think it’s important to offer choice as well.


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Sonja — I agree. It’s also about education, raising designers' awareness on sustainability and how to create and produce garments that are kinder on our ecosystems. Alexandra — How do you choose the designers you sell? Sonja — It’s the result of a very long research. I spent quite a few years looking at new developments in the field and imagining what lines could sit well together. There's still a lot of work to be done, because there are not so many known designers offering high-quality, sustainable collections, but I'm sure existing labels will improve and grow, becoming better each year. Laurent — There are not many people doing these kinds of projects right now. You have great knowledge of the fashion industry and know what you are talking about, but there are not enough people like you at the moment. Ideally, you would have someone doing the same sort of thing in France, Italy, Japan or the US. I know similar projects have been done in Germany and Sweden before, but that's still not enough. Sonja — It has to grow and more shops should embrace that concept. The world can only change gradually and I believe in small – but significant – steps. This is about new beginnings and I've always worked that way. I guess it's an instinctive way of doing things. I'm not saying that the whole fashion world will become like that, but it's one approach I believe in. Ada — You can have a big, bloody revolution, but it doesn't necessarily improve anything. Systems change over longer periods of time and it’s something that gains momentum. That doesn't happen overnight. What annoys me sometimes about the design world is that people keep on telling you that everything has been done before, which is a terrible message to give. This is certainly an area where there is a lot to do. For me, it was a conscious choice and an innovative one. People like Katharine Hamnett have given several talks about such issues throughout their career and this has definitely inspired designers to investigate this approach. Companies like Junky Styling – which has been around for more than a decade now – have become cult and successful in London, selling to international stockists. As a designer, it's my intention to create something beautiful, and it's no longer beautiful if there are negative consequences attached to it. If I could choose a different path, I'm sure my life would be much easier, but, at the end of the day, what I create has to be aesthetically pleasing and fair at the same time. Laurent — My field of expertise is luxury and that is what I specialise in. When you look at luxury clients within emerging markets, such

The round table

Ada Zanditon

Alexandra Lambert and Javier Barcala

as South-East Asia, Saudi Arabia or Russia, they do not care about sustainability at all. These people are the ones keeping the luxury sector alive and they don't even think about the environment. Sonja — These clients will always be there, we know that, but I think luxury and ecology can go hand in hand. I don't see any contradictions there. Javier — It depends on the market you’re looking at. If you go to the UK, for instance, sustainable fashion is huge. There are more brands competing within that segment and a lot more options, too. I guess the challenge is to pick and choose the best designers within

that field. Consumers are confused in terms of image, because they often have this vision of sustainable fashion as bland and boring. Still, sustainability is a wider process that does not limit itself to clothes: food, design and architecture are also part of the same movement. Alexandra — It’s about having a certain lifestyle, like eating slow food or avoiding planes. People are bringing sustainability into their lives, depending on the level of awareness they have. Javier — It’s a lifestyle and a trend, too. Ada — I don’t want to fight against the system as a designer. It’s just not realistic for me. I’m not going to produce one single collection a year to advocate this idea of slow fashion.


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The Fashion special

Being able to match what the rest of the industry is doing – in terms of fabrics or production – is the most challenging part. What scares me the most is that this is a trend that may eventually fade. There are designers with this so-called ethical aesthetic who actually give the press an opportunity to put sustainable fashion into a box, isolated from everything else. Laurent — They give sustainable design the wrong image, too. It ends up having this cheap, boho look that nobody wants. Ada — That is precisely the problem. How can we expect the customer who has been exposed to that kind of fashion to actually understand and appreciate what we are doing? You cannot go to one of these big companies that promotes this look and ask them to evolve their design style. Sonja — Sustainable clothes have to be desirable products, otherwise there’s no point selling them. My role is to bring that sustainable message into the luxury segment, which is the hardest aspect. There's nothing such as overnight success in fashion. You have to be patient and grow your business slowly. Philippe — Why do you think the UK has been so instrumental in promoting and developing sustainable fashion? Ada — I live in London and there have been several initiatives supporting it in the city, such as Estethica for instance, which was created five years ago and funded by the British Fashion Council. These projects have focused on creating a specific area for sustainable fashion, based on principles of fair-trade and ethical practices. London Fashion Week reacted on that creative movement quickly, which was a smart move. Sonja — At London College of Fashion, you can actually do a Master's in Fashion and the Environment. In fact, they have a proper Centre for Sustainable Fashion, too. This is currently not an educational option in Belgium. Schools here don’t even know about this. Didier — I teach accessory design at La Cambre and guess this is something that is not part of our culture. I find it interesting though. To be honest, it's all very new for me and I don't know that much about the subject. If you want to inform and teach students, you need to know exactly what you're talking about. It's a tricky area, too. Ada — I also think high technology can play an important part in developing sustainable fashion. The problem I face as a small designer is mainly availability. It's hard for me to get hold of these newly developed materials, even though there are incredible recycled materials out. The problem is that they are not used in fashion, but in different industries. What we have at the moment is a gap between amazing technological advances in textile design and the availability of it to designers who are supposed

Sonja Noël

Laurent Dombrowicz

to benefit from that progress. I really hope we can find solutions in the near future to make the use of such fabrics easier for people like me.

Didier Vervaeren and Alexandra Lambert Ada Zanditon adaz.co.uk Laurent Dombrowicz laurentdombrowicz.com Javier Barcala lafortunaknows.com Modo Brussels modobrussels.be Brussels Export bruxelles-export.be Hotel Amigo hotelamigo.com Haleluja haleluja.be With special thanks to Nadine Neuckens at the Hotel Amigo for her help in welcoming our guests in style. Visit thewordmagazine.be/radar/ sustainablefashionhype or scan the QR code on the right for a video edit as well as more images of the round table.


74

The special showstoppers Consume We love

The wish list From underwear to accessories, our selection of fashion showstoppers are as timeless as they are light-hearted. Photographer Ismaël Moumin

With thanks to Françoise Salinger

01. penny for your style

Belgian-born Diane von Furstenberg knows women. Her upbeat energy, passion for life and positive attitude shape her work. She likes to empower her customers and caters to her desires and aspirations. With talented Frenchman Yvan Mispelaere now at the helm as creative director, new blood keeps flowing through the house's many lines. This fresh direction stands out in DvF's accessories, including her gorgeous handbags that are stylish, yet remain functional. This season, the Penny is a must-have. With its jazzy colours, roomy size, soft feel and playful pattern, it puts a cheeky smile on our sun-starved faces. (PP) Penny leather bag by DvF (¤1,100). Available from Diane von Furstenberg (Brussels and Antwerp). dvf.com


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The Fashion special

02. inside out

Rarely seen on the outside, let alone regarded as an object of aesthetic value, artificial pacemakers have been saving lives since the late 50s. It should come as no surprise that with a cardiologist father and years spent working in a morgue during his architecture studies, young jewellery maker Michael Guérisse O’Leary would become fascinated with these simple yet vital medical devices. Diverting it from its conventional use, he turns these recycled sterling silver and titanium lifesavers into brooches. Limited to a five-edition run, each Pulse Generator is as precious and unique as the organ they once served. Pulse Generator brooch by Michael Guérisse O’Leary and Philippe Humbeeck (price upon request). oleary.be

03. Lady and the tramp

The name may be misleading, but Lady Violette is underwear for guys. Don't expect scary fishnet or see-through lycra. The recently graduated AnneJulie Wesel introduces her line this season, which is made out of soft bamboo cotton. Inspired by old-school styles – such as kangaroo briefs, fitted tank tops and contrasting trims – her vision of men’s undies is both playful and ironic. Choosing traditional toile de Jouy motifs depicting erotic scenes from Belgian artist Felicien Rops’ etchings as her only print, this first collection combines textile tradition with a sense of playful refinement. And with fabric this smooth, don’t be surprised if your very own Lady suddenly nicks your favourite pieces from your drawer. (PP) Lady Violette underwear (between ¤45 and ¤50). Available from Blender (Brussels). ladyviolette.be

04. and chauncey created womanswear

It’s no secret we have a soft spot for Brusselsbased knitwear brand Chauncey. Their minimalist yet stylish designs, backed by impeccable craftsmanship and top-notch quality yarn, carry everything one could ever dream of from a jumper. Our only damper came from the fact that Nathalie Bouhana’s designs catered to an exclusively male clientele so far. Imagine our joy, then, to find out that she has decided to expand to womanswear for this spring. The line sees navy polo’s, cute Bermuda shorts, classic cardi’s and, our personal favourite, a gorgeous knit dress that comes in black and grey – sturdy in appearance yet subtle in feel. Knitted linen and cotton dress by Chauncey (¤365). Available from Mapp (Brussels). chauncey.be


76

The shelf Arts Photography Nostalgia

The scarlet letter After spending the better part of winter buried in horror fiction, pulp magazines and crime novels, these childhood classics, monumental monographs and stunning photography volumes sure are a welcome alternative. Photographer 354 Photographers

bankrupt (2004) by Phillip Toledano Twin Palms Publishers

gang Leader for a day (2008) by Sudhir Venkatesh Allen Lane

Bankrupt presents no foreword nor summary, its subject matter being quite self-explanatory. A handful of anonymous termination emails are featured as the only textual elements, alluding to the sense of incomprehension or disbelief their recipients might have felt upon first read. New York-based photographer Phillip Toledano started taking pictures of recently abandoned offices in 2001, documenting what he referred to as “economic archaeology”. The oversized dimensions of the book and Toledano’s large-scale prints emphasise the desolate character of these vacant offices. Page after page, we are faced with empty drawers, dying plants, the mess and chaos of desks that have been hastily abandoned, piled boxes, coatless hangers, lifeless rooms, ending with its most moving and ironic image: a cleared desk above which a blue sticker on the wall reads “We’re all in this together”.

When American sociology student Sudhir Venkatesh infiltrated a gang to gain an in depth understanding of urban poverty in early 90s Chicago, he certainly had no clue of how far it would take him and how drawn he would become to the subjects of his interests. Spending nearly a decade in the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, one of the worst ghettos in America, he quickly found himself in the midst of a crack dealing crime ring. Recounting his trials and tribulations with an unexpected candour, this book tells the tale of a curious young man that ended up getting far more than he had bargained for.

anish Kapoor (2009) by David Anfam Phaidon

From its beautiful and rich cover reminiscent of the textures of his wax works to the colour pictures that capture the intensity of pigment sculptures, this book – prefaced by art historian David Anfam – is a useful resource for understanding Anish Kapoor’s highly rated oeuvre. Famed for his larger-than-life pieces that involve trompe l’oeil and site-specific installations, the British sculptor has rapidly become one of the most respected artists of his generation. With hundreds of images ranging from reproductions of his work, photographs of Kapoor in his workshop, as well as sketches from his most ambitious projects, this weighty volume certainly lives up to its promise of being the most comprehensive monograph ever published on the artist.

urban interventions: personal projects in public places (2010) by Robert Klanten Gestalten

Part street art, part agitprop, urban interventions have become a permanent feature of cities’ landscapes in recent years, gaining both in notoriety and interest. Whether artists, that chose to make use of public spaces for creative expressions, or activists, who go to the street to spread political messages, both use the city as their personal drawing board. The results are often amusing, and whether political or simply aesthetic, always thought provoking. This book showcases the projects of over 70 individuals and collectives, who operate throughout Europe and America, taking art out of white cubes and into the agora.

The red balloon (1956) by Albert Lamorisse Doubleday

Based on the French movie of the same name, The Red Balloon tells the story of little Pascal, a lonely only child whose vivid imagination leads him to befriend a large helium filled red balloon which he manages to tame and turns into an obedient pet. The pair embark on a series of adventures through the streets of Paris, until a gang of jealous schoolmates “burst his bubble” by throwing rocks in its direction. The minimal amount of colour stands out amongst the beautiful black and white photographs taken during the filming of this 1956 children’s classic. As heart-warming as it is poignant, this naive tale will bring out your inner child, a few smiles and possibly even tears.

Visit thewordmagazine.be/dribbles/ thescarletletter or scan the QR code on the right for more photographs of the books as well as Amazon purchase links.


Culture

ďƒ• from left, clockwise

Urban Interventions (Gestalten), Gang Leader for a Day (Allen Lane), Bankrupt (Twin Palms Publishers), Anish Kapoor (Phaidon) and The Red Balloon (Doubleday)

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78

The pencil Arts

Spot me if you can Our favourite childhood brainteaser seemed almost too easy. Spot the red stripes and Wally was yours. Get rid of the attention grabbing red and it’s a whole different game. Just in case you were wondering, he really is in there. We promise. Illustrator Brecht Vandenbroucke


Culture

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The view Photography Heritage

Brick by brick Typical of the 60s, and deeply rooted in Flemish culture, these red brick houses were made popular by several uninspired construction firms. Some look like they have a cold, or probably drank too much. And even though most Belgians loathe their peculiar style, or lack thereof, there’s something strangely human, endearing even, about these residences. Photographer Ulrike Biets

41 Sevensstraat, 3640 Kinrooi, Limburg


Culture

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The view

47 Roosterbergstraat 47, 3680 Maaseik, Limburg

14 Asterstraat, 3660 Opglabbeek, Limburg


Culture

16 Asterstraat, 3660 Opglabbeek, Limburg

47 Steenberg, Scherpenheuvel-Zichem, 3460 Bekkevoort, Flemish Brabant

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The view


Culture

35 Groenstraat, 3670 Meeuwen-Gruitrode, Limburg

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The view

45 Steenberg, Scherpenheuvel-Zichem, 3460 Bekkevoort, Flemish Brabant

119 Ophovenstraat, 3670 Meeuwen-Gruitrode, Plokrooi, Limburg


Culture

77 Ophovenstraat, 3670 Meeuwen-Gruitrode, Plokrooi, Limburg

74 Muisvenstraat, 3670 Meeuwen-Gruitrode, Limburg

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The portfolio Photography Talent We love

Lip reading Agatha Christie with a Lynchesque twist. Part crime story, part lipstick trail. Photographers Memymom


Culture

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The portfolio


Culture

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The portfolio


Culture

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The advertisers Consume We love

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Round-up

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96

The stockists Consume We love

Alex Schrijvers (for Jessie Lecomte)

Everdijstraat 8 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 479 71 21 02 alexschrijvers.com

DvF Antwerp

Steenhouwersvest 44 2000 Antwerp +32 (0) 3 213 14 24 dvf.com

Icon (for Thierry Lasry)

Place du Nouveau Marché aux Grains 5 Nieuwe Graanmarkt 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 502 71 51 icon-shop.be

elvis Pompilio Ancienne Belgique

Boulevard Anspachlaan 110 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 548 24 00 abconcerts.be

Rue Lebeaustraat 67 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 512 85 88 elvispompilio.com

Rue des Chartreux 11 Kartuizerstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 502 89 53 bellerose.be

Blender (for Lady Violette)

Rue des Chartreux 18 Kartuizerstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 503 61 83 ladyviolette.be

Botanique

Rue Royale 236 Koningstraat 1210 Brussels +32 (0) 2 218 37 32 botanique.be

Rue Jean Stasstraat 15 1060 Brussels +32 (0) 2 539 19 68 eresparis.com

ermenegildo Zegna

Boulevard de Waterloolaan 30 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 511 41 57 zegna.com

Christophe Coppens

Rue Léon Lepagestraat 2 1000 Brussels + 32 (0) 2 512 77 97 christophecoppens.com

h&M Brussels

Rue Neuve 80 Nieuwstraat 1000 Brussels + 32 (0) 2 219 03 40

h&M Antwerp

Meir 87-89 2000 Antwerp + 32 (0) 3 224 10 00 hm.com/be

hackett

Boulevard de Waterloolaan 16 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 502 73 24 hackett.com

haleluja (for Ada Zanditon)

Place du Nouveau Marché aux Grains 6 Nieuwe Graanmarkt 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 513 42 50 haleluja.be

hermès Brusels Cirque Royal

Rue de l’Enseignement 81 Onderrichtsstraat 1000 Brussels +32 (0) 2 218 20 15 cirque-royal.org

Cook & Book

Place du Temps Libre 1 Vrijetijdsplein 1200 Brussels +32 (0) 2 761 26 00 cookandbook.be

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hermès Antwerp

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DvF Brussels

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Sony Center Brussels

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Sony Center Antwerp

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Trix

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Leonard

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Velvet Café

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Magasin 4

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VK

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Maison Martin Margiela

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Mapp (for Chauncey)

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What’s next Play The team

A new edition, a new colour. yeLLoW. Reliving our acid years. Stand up comedy heroes. Gold reserves. Laughing therapies. The next generation of bright little things. Those ubiquitous yellow bags you see everyone carrying in London. Short of putting a smile on your face, the yeLLoW album will shine a new light on your neighbourhoods. Something of a ray of sunshine on paper. A bright sunny day.

The Word’s yeLLoW Album ( + The Photography Special )

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Out on 20th May 2011


Hotel Amigo offers you a special package : the “Art Amigo” Illustrated catalogues of the pick of current Brussels exhibitions await you in your room, together with an entry ticket. For more information please contact +32 2 547 47 07

The art of simple luxury Hotel Amigo Brussels

Rocco Forte & Family Brussels S.A. • Member of the Leading Hotels of the World Rue de l’Amigo 1-3 • B-1000 Brussels Tel. : +32 2 547 47 47 • Fax : +32 2 513 52 77 enquiries.amigo@roccofortecollection.com www.roccofortecollection.com


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The red album  

Neighbourhood: Seeing red Life: Rosy cheeks Style: Fireworks Music: Ruby rockers Culture Brick city The Fashion Special

The red album  

Neighbourhood: Seeing red Life: Rosy cheeks Style: Fireworks Music: Ruby rockers Culture Brick city The Fashion Special

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