Kristof Buntinx designed this calendar as a statement and in response to the condemnation of homosexuality by President Putin's Russian regime. Many people throughout the world, both within and outside LGB movements, rightfully reacted with indignation to this hard-line approach.
The Belgian designer Kristof Buntinx for his part, came up with this idea of boxer shorts as a whimsical but no less explicit answer. He contacted four fashion models and asked them to show his designs during a fashion shoot. As a motif for the boxer-shorts he opted for traditional Russian and Soviet symbols, such as hammer and sickle, matryoshka dolls, the Kremlin, etc. He asked the models to unequivocally refer to homosexuality by hugging or holding each other.
Top photographer Herman van Gestel got everything on film at the Brussels Dominican Hotel. With a big thank you to make-up artists Caro Line and Lili Glavan. And of course the handsome lads: Dylan Nahooy, Mathieu Lernon, Louis Tichelaar and Sebasteaan van Arnhem.
The launch party at the luxury The Dominican Hotel, 9 Rue Leopold in 1000 Brussels (street behind the Muntpunt) was held on Saturday evening, 28 September 2013.
7.30 PM: Reception
8 PM: Dinner*
9.30 PM: Uber cool band Piment
10.30 PM: Presentation of calendar
11 PM: Arno & The Main Act (Arno Sintobin)
1 AM: Conclusion (due to liquor licence until 1 AM)
Big thanks to the bands Piment and Arno & The Main Act!
I am often on Facebook, as are virtually all young people and I was struck by the short films on the Internet of pestered and hassled young gays in Russia. At first I did not find it so serious that Putin is against homosexuals. That is everyone’s choice. I too do not want to love everyone. I decide for myself what my preferences are and with whom I want to hang around. But on seeing these films I felt sickened and I was disgusted. It is too much. If you do not like the fact that I am homosexual, I can learn to live with it. But to humiliate, attack and torture people is really going too far. I myself was always pestered and hit as a child at school. First as the young son of the teacher and after that because I was the queer of the class, I was the stereotype of a soft gay teenager. I had a barren youth as a result. There were however some people who sided with me and I still know who those people were and I am thankful for it.
Hence this campaign.
I myself have set to work with my graphic designer and I have made 17 patterns of Russian symbols and motifs for the creation of a collection of boxer shorts.
Together with leading photographer Herman Van Gestel, on Friday we held a photoshoot of young people who responded to the call that I placed on Facebook groups for models. The models therefore work on this for free because they think it is such a good idea. In particular in order to make Russian Gay Propaganda. I like the Russian look and have thus above all chosen muscular gymnast models with blond-brown hair.
The intention is to make a Russian Gay Calendar with the photos. To be available in Russian. As well as in English and Dutch. There will be a launch party for it on Saturday 28 September 2013 at The Dominican Hotel, hopefully in collaboration with the homosexual, lesbian and bisexual federation Cavaria, in Brussels, the capital of free Europe and also now the city in which I live.
I like nice images, beauty, masculine beauty.
And I want to show this with the calendar. That it is so beautiful.
The campaign is actually called "To Russia with Love".
You can order the boxer shorts here. And the Calendar with the photos will thus be made available to the public in September. It will be available in Russian, English, Spanish, Dutch, French and German.
My chances on the Russian market have thus passed me by, and I hear that things were going so well there. People are so rich that they buy T-shirts costing 400 euros, etc. Things are going well there for the many millionaires. But anyway, if I cannot be who I am there, I would rather stay out of it.
The boxer shorts are designed in Belgium. They are a mixture of French-speaking and Dutch-speaking craftspeople and workshops. There is also 1 French-speaking model involved. The photographer is a Dutchman.
I love collaborations and synergies.
The Russian Pike Fish and the Moose are references to the hunting adventures of Putin for which he is so happy to receive the attention of the media.
It is truly a quiet revolution. Just imagine that you live in Russia where you cannot be gay, but under your clothing you are still able to wear a pair of protest shorts. Is that not a nice thought?
Available in S, M, L, XL and XXL. They are spacious. I like to have a little breathing space ;-)
Back in ancient times the use of coins as jewellery was commonplace. Coins are daily implements exchanged by everyone. To Kristof Buntinx, creating a piece of jewellery from a coin boils down to elevating an object to the dignity of a work of art (see the definition of the sublimation process in the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan). Kristof Buntinx designed his creations for a woman as evidence of her relationship with the royal family. To him the portrait of the King, the reference to Europe and the fact that it involves money, provide the added value to his creation. In these times of economic crisis, in which everyone complains about loss, this veiled reference brings about a re-evaluation.
The retro looking neckties, with nonchalant Italian knot, are digitally printed following his design on polyester and the scarves on Oriental silk.
In his creations, Kristof Buntinx delights in starting out from plays on words: see his Der-Die-Das ('Der-Die-Tie' - 'Das' being both a German word and a Dutch word for 'tie'), 'rope tie' ('strop' can mean 'rope' in Dutch and 'stropdas' is a word for 'tie'), and the necktie with the picture of the animal printed on it.
Fashion and language theory (Ferdinand de Saussure) go hand in hand in his work.
For his scarves, he takes his own drawings as the starting point, alluding to the homophony between 'foulard' (the Dutch word for 'scarf' and 'fou l’art', meaning 'mad about art').
Here model Arno Sintobin wears the neckties, photographed by Gaëtan Chekaiban.
De retro ogende dassen, met nonchalante Italiaanse knoop, worden naar zijn ontwerp digitaal gedrukt op polyester en de foulards op Oosterse zijde.
Kristof Buntinx vertrekt in zijn creaties graag van woordspelingen: zie zijn Der-Die-Das, zijn stropdas, of de das met als print de afbeelding van het diertje.
Mode en taaltheorie (Ferdinand de Saussure) gaan hand in hand in zijn oeuvre.
Voor zijn foulards neemt hij eigen tekeningen als uitgangspunt, zinspelend op de gelijkluidendheid foulard/fou l’art.
Het model Arno Sintobin draagt hier de dassen, gefotografeerd door Gaëtan Chekaiban.
Les cravates au look rétro, au nœud de cravate italien nonchalant, font l’objet d’une impression numérique sur le polyester d’après ses dessins. Les foulards sont imprimés sur de la soie orientale.
Dans ses créations, Kristof Buntinx aime prendre pour point de départ des jeux de mots : Der-Die-Das (les articles définis allemands, « das » signifiant également « cravate » en néerlandais, sa « stropdas » (littéralement « cravate corde » en néerlandais), ou la cravate sur laquelle est imprimée l’illustration d’un blaireau (qui se dit également « das » en néerlandais).
Mode et théorie linguistique (Ferdinand de Saussure) vont de pair dans son œuvre.
Pour ses foulards, il prend pour point de départ ses propres dessins, en faisant allusion à la consonance du mot foulard avec « fou l’art », l’art fou.
Le modèle Arno Sintobin porte ici les cravates, photographiées par Gaëtan Chekaiban.
During her presentation for the finals of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth competition, this year for piano, Marlène de Wouters wore three dresses designed by young Belgian fashion designer Kristof Buntinx.
This involved a black dress with draped back and three quarter sleeves in satin mousseline and crepe silk, held together by a leather ribbon and an identical ivory coloured dress in silk satin, with fabric ribbon. On the last evening Marlène shone in a long dress with plunging shoulders in lilac silk satin and two-coloured embroidered silk tulle.
She was visibly pleased about the creative synergy between her and Kristof.
Photos taken by Gaëtan Chekaiban, a photographer with a good eye.