Fashion designer Kristof Buntinx holds photoshoot in gay sauna.

Designer Kristof Buntinx has always had the gift of surrounding himself with the right people and photographer Tysje Severens is no exception to this rule. Together the young photographer and the Brussels designer put the spotlight on a few showpieces in Buntinx’ latest collections. They did so in a location that, in turn, is getting a lick of paint (and a total revamp) as we speak; gay sauna Oasis in the heart of Brussels. A venue that Buntinx describes both aptly and affectionately as “a gentlemen’s club with a tea towel”.

Whoever – in line with Kristof Buntinx’ boxer shorts collections – expects a photoshoot with oiled-up manly nakedness, will have to overcome their disappointment as this time Kristof takes on the role of the model. “As a fan and a regular at Oasis, it felt right to do it myself,” he states. In addition, this should turn into a portrait series, rather than the umpteenth photoshoot, an artistic approach that will find a perfect partner in crime in the renovated complex, which will reopen its doors on 4 November. 

A preview of the revamped restaurant combined with two of Buntinx’ most exclusive designs, a rucksack in the shape of a cross in quality leather and a sisal halo. The designer is no stranger to direct references to religion and both allusions are contrasted with the venue’s erotically loaded details.

Kristof Buntinx The Son of God

Another link to the Catholic faith is the belt with the fig leaf, which Buntinx created recently. “by denying something, in this case man’s nakedness, you sometimes put an extra spotlight on it,” the designer explains. The play between (near) nakedness and shame is given an extra dimension here due to the dialogue with the sauna complex.

 (Photo with fig leaf)

 

The other designs in the photo series, such as the green trousers with overlapping X’s, the “I’m a little chick” jumper and the hand-made AIDS scarf continue this conversation with the location.

 (Photo with Little Chick jumper)

 

This hidden meaning forms an integral part of Buntinx’ work as a designer. With this series, the stylist aims to paint an honest, artistic and somewhat elitist portrait of himself and his body of work, albeit with a typical Flemish twist. “Ready for print in Flemish magazines,” Buntinx winks.

(Photo with image of the Rape of the Sabine Virgins)

In the meantime, you can get your extra dose of Kristof Buntinx in the Galerie Toison d’Or, where the designer exhibits a number of his most avant-garde pieces until 15 November.