There is silence on the part of Kristof Buntinx, the Brussels-based fashion designer who is known for his current, edgy and controversial designs. A silence that one can only assume is the proverbial calm before the storm, more particularly a musical whirlwind referred to as “The Singing Fashion Designer”.
Singing is something Buntinx excels at! His musical heroes past and present include Nat King Cole, Roxette, Sinead O’Connor, the Righteous Brothers, Sam Smith and Ellie Golding. Music has been part of Buntinx’ life for a long time. “I come from a musical family,” he states. “My father directed the church choir and I sang in his choir together with my mother.”
Urge to design
Singing continued to intrigue and heal Buntinx even later; “music therapy gave meaning to my stay in Kortenberg so that I continued to pursue music even after that dark period.” He even took extra lessons, with David Davidse, among others. “Just like designing to me music is a process that has a healing as well as a tonic effect,” according to the singing designer. “I suffer from some kind of urge to creat, which forces me to stay active.” “Quite a few singers branch out into fashion – just think of Jessica Simpson who makes millions with her fashion brand – I just do it the other way around.”
Today Buntinx primarily associates musically with the director of the VUB choir, Goedele Van Kerkhoven and producer Joël Grignard (Rubens Studio). The latter has already produced two songs for The Singing Fashion Designer and together they hope to be able to produce a complete album, which will be made up of original numbers of which ten have already been penned by Buntinx. “Just like designing, writing songs is something quite natural to me, it feels more like a creative process or the channelling of something or someone, than something to which I contribute myself.” For example, he wrote his first number, ‘Where are you now’ (without question mark) in 30 minutes. That first single and the matching cinematographically inspired video, will be presented to the public on 11 September, through the world’s first mobile record company amuse.
Where are you now
The release date is no coincidence as Buntinx drew inspiration for“Where are you now” from the events of 9/11, the day on which, in his own words, he lost his innocence and discovered fear and hate. It is this very loss that he sings about in an allegorical story about a lost love, one you only realise was true love when it is too late. “With this number I wanted to stress the feeling that the world will never be the same,” says the singer.
Sadly that feeling is now relevant more than ever, even in Europe. Yet his first single is above all a song that aims to offer solace, according to Buntinx.
Those who look forward to finding that solace in a live performance by The Singing Fashion Designer, will have to wait. “For the time being I want to focus on writing songs, live appearances is something I still find daunting.” Perhaps Buntinx will make an exception for a TV appearance or a show in a “cosy, smoky jazz club” – even if we have to make do without the smoke these days. “It is primarily the setting that is important to me, if it is OK, maybe I can be persuaded” (smiles).
More about Kristof Buntinx, The Singing Fashion Designer, can be found on his social media accounts.