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On launching The Word Radio, an online community radio for Belgium
A few words from our editor-in-chief Nicholas Lewis on the launch, next Friday 1st December, of The Word Radio.
Why Belgium needs to look closer to home before pointing fingers.
With the country's seeming unwillingness to tackle its own fundamental failings head on, its ability to hold a moral compass up to its international partners stands diminished.
Save the D.A.T.E
In its ever growing quest to cement its reputation as an all-round creative force, the city of Antwerp, is putting on the second edition of D.A.T.E.
Seven things you should buy before you leave
We’re keeping both him and her happy with this month’s showstoppers selection. We have the iconic bag, shoes and polo shirt, the future-friendly dresses, the obligatory pair of high tops, the jacket to go with them as well as the scent of the moment.
We know what you’re thinking. This girl looks like trouble. But this little sight of beauty knows exactly what she’s doing and where she’s going. Have a look at our grey album's fashion series, shot by Antwerp-based photographer Alex Salinas.
By 2020, 40 percent of the Belgian population will be over 50. They will want to have fun, travel, and stay healthy and mobile in their own (renovated) homes. These four professionals understand that seniors will soon rule the world.
Reeling in the years
Martin Scorsese called it one of the most important film collections in the world: We profile Belgium's Royal Film Archive.
Dirty pretty things
We profile those shoe scraper thingymajiggies that the posh of yore used to stop dragging horse shit through the parlour.
We sat down with Belgian electro-pop four-piece Pale Grey to talk about their first EP, color-driven inspirations and being part of the JauneOrange Collective.
Photographers…and everyone around them
Photographers need a whole team of specialists behind them, from framers and printers to airbrushers. In a bid to shine a light on those professions essential to the photographic process, we profile four of these artisans.
We sat down with Marc Gysemans to talk about his collaboration with industry darling Raf Simons and his profession as a producer in general.
Belgium is an obligatory pit stop on most truckers’ itineraries. Here, we hitch a ride with some of the local boys, capturing the loneliness that comes with having chosen life on the road.
Bozar’s summer of photography
Bozar’s bi-annual platform for international photography kicked off last week, uniting over 30 museums and other cultural organisations in a two month-long programme. We selected four shows to be pencilled into your agendas.
We sat down with William from Leuven-based Uphigh Collective to talk about their latest projects, the challenges of performing analogue and hip hop influences.
Welcome to the jungle
We invited a number of fashion experts including American style icon Diane Pernet to discuss the industry and what it takes for young designers to make it.
Dalai Lama Renaissance
We sat down with Belgian three-piece Dalai Lama Renaissance to talk about their upcoming album, running their own label and remaining cryptic.
Collaborate. Cooperate. Consume
Economic models based on sharing, swapping, bartering, and collective buying are outstripping outdated modes of shopping. We spoke to five alternative economisers, collaborative consumers and collective shoppers.
We spoke with Canadian-born sci-pop siren Claire Boucher (24), otherwise known as Grimes, about her latest record ‘Visions’, getting anointed by Pitchfork and being a girl in the music business.
A brave new world
Upcoming Brussels-based photographer Ismael Moumin shot the orange album's fashion series for us, futuristic, dark and somewhat dystopian.
The biting flames of a fire often conjure images of a nightmarish hell-threatening, destructive and deadly. But fire can also be celebratory, life-affirming and cosy (you know, the snap-crackle-and-pop type of cosiness). Here, we explore both sides of the coin
Destined to shine
Our pick of orange show-stopping goodies, from a Burberry trench to Kenzo's latest perfume.
The best start-ups in Belgium
Handpicked by our in-house team of editors, designers and web developers, we select the most promising Belgian technology start-ups of the year.
A 250-strong collection of snow globes that first came to our attention for our white album and, due to popular demand, even made it to our white album release party.
Rue Blanche is not only known as a purveyor of softness for everyday women but also for its outstanding look books. We dived a bit into history and had a closer look at its catalogues of the last 25 years.
Facing the blank canvas: Vadim Vosters
"It is not the moment one stands before a new canvas that I start thinking about what to paint; when I order the canvas I already know what to do with it", says Belgian artist Vadim Vosters.
The interview: White Russia
Having just released the debut LP O Jerusalem singer/songwriter Maria Elderton from London two-piece White Russia speaks to us about apathetic bands and wanting to be Axl Rose.
The interview: White Car
We speak to Elon Katz from upcoming Chicago two-piece White Car about his slew of side projects, Chinese underground music and painting a house white.
Facing the blank canvas: Rinus Van de Velde
In the third instalment of our series discussing the challenges for artists in facing a blank canvas, we speak with Belgian artist Rinus Van De Velde, who currently is exhibiting in Berlin.
Why is it that 'white' neighbourhoods aren't as clearly defined in the human consciousness as, say, 'Black' or 'Asian' neighbourhoods? We've looked into the matter and stumbled across countless organic food shops and a lot of dog poop.
Facing the blank canvas: Matthew Crasner
In part two of our series on the relationship between artists and the blank canvas we talk to Brussels-based artist Matthew Crasner.
The Royal Tennis Club of Belgium
For 33 years now Gilbert Elseneer and his wife have run the Royal Tennis Club of Belgium in Brussels, a somewhat antiquated but lovingly kept tennis club where members' attire must be at least 80% white.
The interview: Girls
We speak with Girls frontman Christopher Owens about white sneaker fetishes, running a business and singing “Stille nacht” to sailors at Christmas time in Antwerp’s docks.
Facing the blank canvas: Manor Grunewald
Five emerging Belgian artists talk to us about what it feels like to stare a blank canvas in the eye. First up, Ghent-based painter Manor Grunewald (26), featured on our white album's cover.
The white album release party photographs
A giant blank canvas, magazines dangling from the ceiling and a 100 piece strong collection of snow globes: Photographs of last Friday's release party.
The big blue: aquarium addict Jan Jacobs
We continue our series on Belgium's aquarium diehards with Jan Jacobs who calls a hermit lobster and mating clownfish his own.
The big blue: aquarium addict Erik Lievens
In part three of our series on Belgium's biggest fishbowl fans, we bring you Erik Lievens...
The big blue: aquarium addict Steven van Aeldeweereld
Part two of our series on Belgium's aquarium diehards: Meet Steven van Aeldeweereld who calls more than 30 fish from Lake Malawi his own.
The blue album release party photographs
Photographs from last Friday's release party, hosted in Brussels by gallery A St Medard to celebrate the release of our latest edition, the blue album. Crowds of beautiful people, rooms full of laughter and striking art installations.
Rise and shine: Photographer Julie Calbert
The photography of young, up-and-coming Brussels-based photographer Julie Calbert (25) are marked by their mystification of the ordinary. Dive into the haunting, dreamlike world of this promising artist on the rise.
The yellow album in Colette, Paris
Dear Parisian friends and Belgians living in Paris, our yellow album has just landed in Colette. A mere three boxes of it were sent to the taste-maker’s emporium, so hurry and make sure to get yours. The magazine has been known to be out-of-stock in less than three days, so when you get there and […]
The yellow board
You might have noticed that we’ve taken to immortalising some of the things that inspire us whilst working on any given issue. Some are obvious hits, whilst others deserve an explanation. We call these pages our boards. The black album had its blackboard. The red album had its red board (although readers with an eye […]
The yellow album release party pics
Brussels turned out to be a ball. A block party, really. Amazing turn out, great crowd and the music. Ah the music. William from Uphigh held it down like a true don, giving us a mix of laidback grooves and bass-thumbing tunes. Then JustNathan turned it up a notch come 22h00, until Brussels’ finest decided […]
Video: the yellow album’s fashion story
You hopefully would have seen our yellow album by now. Here’s a short video we made the day we shot our fashion feature. Thanks to Piwifilms.
Extending the black album’s reach
Inspired by the black album, film maker Gaetan Saint-Remy and photographer Nicolas Kengen produced a men’s fashion series that we’ve taken somewhat of a liking to. With the impulse of stylist Aylen Torres and of set designer Magalie Denoue, the video blends cinematic and photographic sensitivities to create a sensuous, sometimes even tenuous, dynamic. Suicide’s Ghost Rider […]
The joker has landed – An interview with Drums of Death
Ceratin artists sometimes seem to drop a bomb on you out of nowhere. You kind of had heard their name somewhere before, but couldnt quite place it. You know they aren’t exactly newcomers to the game, but they aren’t old-timers neither. It’s that certain breed of on-the-cusp of breaking-through artists. Some seem to be eternally […]
Less is a bore
Minimalism equals good taste. For nearly a century, such was the design credo of the Western world. But let’s face it: the world has changed a great deal since. Writer Anneke Bokern Suddenly, countries that never had much of an influence on the international design scene are developing into major markets. “People here want golden faucets”, […]
Goods from the Gulag
Just when we thought we finally had found an excuse to call in caviar by the kilos and crates-full of vodka to brighten up our days, we settled for nostalgia over flamboyance. Frugal meals and geeky memories prevailed, which didn’t stop us from messing about with KGB worthy spy gear or Tsar-like ornaments. Photography Benoit […]
Russia’s style maverick
Despite being a fashion powerhouse in Russia, Igor Chapurin is still a best-kept secret amongst industry insiders. The forty-something, Moscow-based designer has built up a fashion empire, creating not only Haute Couture pieces and high-end prêt-à-porter (shown in Paris twice a year) but also accessories, men’s suiting, skiwear and a growing home and furniture line, […]
If you don’t read books, you will soon forget how to read
When anything and everything remotely linked to culture better happen behind closed doors, you better hope your library is stocked with the right balance of books. This, we imagine, is what a book shelf would have looked liked in St Petersburg circa 1984. Photography Yassin Serghini Verses and Versions; Three Centuries of Russian Poetry (2008) […]
Ink like a Russian crim
The Russian Issue is out and it only seemed right that we checked out the ‘Russian Criminal Tattoo Exhibition’ currently showing in London. Hosted by FUEL Design and Publishing, the creators of the lauded Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volumes I, II and III, the original artworks from this popular series are displayed for the first time. […]
From Omsk with style
When we first heard of Girls From Omsk, we somehow imagined yet another sketchy service that would set you up with a pretty mail-order bride. It turns out it’s actually a Belgian fashion brand – are we to expect shiny leggings and fur collars, then? Writer Jill Mathieu Perhaps, because clichéd Russian kitsch holds a […]
Tell your people to call my people and we’ll do lunch…
Midday is crunch time at Word HQ, which means we’ve built up a considerable knowledge bank of places we can call upon for an immediate fix of culinary double-deckers. Spanning our customary urban triangle of Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels, these are the places you’ll find us queuing up round about 12h10. Photography Veerle Frissen Brussels […]
Reading faces: more images from our latest cover shoot
Is there such a thing as a “Russian face”? Intent on documenting the various different facial features of the world’s largest country, we spent an afternoon couch-hopping with six individuals originally hailing from the region, hearing stories of migration, thoughts on modern Russia, and how their heritage translates in to their everyday lives. Photography Toon […]
Can’t see the forest for the trees
The thing about forests is the inherent mystery they exude. There’s something eerie about them, ghost-like even. They don’t bother nobody, if nobody bothers them. Well, recently, that propensity to keep a low-profile went up in smoke, literally. Raging fires surrounded Moscow, with forests showing the type of damage they were capable of doing. You […]
Back To School party: the pictures
We couldn’t quite believe our luck when the authorization came through. The commune of Ixelles/Elsene had approved our request to throw a “back to school” party in their crown jewel, the elementary school Les Mouettes. Held to celebrate the start of the school year and mark the beginning of Design September festivities, we got our […]
When the East is in the house
Everyone should drive through Eastern Europe at least once in his or her lifetime. And it’s one trip we recommend to do while the remains of communism are still visible. In Romania, the ruins of Ceauşescu’s factories and silo’s are widely spread across the country, often interconnected by meandering rusty pipelines. It is nothing short […]
A nuclear disaster is looming. There’s about an hour left for provision shopping and 25 measly Euros in your wallet, before having to lock yourself up in a bunker for one month. What food would you pack? We ask a musician, a chef and a model for their suggestions… Photography Ulrike Biets Lead singer and […]
Nothing but noise
When Genesis P-Orridge and his band Throbbing Gristle founded Industrial records back in ’76, their aim was to create an alternative to mainstream rock by standing against the cultural hegemony of the music industry. Doing so, they opened a way for the 80s underground, fanzines, and creative independence. Writer Michaël Iannetta Annoyed by clichéd punk […]
The paper box
Before Press Shops and the ubiquitous free paper stand, downtown dwellers used to go to cubed newsagent booths for their daily news needs. Scruffy and shabby, these kiosks often enjoyed primed retail spots and a close contact with their clients. With only a handful of them left on the city’s sidewalks, we thought to catch […]
The Special Showstoppers: The Goods
We touch upon all aspects of design – from creation through to completion and reparation – in this month’s selection of special show stealers. We’ve got the software to prototype it, the loungechair to ponder it, the stool to rock it out, the plasticine to fix it, the mirror to have a final look at […]
Take a mental cruise across Belgium’s modest territory; go for a quick imaginary spin along its motorways, through the bigger cities and down the country lanes. Notice any recurring features? While ‘medieval wonders’, ‘peaceful country- side’ and ‘millions of road signs’ are all valid answers, you couldn’t have possibly missed the ubiquitous construction sites, ongoing […]
The colour blue
We entertain somewhat of a disturbingly unhealthy obsession with the colour blue, but talk about it against a backdrop of distraught flesh and, well, we might just adopt you. Photography Ulrike Biets Below are some of the pictures you weren’t supposed to see.
We own the night
“All the animals come out at night. Whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies. Sick, venal.” Such is how a jaded Travis Bickle, played by De Niro, describes the streets of New York after sunset in Scorsese’s cult movie Taxi Driver. Forever associated with danger and evil, just what is it about the night […]
The Word on rough trade
Big, coarse, callused hands have forever been the attribute of the virile and robust. Rachmaninov had them, and so do these four men. A gift of nature for some, but in this case, a testimony forged by years of hard and strenuous manual labour. Photography Sarah Eechaut Writer Yves Van Kerkhove
Some like it rough
Unpolished, stiff, battered and worn-out, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this month’s showstopper selection was handpicked by a bunch of brutes. A far cry from the smooth and flashy must-haves spread all over the glossies’ gargantuan September issues, we lay our latest cravings bare and rough. Photography Benoît Banisse, art direction and styling facetofacedesign 1. […]
The unprintables: road rage
A woman once told me she accelerates every time she sees a cat crossing the road, going for the kill. It’s hard to believe that this goes on in people’s heads, but it does. Amongst the countless carcasses lying on the side of our roads, not all of them are inevitable accidents. Not all of […]
Oooh Wordiors, come out and play…
The indefatigable and near indestructible KKGB gang produced one of the most ambitious fashions series to have graced the magazine pages for our Rough Edges Issue. Indeed, each day of shoot was a cacophony of surreal situations, future-funky hairdos and menacing weapons. Before we show you the series in its entirety as well as a […]
My other car’s a dump
There are certain cars you give names to. Certain cars you speak to. Certain cars you’d be capable of building streets for. Certain cars you do not take to the carwash but, rather, lovingly pamper by hand. These are some of those cars. Photography Sarah Michielsen 1. Saab 900i 16v A word from the owner […]
C’est arrivé près de chez vous
A cult movie of the 90s, C’est arrivé près de chez vous (Rémy Belvaux, 1992) is probably the most striking example of the black humor and brutality that pervades Belgian cinema. The fake documentary about a serial killer draws inspiration from a Belgian TV show of a new genre that appeared on the national broadcast channel RTBF […]
The Shelf: rough, rugged and raw reads
These are some of the novels and photo-books we had lying about the pool house over the summer. Some were good reads, some were immersing reads, whilst others just made us reach for the ever growing pile of trash-mags, the result of 10 days of poolside dilly dallying. Slaughter on a snowy morn by Colin Evans, […]
Profiling Rough Trade had been on our wish list for quite a while. Call us uninspired or lazy, but doing it for our Rough Edges Issue felt like an obvious no-brainer, or just an excuse to day trip our way over to London. We hopped on the 8.05 Eurostar and started with the label’s headquarter, […]
With only three days to go until our Rough Edges Issue comes out, we thought it fitting to run with a series that’s been tantalising our rough-sides so much we actually featured it in September’s edition at the last minute. Yves Decamps’ Scanning Arequipa series documents his four-year stay in Peru, where he settled with […]
Hey pretty baby, going to make you a star
We teamed with Brussels-based collective Kiss Kiss Gang Bang for our breakthrough 101. Not only did they do a great job staging and capturing the essence of ambition driven fame hungry wannabes, they even threw in some kick-ass behind the scenes videos. Below are the making-of segments of our rock band, politician and artist du […]
The last few outlaws ride the waves
They provided the soundtrack to our teenage years and introduced us to sounds overlooked by the mainstream, but is there still a role for pirate radio stations in the podcast era ? Writer Marcus Barnes, photography Charlotte May Wales, additional research by Renasha Khan In 1994 we fell in love with a new sound that we […]
We made your world
Many of the objects that we overlook or take for granted have had an extraordinary role to play in human history. From concrete to the cathode ray tube: yesterday’s breakthrough discovery often becomes tomorrow’s trash. Photography Guy Van Laere Additional research Hettie Judah “For over one billion people in the developing world, glasses are a […]
On our corner
A Brussels landmark as soon as its doors opened eight years ago, the iconic Café Belga has become the social hub that transformed a neighbourhood. It was just a matter of time until this local institution made it in our pages and the Breakthrough theme was simply the perfect fit. Photography Merel ‘t Hart Located on Place Flagey, […]
We’re quite often given cars to test out and toy around with, but very rarely do they warrant a mention on these here pages. Given the sheer power of this one, the unbelievable amounts of envious looks we were given (yes, even we were suprised how much cachet people seem to attach to four-wheelers) and […]
Life at the cutting edge can get pretty exhausting – kept awake at night by genius ideas, burning through the shoe leather as you sprint your way too and from the patent office, wrestling frustration as things fail to fall into place just so – we thought we’d help out with a little selection of […]
Music has the ability to move us emotionally and effect us physically, to boost spirits and make a crowd move as one – but this power can have unforeseen, and even unpleasant consequences Writer Hettie Judah, illustrations Marcel Ceuppens War is heavy metal George Gittoes’ documentary Soundtrack to War explores the profound integration of music […]
To conduct and entertain
Symphony orchestra conductors occupy somewhat of an intriguing place in the collective psyche of the uninitiated. Seen as the towering and commandeering figures passionately gesticulating to a loyal band of string, brass, woodwind and percussion followers, conductors (more so than the superstar soloists they often invite) have come to embody contemporary music in all its […]
Bands and brands
Flick through any of your current coffee table favourites, and you’ll quickly notice the heavy bond between today’s bands and brands. Models fashioned to look like rock stars, bands endorsing brands, musicians turned actors playing musicians posing in ads, it’s all almost incestuous. Below is the piece we ran in the Breakthrough issue’s Music Special […]
Fragments of the abstract
Three days until our Breakthrough Issue hits the street, here’s a mini teaser series courtesy of Melika, our current photography intern. Soft-spoken and suggestive, the duplicity of its meaning as well as its layered finish lends the series a powerful, theme-specific narative. Photography Melika Ngombe. The serie’s first image will also be making a short […]
Currently available at
Giving an extended online lease of life to an article we ran with in our skin issue, here’s the piece Randa (our newly-posted London correspondant) did on Dover Street Market. Photography Charlotte May Wales Dover Street Market still feels fresh as new despite being around for half a decade, making it one of the best, […]
Ctrl-alt-del the front row
Playing your cards right as the PR officer entrusted with shaping a given designer’s front row has recently become that much harder with the arrival on the scene of teenie-bopping bloggers. Armed with an online following that’d make @aplusk bow down in awe, these industry outsiders have suddenly become front row material, with designers and […]
The unprintables – Your days are numbered
We asked Felicie to create somewhat of an alternative board game for our Morning After Issue. Here, you get the chance to download the game’s unadultured and unobstructed version (complete with an online-exclusive title), as well as an interactive ‘how to play’ guide, just to make your fun that much easier on you… To put […]
The morning after breakfast
We captured the decaying evolution of a morning after fry-up with a breakfast fit for kings having taken a turn for the worst in this day-to-day documentary of the rotten. First off, the shots we ran with in our Morning After edition… Then two behind-the-scenes ones: What Sarah – who shot the series – had […]
Waiting for The Skin Issue
Hard at work on our March edition, themed The Skin Issue (our Friday 5th March 2010), we’re on the lookout for stuff (rude boys, art history/curating/events interns, DJs submissions, etc…) and wanted to remind you of other stuff (more Morning After posts to look forward to, concert tickets to win, Tweets to follow). Here’s a […]
The unprintables – The shelf
You get in with a preconceived idea. Give it an hour or two and what you had imagined to be the shoot of the decade has changed entirely. For the better… Photography Yassin Serghini, Art direction Melisande McBurnie, Defacto model Lalita Davis For Amazon links: Design Revolution (Thames & Hudson), Remake it Home (Thames & […]
A hit for a hit
Fresh from our Morning After Issue, a piece Randa wrote on the talent-altering effects going cold turkey can have on some of our favourite acts… Musical creativity and drug addiction are dark but inevitable bedfellows, but the skewed stimulation of getting fucked-up long-term tends to end in either death or dry out. So what happens […]
The unprintables – The Word On
To some, the morning’s first rolling stock means blurry eyes, out-of-pocket trips and last stop wake up calls. To others, it means the start of the daily grind, a last chance for inner peace before the routine begins. To Ulrike, it really is just a chance for morning voyeurism. Hazy, absent and unobstrusive. First off, […]
The unprintables – The Shelf
A photo shoot for our book page typically takes Yassin (the photographer) and Meli (the art director, and sometime reluctant model) about half a day to nail down. With the former having somewhat of a itchy finger folly and the latter a seemingly unlimited supply of ideas, we often end up with quite a selection […]
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