I Love Belgium interviews Clyde Burrows
Yes, Belgium is a small country and sometimes it’s too small for some of us. One of those people is Clyde Burrows aka Tom Eerebout, a stylist from Bredene, a tiny town at the Belgian seaside. After studying in Antwerp, he took off to Amsterdam where he met his boyfriend, upcoming Dutch fashion photographer Joost Vandebrug. They both moved to London to try their luck across the canal. Clyde is currently working with Nicola Formichetti, the personal stylist of Lady Gaga. I Love Belgium sat down with Clyde and picked his brain.
ILB – Tom, what have you been up to lately?
A lot! My life took a complete twist like 4 months ago; I had been living in Amsterdam for over a year, before I’ve lived in Antwerp and even a short period in Paris. I had the feeling I achieved what I could there and wanted to take it to the next level. Next on the map was London. The plan to move to London was already spinning in my head for a couple of months, so the time came to pick up on that. I heard about a job opening to assist Anna Trevelyan (stylist/assistant of Nicola Formichetti) so I flew over to London for a couple of hours, had an interview and flew back to Amsterdam with a new job. One month later I moved to London and I have been living here for over three months now. Obviously I’m doing a lot of work for Anna as I am her assistant. I help with shoots and other things. At the moment I’m also working on a new project to bring my blog “Pretend it never happened” to a new level, I want to start to Dj again and I’m planning some new PINH parties in Amsterdam, Antwerp or London. But that’s still in an early process. So yeah I’m keeping myself busy.
ILB – You’re from the small village of Bredene, a Belgian coastal city, give us a sightseeing tip from your hometown!
(laughs) A sightseeing tip from Bredene good god! Don’t get me wrong it’s my hometown and I love going back there. But people there are living in the past and aren’t really into the stuff I do, so I never really leave the house when I’m there. We have our famous nudist beach, but that’s not really my thing. But Bredene has a lot of dunes which is amazing to walk through and of course the beaches. It’s a small town so not much to do, but I also really love “het Visserskappelletje” which is close to my house and the old church in Bredene Dorp with an old cemetery.
ILB – You’ve lived quite some time in Amsterdam and now London is your safe haven, what are the biggest differences between Belgians and UK people?
Well the biggest difference for me especially is the openness of London. In Belgium people on the streets can be so judgmental if you look different. I even got thrown rocks at me because of the way I looked. I was wearing skinny jeans with nerdy glasses and suspenders. 2 years later it became a trend. In Belgium we are a little bit more closed, I was that as well, I still am a bit but then I moved to Amsterdam which was already a culture shock for me because Dutch people are very direct and open. But here in London it’s even more. I can wear whatever I want. A month ago my hair was green and nobody cared or treated me different, when you’re alone in a bar,… There are always people coming to talk to you and to invite you to their party. But the biggest difference is the food, which isn’t always that good here. The nightlife, people start going out here at 9.00 PM and it ends at 2.00 AM at the latest (in weekends!) once I went to a party, a real club party at 4.00 in the afternoon, but you get used to it and the next day you don’t feel that tired,etc…
ILB – You’re working with the renowned stylist Nicola Formichetti, who’s also Lady Gaga’s personal stylist. Are you bringing in some Belgian style into the Haus of Gaga?
We’ll actually I’m assisting Anna Trevelyan, who has been Nicola’s assistant for 4 years and still is. The things I mostly do is helping with the preparation of shoots, performances,etc. Of course we use pieces of the big designers. We use Margiela on regular base, Ann De Meulemeester, … But what I mostly do is looking for young designers/students so I always keep them in mind and keep an eye on them. Just recently we called in some pieces from Antwerp students (e.g. Enya Vandenhende) but unfortunately the whole concept of that shoot changed the day before so we weren’t able to use it. But they were big fans of it and I’m sure one day I we will use some of their pieces when it suits in that project. I’ll try my best.
ILB – What are your hotspots in London and in Belgium?
Hmmm should I give away my little secrets? When I’m in Belgium I always stop in Antwerp. The whole city is a hotspot: the Momu, RA13 and of course caffénation and the jewelry collective Atelier 11 in the Scheldestraat in Antwerp.
Here in London, Shoreditch in general, that’s where I work and live close to. You have some good pubs there, The George and Dragon, The Joiners Arms which is really good on Sunday nights, Catch which is really good on Thursday nights, lot of galleries, the old Truman brewery in Brick Lane which is really fun in weekends, London Fields, there is just so much here. I can’t choose (laughs).
ILB – And last question: why do you love Belgium?
(laughs again) I was born there and I’m really happy I was. Surprisingly I love the fact it’s so small and that they speak 3 different languages. I love that it’s central in Europe. But the real thing I love about Belgium is my family, my friends and Antwerp and its rich history. I miss them all very much. AND THE FOOD! It doesn’t look like I eat but I DO !