From an account showcasing the ugliest homes in the land in typical self-mocking fashion to a surprising amount of excelling nomad photographers, these Belgian creatives have designed worlds that are worth following on Instagram.
Entertaining enough to warrant a coffee-table book deal, Hannes Coudenys’s Ugly Belgian Houses is brimming with surreal Belgian constructions that defy aesthetics and, most of all, logic. Some of the feed’s pictures can be a little blurry, but you can’t not snap a pick of a giant antler-adorned garden shed spotted when on a moving train. Coudenys’s witty captions are about half the fun of the account. “Luckily the neighbors didn’t unpack their house yet,” he adds about the homes below.
Photographer Sébastien Nagy uses drones and what appears to be expert climbing skills to offer viewers unexpected views of whatever metropolis he’s visiting. His thirst for urban exploration only turned into a photography passion three years ago, and already some of Brussels’s most intriguing bird’s-eye view images are from his hand. Besides bringing out the best in the Belgian capital, Nagy’s camera and wanderer’s soul have recently taken him to destinations as diverse as Hong Kong, Dubai, Warsaw, Stockholm, and Barcelona.
On the other side of the travel spectrum, we find Lebackpacker, an account breathing escapism. The opposite of an urbanite, self-taught photographer Johan Lolos deliberately heads for the most unspoiled places on the planet. Typically showcasing glorious landscapes with just one small or no human figure in them, Lolos’s romantic aesthetic appeals to a lot of urban dwellers all the same. At the moment of writing, Lebackpacker has over 417,000 followers and is steadily approaching the half-million mark. You’ll find a self-curated overview of Lolos’s best work at johanlolos.
Pastels reign supreme at both Anne-Catherine’s blog and Instagram. Under the handle “clo clo,” the Antwerp-based interior stylist has created the Internet presence she was missing in the Belgian blogosphere. From blush pink sofas to peeks into the living rooms of design-conscious Belgians and DIY ideas for your at-home workspace, Annecatherine_cloclo is déco inspiration at its Hygge best.
Also bounding around Antwerp, taking glamour shots of his well put-together outfits as he goes, Mattias Geerts can count himself among the most popular menswear bloggers in the Benelux. His blog, MattG Style, has opened all sorts of doors for the 21-year-old who manages to switch from preppy to casual at the drop of a hat.
No introduction is needed for this duo currently reigning over the international DJ scene. And what rockstar lives they do lead, at least according to their joint Instagram account. A whopping 2.7 million followers are treated daily to crowds going wild for the gentlemen’s expertly mixed beats, occasionally switched up with glamorous travel shots at remote beaches and an exceptional amount of motorboat rides.
Brussels-based but a self-diagnosed “nomad at heart,” Cristina Munteanu has a knack for capturing the details that make a place feel true to itself. A stranger’s smile as he peeks his head out the window to shake down his duvet, warm palm tree shadows across an orange-hued wall, and two older men meeting next to a couple of rose bushes are among the scenes that caught the Belgian-Romanian’s eye in Rome. Sometimes it’s the small stuff that makes a heart-warming picture—a truism Munteanu patiently explores on crisam.
The embodiment of what many a Belgian fashionista strives for, Sofie Valkiers has managed to put together an Instagram page (and blog) of international allure. Collaborations with brands like Dior have sparked a steady stream of high-end fashion and lush travel destinations. Beyond the glamour, one of the more delightful things about Valkiers’s feed is bumping into outfits of mythical proportions. Whether it’s golden-tasseled sweaters, shimmering pants or acting on a fondness for giant fluffy coats, if she likes it, she wears it.
Turning bits and bytes into intricate graphic gems is what Bert Dries does best. When faced with design teachers still hailing the power of the felt-tip pen rather than the computer mouse, the college dropout struck out on his own under the pseudonym Musketon—a decision that’s turned out more than okay we’d say, given collaborations with Nike, MTV, and Steve Aoki. His first book, Vector, was recently published and is a fine example of the floods of detail and depth that go into a Musketon drawing.
“Wait… this is Brussels?”—this question is one that regularly pops into one’s head while scrolling through this collective account that’s nailing the Belgian capital’s spirit. Defying the image of Brussels as a drab and gray Eurocrat hub, We Love Brussels shows off traveler staples as well as hidden alleys, monumental green spaces, and other nooks and crannies that have a surprisingly Mediterranean feel to them.