the broken hearts sound great, look great and hell can they dance. i have watched their rise to fame and super style icon status over the last couple of years, many a style imitator i have seen wandering the east end streets. their instinctive professionalism, wonderous work ethic and adept adaptation to a multitude of art and design disciplines – music, fashion, radio and performance to name just a few – stand them apart and also make them the perfect go-to for consultancy and collaboration. i mean who the hell wouldn’t want these girls to dj at their party? their ultramodern and retrospective perspective show a real understanding of popular culture now and back in the day, these girls don’t just look and sound good they’re super switched on as well. swell.
for bookings and a better look and listen of the multi-talented two-some.
broken hearts for beyond the valley a/w 09. illustration and prints by the illustrious rob flowers.
the beautiful broken hearts have answered some questions for BDC blog. giddy up.
top 5 favourite things.
- Our favourite designers at the moment are Marko Mitanovski (http://www.markomitanovski.com/), Maaike Mekking (http://www.maaikemekking.com/) and Ada Zanditon (http://www.adaz.co.uk/).
- Our favourite restaurant is The Loft, run by our friend Nuno Mendes (http://www.nunomendes.co.uk/loft.html). He does incredible tasting menus for around 12 people at a time in his own flat. He’s just opened a new restaurant in Bethnal Green Town Hall called Viajante (http://www.viajante.co.uk/) and we’re really excited to try it!
- One of our favourite places is Nina’s Hair Parlour at Alfie’s Antique’s Market (http://www.myspace.com/ninashairparlour) which is where we get our hair cut. When we first told her we wanted pointed fringes she freaked out, but now she can practically do it with her eyes shut.
- We love the artwork of Rob Flowers (www.robflowers.co.uk), who designed our website (http://www.thebrokenhearts.co.uk). We love the references he draws on, from early Disney cartoons to Victorian lithographs and vintage Halloween imagery.
- One of our favourite places to browse is Viktor Wynd’s Little Shop of Horrors (http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/venuehire.html). Run by the Last Tuesday Society (www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org) it’s a veritable haven of curiosities, taxidermy and artworks.
was there anyone that inspired you from the beginning? who inspires you on the art/ design/performance front now?
When we began working together, we bonded over a shared love of the Beastie Boys and ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’! We also discovered a shared love of circus and sideshow imagery – we love the way it’s colourful yet sinister. Now we’re lucky enough to know a lot of performers who inspire us all the time. The discipline and training involved in being a physical performer is really inspirational, especially when it’s done with such flair and fun as the hoola hooper Marawa the Amazing (http://www.marawatheamazing.com/) or the aerialist Bret Pfister. We love the subversive and beautiful tunes of Bourgeois and Maurice (www.bourgeoisandmaurice.co.uk/), as well as their amazing costumes. We also love the glamour and drama of drag queens like the Fabulous Russella (www.russella.co.uk/)
tell a little about your background – study/travel/work adventures. how is it that you became so interested/ involved with music/ performance/fashion?
Nisha has a photography degree from Central St Martins, and Amber studied English at King’s College London and then got an MA in Fashion History from London College of Fashion. We both also spent a long time working at international vintage clothing chain Beyond Retro, as Head of Press and Head Buyer. These influences gave us a strong grounding in the culture of theatrics, from the arts to fashion and performance. For a while when we first met Nisha was in a band and Amber was their dancer so we ended up touring quite a bit together. So from the very beginning we had similar interests and were involved in various music or performance projects. Since then we’ve created sound tracks for silent films, recorded songs using a live tap dancer as a beat and made our own music video where we starred as Vaudevillian magicians. We’ve also designed clothes inspired by sideshows, made films about the history of the circus and concocted Halloween-themed Afternoon Teas. We’ve even been Hula Hoop assistants! It’s always been a very organic thing for us.
what are you currently collecting?
Our capsule collection for Beyond the Valley (www.beyondthevalley.com) is in its third season now. Just before we began researching our AW 10 pieces we were given a collection of vintage dress patterns by a family friend who had been making her own clothes all her life. We were really inspired by the range of possibilities each pattern presented, and especially liked some of the 70s patterns that used children’s detailing such as oversize buttons, Peter Pan collars and paper bag hems. We created our AW 10 collection as an amalgamation of these details, and updated them with more contemporary silhouettes. It’ll be available on www.asos.com and www.farfetch.com from September, and our SS10 collection is available right now!
what was your last purchase for yourself?
We’re currently obsessed with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa shoes (www.melissaplasticdreams.com/). They’re made of plastic so are perfect for rainy London days or traipsing around Fashion Week. We have the three strap elevated style (http://www.melissaplasticdreams.com/collection/spring-summer-10/black/vivienne-westwood-anglomania-melissa-three-straps-elevated-ii) in blue, black and red now. Each season they have a new colour range so we just can’t stop collecting them!
current favourite colour or colour combination?
As the Broken Hearts we usually stick to a strong colour palette of black, white and red – even our hair fits into this!
do you have a beauty routine? what is it?
We have a LOT of false eyelashes that we wear for performing. We love feather lashes, we have black ones, ostrich ones, two-tone ones and even peacock ones. People always ask us if they’re heavy to wear but they’re actually really comfortable. We tend to wear black lipstick when we perform. As we play in a lot of cabarets and dark clubs we found that red lipstick would never show up because of the red stage lights. Black is a lot more effective and dramatic.
favourite thing to cook?
Over Halloween we worked with the pastry chefs at the Met Bar to create a ‘Scream Tea’, featuring bleeding cupcakes and monochrome Battenbergs. We put together a food-themed soundtrack to accompany it which featured songs named everything from ‘Solid Potato Salad’ to ‘Burnt Toast and Black Coffee’. We’ve recently been made members of the Experimental Food Society (http://www.experimentalfoodsociety.com/) who aim to blur the boundaries between food, art and science, there are some great people on it’s roster who cook far more exciting things than we could, like architectural jellies and chocolate sculptures, so we leave the cooking up to them!
who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment we love ‘I’m With the Girls’ by sizzla, ‘Watashi No Boyfriend’ by Hibari Misora and our trademark DJ song, ‘Jump in the Line’ by Harry Belafonte.
favourite destination ( country or city) and why?
We were lucky enough to be asked to DJ at a party at the Ritz in Moscow on Christmas Day. We got to spend Christmas looking round St Basils, Red Square and the amazing Bakhrushin Theatre Museum (http://www.russianmuseums.info/M306) – one man’s collection of theatre memorabilia dating back to the 19th Century. We love Moscow! Even their metro is more like a museum than an underground system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Metro)