NEGATIVE HEARTS TALKS INSPIRATION, REPRESENTATION AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
Here here for fashion brands who are unapologetically brash and sexual not because it's trendy but because they know there's no other way to be. "Hoe but make it fashion" is real y'all, but that doesn't mean we have to throw out our sense of style. We're here for bedroom clothes and eyes irl, for futuristic (se)X files realness and for pushing the buttons of the fashion industry and it's outdated norms. It's 2018- get with the program. The current program? Negative Hearts — a plastic lingerie line that's what happens when you mix underground Berlin dance clubs, a kinky Cupid and New Orleans punk.
The made-to-order line features sticky sweet plastic bullet bras and posture collars in opaque reds, transparent lavenders and ice blues, and an expanding line of accessories that are both provocative and alluring. While plastic lingerie isn't anything new, Negative Hearts has reworked the staple, creating ombre pieces at an affordable price point, fitted to any body. Everyone deserves to have their fantasy filled and fashion is definitely one way to do that. FASHION IS DYING spoke to Negative Hearts about inspiration, representation and what the future holds.
NEGATIVE HEARTS IS FOR ALL OF US
FASHION IS DYING: I LOVE that your work is based in plastic and vinyl. It’s such an interesting medium and I love how it photographs. How did you come up with this concept and the concept for Negative Hearts?
NEGATIVE HEARTS: Thanks! Its been a really fun project so far, and it's exciting that other people are enjoying it. We kinda fell into it, honestly, and have just been making it up as we go. First of all, Negative Hearts is a done by two people, Nic and Farra. Not a lot of people realize that, since Farra is way more visable on the gram. Conceptually, the brand is where our tastes and talents overlap. Nic brings the sleek, simple, classic elements. Farra is the sexual, stabby, colorful parts. That collaboration is really at the center of the project.
The first 'Negative Hearts' item was leather. It was a gift for Farra's birthday. Nic scoured her pinterest for ideas, and landed on a simple black restrictor choker. So he bought some leather, stole a bunch of tools from Tandy, and made a choker. That was about a year ago. Farra wore it every day on tour with Gland. Slept it in, even. So I guess the project concept was personal at first. After that initial project, we worked collaboratively on new items, trying to keep the ornamentation and 'designiness' to a minimum. What we got were these understated, almost utilitarian, products that looked like they were from East Germany. From there plastics just made sense. Leather is an amazing material, but a leather bra has an entirely different feel than a vinyl one. Sorta pulls you into Xena territory. Once we figured out how to dye vinyl, we knew we had something.
FID: How would you describe the ethos of the brand?
NH: We're both in punk bands in New Orleans, and a bunch of our stuff has been worn on stage. There's a lot of room in the scene to push the freak envelope, and dressing up for performances and carnival season is a big deal. So that's fed into it a lot. The whole 'degenerates of the future' aspect of cyberpunk is a style that also speaks to us. Like the shuttle attendents in Fifth Element or Big Bertha in the Super Mario Bros movie. Since it's such an intimate project, the ethos just end up being our personal ethos. That involves a lot of style and politics loosely tied to punk, but it's the kinda thing that just seeps in naturally. Like showing body hair and tattoos, or shooting in shitty environments. That's just what we have handy.
FID: Your work has a really fetish-y feel. Does your relationship with kink feed into the designs, or is it just a look thing?
NH: First and foremost it's a look thing, but the lines are blurry. The voyeurism of putting these creations from our personal life on the internet makes it hard to separate fashion from kink. And of course the items themselves are sexual. Seeing someone in a clear bra makes you feel like you're wearing x-ray specs. And it's hard to wear a posture-restricting choker without being constantly reminded about sex. But our products are meant to be worn out in the world as well as in bed. We'd sooner start making jackets and shoes than whips and paddles.
FID: I love that everything is made to order and that you dye your pieces in so many colors. Why is it important for the brand to cater to a variety of body types, and how does this influence what you create, if at all?
NH: We want what we make is available to our friends, and they all have different bodies. Ultimately, it's more gratifying to see our friends wearing things we made than it is to make sales. Not that they're mutually exclusive. It's just that the path of least resistance would be to stick to standard beauty types. But were not trying to sell sexy pics to middle aged men, or to only show our products on bodies that will get the most likes on instagram. We want everybody who likes our products to feel inspired to wear them. Owning your sexuality is powerful and we want everyone to feel that way.
FID: What’s your dream outfit?
NH: Poison Ivy's tiger costume. Deeelite's entire closet. Vivienne Westwood Corsets from the '90s. Devo monster masks.
FID: Is fashion dying?
NH: Its hard to say, because there are still plenty of people out there to support 'fashion as art,' meaning fashion removed from everyday life. Vogue has 18m followers on IG. But add up all the followers of micro- or alt-fashion profiles! I think a lot of people who used to engage with that world only did so because it was hard to find an alternative; youth especially. Now it's relatively easy to look around and find something way more satisfying and personal. It's like how when we were kids we just watched whatever was on the tv when we turned it on. My gut reaction is to say that the ‘fashion world’ is going through the same thing as television networks. It’s spreading out and breaking up into little parts, getting personal, and people don’t care as much about the center anymore. Maybe fashion is losing relevence as an art form, but maybe what's really happening is that it's changing. What's on network tv right now? Who knows. But it still exists, better and worse than ever.
FID: Who would you DIE to see in your pieces?
NH: Crispen Glover. Bjork. Grace Jones. All our friends.
FID: What’s next?
NH: New, brighter colors for chokers. Bottoms. And (deep future) SHOES. High priority is supporting a greater range of people in our photos. So far we’ve just been grabbing as many opportunities as we can in terms of collaborations and models, but we’re getting to the point where we can be more choosy. Upcoming collabs with @suzy.floozy, @maandytorres, @threebrainedrobot, @lilliasright, and @mathmagazine.