After a multiple-year hiatus, much-loved Brooklyn electro-pop band Heloise & the Savoir Faire is back with her new LP Diamond Dust, out on March 26th. We chatted with front woman Heloise Williams, who divides her time between Greenpoint and Vermont, about the new album, the plight of Williamsburg, and Beyoncé. We're pretty pumped to debut the band's video for their new single, "Time Lords," posted above. We even have some great images of Heloise's fabulous tour costumes made by Todd Thomas, who designs for Katy Perry and the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Check out Heloise's interview and costumes below.
You're known for your out-there outfits. Are the crazy clothes featured in the "Time Lords" video yours? What was the costuming concept?
Yeah, they were mine and they are mine. I've been really into body suits lately. They're just so comfortable to perform in. So second-skin bodysuits and flowing fabrics was the costuming idea. Especially because it was so windy in El Mirage, where we filmed it. Afterwards I had windburn on my face -- I felt like I had been in a tumble dryer for 45 minutes.
What designers do you love?
I love Todd Thomas, who makes most of my clothes. My friend Rachel Comey is a great womenswear designer, and I actually met Todd through her. I like Acne -- I troll for deals [on their jeans] all the time and then buy in bulk. Vivenne Westwood is always an inspiration and Isabel Marant, I like her street style. I like the high-low. I like the really dramatic like Alexander McQueen mixed with the super casual like Acne jeans.
You used to work for a vintage clothing dealer. What were some of your biggest finds?
I was always on the lookout for old Emanuel Ungaro, Yves Saint Laurent -- all of those big designers who did those department store licensing things. Like Givenchy would make a department store sweater and I'd love finding it. I collected a ton of those things and then I had to sell them all and it was really sad for me. I was like, "Goodbye my old friends!" There was this red Yves Saint Laurent dress, silk, to the knee, and short-sleeved with giant, giant, giant, giant puffy arms. And a Bill Blass, gold lamé, empire waist, long-sleeved dress that's super tiny but it's so beautiful that I like having it just to look at. I also have a lot of clothes that don't fit me but I love to just have.
Do you pay attention to trends?
When acid wash came back around I really wanted to wear it again but I was just like, "I can't pull it off." I feel like I'm now at a point where I don't care about them at all and now have a uniform in my day to day life.
What part of Brooklyn do you live in?
I live in Greenpoint.
What are your favorite places in the neighborhood?
I love going to Anella. Deliciousness. Ana Chronos, she's got a great vintage shop. I love Ashbox Cafe, I love their rice balls and they make a really nice cappuccino. I just wish there were a really good grocery store in Greenpoint.
How do you feel about the increasing development in North Brooklyn? Supposedly there will be a J. Crew and an Anthropologie in Williamsburg.
I think it's hilarious! I mean, it's already done. All of those business at the bottom of a giant apartment building black -- Duane Reade, HSBC. It's like being in the suburbs.
I used to live on Metropolitan and Havemeyer and no one looked twice at my outfits because I liked to clash. People would stare at me in other places but in Brooklyn no one would look at you. They'd be like "Okay, cool, whatever. Just another girl wearing crazy shit." But now when I do go town to the Williamsburg area it's a lot of business-looking folks. And now everyone's going to Bushwick and Greenpoint.
Do you watch Girls?
Recently I was at my brothers house and I watched a Girls marathon. I think an old buddy of mine, Lesley Arfin, writes for them. It's a tough one for me, because I do [like it but] I find it really depressing at the same time. It makes me remember things that I don't really want to remember. Some of the sex scenes are just like, "Oh. My. God." But I like the cinema verité of it. And I like that the fashions are super weird and seem authentic. I'm glad it's not Sex in the City and Pat Field's style, where the fashions where super fun but not necessarily realistic.
Do you get any inspiration from drag?
Oh, yes. It speaks to me as a performer. The contouring that drag queens do is so insane. My friend who's a making up artist was like, "I really wanna get into contouring for this this tour." It's a little scary. One time I did do it and this person and actually said to me, "I was wondering if you were a woman or not." And I said, "Thank you so much."
Did you hear that Cher has a new documentary out on Lifetime soon?
Oh my god. I will have to see it. Did you know Cyndi Lauper's got a TV show on WE? I saw it and I was like, "What's going on? What are you doing?" Cyndi Lauper's so fucking talented and I love her so much but it's like -- well, you know what? If she wants do this, great.
Who have you been most star struck by?
Oh, clearly Debbie Harry. So clearly.
Did you play it cool?
Oh no, I didn't. I was like throwing up. I was also very star struck by Beyoncé but got over it pretty fast once I was done going "ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod."
Any horrible tour stories?
A couple of years ago, we were invited to be on this TV show The Friday Night Project, it's kind of like the U.K.'s Saturday Night Live. Somehow, right before we're leaving New York. I caught some horrible cold. And because I was so stressed out I got a bunch of herpes all over my face. And I haven't had a breakout since I was like 14. It was the biggest, snottiest, gnarliest, most disgusting piece of shit and I couldn't believe I had to be on TV. And these four makeup artists wearing rubber gloves shellacked my face on. I really, really looked shellacked.