Pure pop princess of Norway, Karin Parks, has ridden the pop carousel and now resides in the mysterious electro shadows. It is the dark twist of this gothic electro pop princess’s music and personal style that has caused the English music scene to sit up and take notice. Karin Parks talks to LUX FIX about men in high heels, recording naked and sheep fur coats with stockings – delectable! 

Karin’s fourth album: ‘Highway Poetry’ marks a musical turnabout. Once a pure pop princess, she listened to her third album and thought, “I don’t like this – this is just boring to listen to”. She was, she says in her soft and mesmerising, voice, caught in ‘this pop circus, pop carousel thing.’ She was happy to be with a big label; and ‘really happy that someone liked the songs I made’. But since then she has been on a musical journey and waved goodbye to her initial fan base. ‘Maybe that wasn’t a smart career move in terms of success, but I have much wider audience on an international basis now’. And the tracks she makes she’d be proud to find on her ‘own playlist’. 

Her fourth album has taken her from lighter pop to a deeper brooding electronica laced with a dark twist and a dub step vibe (which she has been taking round Europe supporting both SBTRKT and Azari & III on tour).

This has led many to tout her as a gothic electro pop princess – a phrase she thinks ‘correct,’ in that her influences are the likes of Depeche Mode and The Cure – Robert Smith is one of her vocal heroes. But princess? ‘I don’t really feel like a princess’ she muses. But being labelled doesn’t really bother her; recently a girl told her she sounded like a mix between ‘Bjork and Kraftwerk’ she says with a gleaming smile, and ‘that’s a really cool description. ‘

Another label that can thrown in Karin’s direction is stylish: standing at 6ft3, she has an instant presence and when I meet her, slickly dressed in slim, dark trews and a deep ivy green crushed velvet jacket, she appears effortless and yet instantly cool.  And so it seems only right that she should be playing a DJ set at Vogue’s Fashion Night Out – but is Karin a fashionista? ‘I like to have fun with it. It’s something that I use to visualise my music – and when it all comes together with the music and clothes to express the same thing – it becomes more powerful.’  And like a million other girls the world over, the item that empowers her the most is, she says, the high heel. Really? At 6ft3?  She’s matter of fact about it ‘I think high heels shoes are one of the most amazing things that we have in the modern world. I think it is a shame that more men don’t wear high heeled shoes, as you feel so empowered in them.’  And her favourite high heel shoes? ‘Jeffrey Campbell – the proper platform heels because that doesn’t make me look tall, that makes me look something otherworldly. I become so tall, that I feel not human.’

On stage then, she is an ethereal presence, towering over her audience from a great height, but I wonder if that’s how she dresses to record in the studio – her high heels strapped on in order to activate her musical personality? ‘No’, she tells me, ‘It’s not about that at all, it’s, well…I’ve tried different things: I’ve tried to record naked, I’ve tried whatever clothes. Or standing in a bucket of water. I mean, just to try it out but none of those things make a difference. It’s emotions, it totally comes from inside.’

So it’s certainly not tracky bums that Karin records in. In fact, Karin doesn’t really wear ‘cosy stuff’, except when outside at home where she always wears her sheep fur: ‘Because that’s just the most amazing thing to wear. Its so warm, and where I come from it can be -35 in the winter.’ But when she’s not braving the blizzards: ‘I like to just wear stockings and stuff.’ It has to be a little bit…’ she smiles, sexily, ‘it has to make you feel different.’ It’s a look her musician boyfriend (whom she lives with) certainly doesn’t mind.

Sheep fur coats and stockings: it’s a humorous and sexy mix – and Karin thinks of British fashion as ‘uber stylish, but there is always this little twist of humour in it.’ Which she loves; in fact she thinks ‘in Britain in general, everything has a sense of humour to it. Even in the Olympic Ceremony which was cool and representative of Britain yet with a sense of humour.’ She pauses and adds ‘the English are elegant on the outside, but down to earth on the inside’, actually ‘with a few drinks, and they’re back on earth.’

And so perhaps it is not surprising that Karin cites David Bowie as stylish – ‘that’s a given’, and appreciates Gareth Pugh as a designer (‘I really like him). But as to who is and isn’t stylish, she doesn’t think about that too much, as she points out ‘If you behave in a cool way, then you can wear anything.’ She says, ‘I think style is much more about the way you walk, how you talk and that sort of thing.’ And Karin Park walks well, talks well… you know, that sort of thing.


Words: Tibbs Jenkins

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How many women do you know who can pride themselves with having a style-title colourfully described as “offbeat WWII wife meets Japanese prepster”?  We are lucky to know one! 

Meet  Laetitia Wajnapel, the brain child behind the well renowned Mademoiselle Robot blog. Ms Wajnapel is a journalist and consultant hailing from Paris but currently residing in London, where she started up her blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends. Fast forward a couple of years and Mademoiselle Robot has been featured in a number of U.K and International titles including: The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, Grazia, Vogue and Marie Claire. Having a past as a DJ, a penchant for sushi, and an aspiring children’s book writer, Ms Wajnapel chats about her three must have items in every woman’s wardrobe, the perks of being a famous blogger, the pleasures of living in London and what would make her perfectly happy. 

LF: Your blog is about ‘style through the eyes of a Parisien girl in London’, so what is style for you in essence?

LW: I think for me style is what differentiates one person from the next. It is as much about attitude and personality as it is about clothes, if not more. I tend to be attracted to people who radiate and smile a lot – no matter what they wear they will always be the most stylish person in the room.

LF: Are there any blogs/bloggers you admire, are inspired by or wish to work with? 

LW: I love the photography on blogs like Style Slicker, July Stars and Park & Cube. I find all three of them extremely inspiring… And I am lucky enough to count them as friends so collaborations are never out of question, although I am a bit of a lone wolf and I work alone a lot of the time! Aroooooo!

LF: What are three must have items that every woman should have in her wardrobe?

LW: It is so weird to reply to these questions as I am on the last leg of a month long break in the country side and I’ve mostly been wearing denim shorts and tee-shirts – they’ve been really hard working pieces!

Back to “real life”, I would say the three items we should all have would be: a very versatile dress (not necessarily black, but something you can wear all the time and fits amazingly well), a classic white button up shirt and a pair of skinny black trousers.

I could add a few more to the list but I fear I will get told off!

LF: You have been blogging since 2007 and have gained many accolades for your blog, what are some of the perks in blogging and becoming such a household name?

LW: Aaah! There are so many perks of being recognised as a blogger, the main one is being able to do what I love everyday and live off it. I’ve met many amazing people, travelled all over the world, learned new skills (and still learn everyday)…  Then of course there are the clothes, it is always nice to be given lovely things from time to time.

LF: Winter is on it’s way! What is your lust-have item/s for the coming season?

LW: For a few years now I’ve been saying I wanted to get a pair of Acne Pistol Booties, I think 2012 is the year I finally make them mine. I also have my eye on most of the Carven collection – I love this brand. I must say I am pretty much all sorted for Fall, so I am not sure there will be much shopping to do.

LF: It is a Fashion war London vs Paris, who wins?

LW: Don’t make me choose!!! A few years ago, I would have said London with no hesitation. Now I am not sure. I suppose the Parisian ideal of style would win now, but it doesn’t really translate in the street. Can I say it is a draw?

LF: How would you describe your personal fashion style?

LW: A journalist introducing me in an interview recently said it was “offbeat WWII wife meets Japanese prepster”… While I would LOVE to say it is true, I think my style is much more boring than this. I oscillate between soft and feminine and tomboy. Crossdresser? Haha. I am not sure really, I seem to be in the middle of a reinvention: after years of wearing vintage and dressing like a toddler at a tea party, I am craving more minimal stuff and I spend my life wearing button up shirts with trousers. Probably the only constant would be a strong preppy aesthetic.

LF: You have been living in London for a while now. What is the best thing about the city?

LW: I love the energy of the city, its size, the possibilities it has to offer. Its beauty isn’t as obvious as Paris’ but I love its quirks, the variety of buildings, how different all areas are.

LF: Mademoiselle Robot recently expanded and now includes Monsieur Robot, a men’s column written by Warren Beckett. What is your own take on menswear?

LW: I use menswear as an inspiration although I don’t follow it very closely. I must admit I mostly like looking at babes!

LF: You used to dj in Paris! Music and Fashion have always had a love affair. If you could sum up Mademoiselle Robot with a track which one would it be?

LW: At the moment, “Swinging Party” by Kindness. But it varies, gosh I am fickle.

LF: and finally…..Complete this sentence: “I would be perfectly happy….”

LW: If I was still doing what I am doing in 5 years time, only in a house in Los Angeles, with an army of puppies in the garden”.

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When summer consists of days lounging on Daddy’s yacht in the South of France and book clubs with tequila not Twinings, Miss LF found it almost impossible to resist the seemingly universal craze of 50 Shades of Grey. OK, not really, she’d already pre-ordered it on her iPad. But still, when gorgeous literary blonde (let’s call her Miss T-H) who also happens to be a kick-ass barrister, announced her disapproval of the whole thing, Miss LF couldn’t help but give in to her curiosity – especially with author EL James making plans to release a fetish-inspired fashion collection…


Miss LF: Miss T-H, tell me and the LF readers what this book is all about…

Miss T-H: For those of you who haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, or indeed the hype, this thinly veiled pornography tells the story of newly graduated Anastasia Steele, who falls for the charms, and the unorthodox sexual preferences, of handsome multi-millionaire Christian Grey (of the 50 Shades).

Miss LF: Doesn’t sound so awful…

Miss T-H: As devoid of subtlety as it is of an extensive vocabulary, this is little more than smut, verging on the incredible; not least because we are invited to suspend our disbelief regarding how this 27 year old man has amassed millions of dollars through his corporate empire, the business of which is vague (at one time Mergers & Acquisitions are mentioned, at another a reliance on the futures markets), showing a naivety and lack of basic research into the field in which the hero has struck gold.

Miss LF: [having zoned out somewhat at the mention of ‘Mergers’…] What did you think of the heroine? 

Miss T-H: E.L. James makes interchangeable and incessant references to her heroine’s inner goddess and her (apparently sub-)conscious and relies heavily on the use of italics.  We are also subjected to dozens of pages of banal email exchanges between the lovers, consisting of bland flirtation and weak banter: disappointing for an allegedly highly manipulative and charming “master of the universe”. This tragic arboreal obliteration (for those of us who did not hide behind Kindle screens) was like reading the stream-of-consciousness emails of an over-excited and thesaurus starved teenager.

Miss LF: [giggling] Harsh!

Miss T-H: Perhaps I am being unfair: this was evidently not intended to be a beautifully sculpted work of great literature and therefore should not be judged as such. It begs the question, what did James intend? I defy anyone to argue that this is a love story, it is a lust story at best. But the lust is sordid and any tenderness disingenuous: Grey frequently asks if Anastasia is “sore”, an otiose question after the third violent pounding in seemingly as many minutes.

James’ title misleads her readership by suggesting that Grey is fairly complex; in fact he is a chillingly and peculiarly one-dimensional character. I understand that we are supposed to believe that Anastasia is clever; however, not only does she never say anything remotely demonstrative of her alleged intelligence (perhaps, dare I say it, because her creator also struggles to display any such quality) but it is hard to believe that any remotely astute or even sane girl would ever, on being shown a stranger’s torture chamber, consent to stay the night, no matter how attractive, rich and apparently successful.

Miss LF: Ah but we all know there’s something irresistible about a bad boy. Especially a bad boy with lots and lots of money… 

Miss T-H: [rolling her eyes] Well, this being LUX-FIX, I must pay lip service to the role of fashion in the 514 pages of pornographic prose masquerading as a book with a story. That role is very little, despite an initial promise that it will have some significance, by James’ detailing of the stark contrast between Grey’s minions’ clothes and those of the comparatively dowdy Anastasia. I imagined that Anastasia’s fashion sense would develop with her character and we are led to believe it might, especially given the controlling contractual provision that Anastasia will allow Grey to approve and buy her clothes. However, no clothes of any substance are bought and neither Anastasia’s wardrobe matures, nor does she grow to be more comfortable in her own clothes, reflecting the distinct lack of character development in the book. 

Miss LF: Hmm… I wonder what my wardrobe changes say about me? 

Review by Camilla ter Haar

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Meet Kiki Georgiou, a freelance Fashion Editor with a personal blog called ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’. So is life in the fast-writing lane as fabulous as it seems? Well if it’s anything like Kiki then we are certain it is sweet and full of fashion love! 

Image courtesy of Candice Lake

LF: How did the idea to start up your own blog come about?

KG: In all honesty I was jealous of all the great blogs I read!  I wanted to start one for a while although I was aware that there are so many fantastic blogs out there so I thought if I didn’t have anything interesting to say then not to say anything!

LF: The name of your blog ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ is really an interesting name? How did you come up with it and is there a deeper meaning lurking behind the title?

KG: HA HA! It is actually a Japanese animation created by Hayao Miyazaki and released by Studio GhibIi, which is the Japanese equivalent of Disney! ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ is one of my favourite animation and not only because it has my name on it.

LF: I am curious! Did you always know you wanted to pursue writing as a career or did you have one of those Joyce-ian epiphanies that suddenly made you realize ‘YES! I want to be a writer!’?

KG: I find that you can’t always tell if you were genuinely interested in something or if you were told that you always had an interest in it! I have always been interested in reading and writing and I did have a moment that was defining I suppose. I grew up on the Greek island of Rhodes and came to London to study. Then I thought what if I can combine my love for writing with my interest in Fashion? It was the first time I thought that I could potentially do both but I really didn’t pursue it until a few years ago. I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it. I interned at The Observer Magazine and Showstudio. At this point I decided to give fashion writing a go and so I emailed then then Fashion News and Features Editor of Grazia, Melanie Rickey, with an idea I had and she liked it and my fashion writing career went from there! I guess this, if anything, proves that one should never be afraid to try!

LF: Are there any bloggers or blogs you are particularly enamored/inspired/ by or desirous of working/collaborating with one day?

KG: I love reading blogs and I read so many but if I had to highlight a few I’d mention:

This is Naive, Turned Out by Maya, Smitten Kitchen, Miss Moss, Awesome People Hanging out Together, Tomboy Style, A well Traveled Woman and from an ‘industry’s’ perspective, I think Susie Lau’s Style Bubble and Into the Gloss do it best.

LF: Lux-Fix is about fashion so tell me what are the three fashion items you cannot imagine yourself living without?

KG: I am a real tomboy but I do love Fashion and the excitement behind it! If I have to say only three items then I would have to say a pair of Jeans. I have a pair that I got from the fantastic denim guru Donna Ida,  and which I wear all of the time. I like flats, like the ones I am wearing now. They are an LA-based company called Cobra Society and a t-shirt. I mean I really couldn’t be more simple but I think with these three items are versatile and you can dress them up or dress them down.

LF: For the past year you have been working at Glamour. Tell us a bit more.

KG: Yes! The Editor of Glamour, Jo Elvin, asked me to edit the Fast Glamour pages of the magazine while one of her Fashion Editors was away on maternity leave. She let me come on board with my own style and way of writing as I am not a stylist but have a features writing background. I am very grateful for this opportunity, as it was a great experience!

LF: This is a little biased but do you have a favourite designer/s?

KG: Yes I do! If I had to pick one designer I would definitely have to say Prada. Miuccia Prada is my Goddess, I bow down to her!  Sadly I haven’t met her but if I did I think I would have died happy! I also admire Marc Jacobs as a designer and what he does for both his own line and that of Louis Vuitton. In general I also think he is very modern in his references and his art, he has a very modern approach to fashion and at the same time his products are very luxurious! And think about what he did for such a prestige house like Louis Vuitton, he is just great!  And if I have to mention someone younger then, and here I will be a little biased because I am Greek, I would have to mention Mary Katzantrou! Firstly because she is really the sweetest, nicest person and that already is enough for me (I am a people-person!) but what she has achieved as a designer is just so wonderful. I would advise anyone to visit any shop that stocks her collections and take a closer look at what she does! At the same time knowing just what a down-to-earth person she is makes her a good package!

LF: You have lived in London for a long time, what is your favourite thing about the city?

KG: I love London although I always seem to have a moment every year where I say this is the year I am going to move somewhere else! What I really love about the city, and this may sound strange but it is true, is coming back to the city from a trip. Even if I come back from some beautiful city I still get so happy when I come back to London. I suppose it is because when one is busy with daily life one does not notice the city or rather one notices the things that annoy us about it so when I go away and come back again, I fall in love again with the city. There is irreverence about London. People always talk about Paris as having ‘je ne sais quoi’ or New York as being so cool but I think that London has all these things without showing off too much. This is what I like about London, it doesn’t shout it’s coolness, it is more subtle about it.  Although having said this I still may just move!

LF: What are your must-lust items for the upcoming season?

KG: ‘Must’ items for this season. For me, personally, it’s a big motorcycle leather jacket, ‘wallpaper’ print trousers in a manly cut and black over-the-knee boots to wear with to-the-knee skirts and dresses. Oh, and a sweatshirt à la Balenciaga, aka with something Eighties/funny on it. I’d love a Balenciaga one but alas, one can only dream.

LF: Coco Chanel is quoted to have said: ‘A woman should be two things: Classy and Fabulous!’ what do you think a woman should be?

KG: “A woman should be whoever she dreams of being.”

LF: You travel quite a lot because of your line of work.  I find every city has it’s own fashion pulse. Which are your favourite fashion cities?

KG: Hmm I need to think about this one. I definitely will have to put Tokyo on the list because it’s just such a crazy city, crazier than London! It’s like you’re visiting another planet, you cannot be anywhere else in the world than in Tokyo and besides I think Japanese know how to carry off the best looks. I have a weak spot for Japan! I am trying hard not to say New York or Paris-actually I have to mention L.A. People have this misunderstood idea of L.A. They think it is all about Juicy Couture tracksuits but it really has a cool fashion side to it and I think people are now starting to realise this side of it. The fact that Hedi Slimane is going to base himself there says it all!

LF: You are a busy lady! Soon you are off to Stockholm for Fashion Week! So what does a Fashion lady like yourself pack in her suitcase?

KG: I always like to remind myself that these are business trips and hence you always have to present yourself in the best manner possible as you interact with people you work with and with people who work in the industry. I always like to take things that are practical as I am always busy doing something during these events. I always pack flats (even if they are in my bag to change in and walk around). I like flatforms with socks so I normally pack two or three pairs and lots of socks! I then pack dresses and skirts and lots of stripey tops. I don’t do any ‘crazy’ outfits, as it is not really my style although I do enjoy seeing other people pull off those looks! I recently interviewed Anna della Russo who is very aware of her persona and what she puts across. She uses it as a platform to showcase a lot of young designers so that is really good. She represents what fashion is all about in essence: You just need to dress for yourself and in the way that makes you feel good. If you can tick both these boxes then it doesn’t matter if you wear a simple black t-shirt and a pair of black pants or if you wear haute couture-it’s just something you are doing for yourself.

LF: If your life could be summed up in a single fashion item, which one would it be and why?

KG: Wow, this is a tricky one! I would have to say my favourite sweater, a grey cashmere wide sweatshirt style that I got from J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons after I interviewed her for Glamour. It’s the perfect piece of clothing in that it’s warm and cosy and luxurious but with all the coolness of a sweatshirt (one my favourite things!). Plus. I have a huge girl crush on Jenna so I always think of her when I wear it!” 

By Errica Iacopini

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Chris Hatherill, former technology, music and fashion journalist for Dazed & Confused and Vice) and Rod Stanley (Editor of Dazed & Confused) started by using their contacts and skills in the arts to find new ways of talking about – and exploring – science. Often dismissed as a specialist subject, their collective, Super-Collider, breaks down the barriers between science and the arts, with creatives getting involved all over the world.

Super/Collider Laser Show at the launch of Vauxhall Ampera Season at Kings Cross Filling Station

LF: You founded Super/Collider in 2006. How did you and Rod Stanley come up with the concept?

CH: It came out of the chats we kept having in the pub – we were working for fashion and music mags like Sleazenation, Dazed and Vice but what got us really excited was crazy science stuff – what Rod called the ‘whoaaa’ factor. He’s since gone on to edit Dazed – which keeps him busy – while I’ve tried to merge our love of science and pop culture with super/collider.

LF: How has the project developed since then, with technology and creative limits constantly changing and growing?

CH: It’s grown really organically, we’ve never done any marketing or advertising – we just set out to explore science and take opportunities that come our way. We’ve been lucky to work with some great people and places – like The Book Club in Shoreditch – who have really helped spread the word.

LF: The Vauxhall Ampera introduces a whole new way of thinking for cars. What other new technologies in our day-to-day lives can we look forward to in the near future?

CH: What’s so exciting about the Ampera is that it’s a normal vehicle that reduces emissions and saves you money. That kind of ‘hidden’ technology is going to be vital moving forwards because unfortunately the vast majority of people don’t seem to be willing to sacrifice much for the environment. I hope that in the near future people won’t have to try so hard to be green. Hopefully our homes will become smarter to reduce our energy use, all our packaging will become biodegradable and innovative new transport options will make it easier, healthier and more fun to get around.

Vauxhall Ampera

LF: Vauxhall Ampera Science Weekend has a huge range of installations, talks and events – which ones are you most looking forward to?

CH: We’ve obviously got the blockbuster ones like the UK’s first hydrogen fuel cell radio controlled boat and the laser fusion evening, but I’m really looking forward to hearing the latest on breakthroughs like thin-film solar, high-altitude wind energy and next generation biofuels – great ideas that could really change our world.

LF: How has your time at Dazed & Confused contributed to the creative side of Super/ Collider?

CH: After a decade and a half working on mags like Dazed, Vice, Sleazenation and AnOther I guess we tend to see science through the lens of fashion, art and design. I literally spend ages every week looking through science images going ‘crap, crap, crap’ before finding the one that looks amazing. I think it’s easy to dismiss that as cosmetic/aesthetic/trite but when you’re talking to a young, creative audience I think it’s really important.

Chris Hatherill, Patrick Stevenson Keating and Abby Schlageter putting together a hand crafted particle accelerator – the result of their last collaboration in Milan earlier this year. © Alice Masters 

LF: Can you tell our readers about the Catalytic Clothing project (with Helen Storey and Tony Ryan)?

CH: Catalytic Clothing is a beautiful – yet serious – fusion of fashion and science which explores how our clothing could be used to purify the air around us. I think what’s great about it is the way fashion designer Helen and chemist Tony really talked about different ideas and used their experience to make something meaningful.

LF: What has been the most exciting experience for you through Super/Collider?

CH: I love traveling, so for me the places we’ve visited will always stand out. I’ve been lucky enough to go underground at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, visit the European Northern Observatory on top of a volcano in the Canary Islands and, this summer, watch the transit of Venus in northern Sweden.

LF: They say most brains are either predominantly creative or predominantly scientific; which are you?

CH: Definitely creative – I got terrible marks in science in school!

LF: What do you do or where do you go to switch off?

CH: Our office roof is a good place – we’re currently getting it ready for a winter full of stargazing, with cosy blankets and a telescope.

LF: If you could invent/create a product for the fashion-hungry LF readers, what would it be (feel free to get creative!)?

CH: I think I’d take a page out of Tom Sachs’ book and create a range using fabrics and materials derived from spacesuits and spacecraft. There’s something beautiful about the pure functionality of stuff like kapton, UPILEX and Vectran.

LF: What advice, if any, would you give to your 18-year-old self?

CH: Be bolder – you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do!

Thanks Chris! Super-Collider launches the Vauxhall Ampera Season’s ‘Science Weekend’ this weekend (17th-19th) at the King’s Cross Filling Station, celebrating the launch of the Vauxhall Ampera, the innovative new extended range electric vehicle.

Interview by Anna Prendergast

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