In the foyer of a hotel in downtown Toronto sits the striking Sharin Foo, the reigning queen of Denmark’s noise-pop scene.
Unless they were a fan, a passerby wouldn’t have a clue that the easy-going, blue-eyed beauty be the lipsticked half of The Raveonettes. And while nothing about Foo flags rocker ego, even upon first glance anyone would confidently wager that Foo is not a banker – not with those bangs.
It’s easy to glance at The Raveonettes and say they’re just a modern Jesus and Mary Chain, or clump their look in with that of the Coachella hipsterbot lot, but, as Foo explains, there’s no set plan for The Raveonettes look — that is to say, there is in fact, no look.
“It’s not like we talk about what we’re going to wear tonight,” says Foo, when asked if the band feels confined by any of their genre’s style parameters.
“Fashion to me is not as important as style,” she says over the noise of the bustling lobby. “I like to think that I appreciate the aesthetic in everything – the beauty in architecture, the beauty in food – but as for fashion, it comes and goes, whereas style is much different.”
A fashion icon in her own right, Foo’s personal style speaks to The Raveonettes’ distinctly European whimsy and post-punk musical sensibility.
“We’ve always been very visual, we like to be part of that,” she says. “We find it to be another creative outlet.”
The band doesn’t use a stylist, there’s no scheme on what they’ll wear for any given show, and with the exception of photo shoots – where Foo is happy to let her boundaries be pushed – she’s more interested in personal comfort than trend.
“I like [the Swedish brand] ACNE, mostly the jeans, but I like a lot of the other stuff they do, it’s all great quality.”
Then there are the two designers she loves.
“The Danish designers Camilla Staerk – she’s incredible,” says Foo, a smile creeping across her face, “and Peter Jensen.”
Both designers’ runaway fancies are near seamless extensions of The Raveonettes’ self-consciously cute pastiche take on the Mods. Staerk’s collections have been called darkly romantic, innovative, and sharply cut, while Jensen’s designs have an element of mischievous humour (see his homage to former Olympic skater Tonya Harding) and are simultaneously unconventional and wearable.
The Raveonettes are one of those bands that have cultivated cult status in both the music and fashion world, and as they tour in promotion of their fourth album, In and Out of Control, there’s no doubt that though the Danish-born duo may unintentionally evoke awe from style.com/Last.fm hybrids, they will continue to build their reputation on enigmatic lyrics sung out with bubble gum sweetness muffled beneath rhythmic distortion, playing music that will reverberate in crowds long after they’ve unplugged.