Karen and Delphine have been a couple for 18 years, both romantically and professionally. Sharing their time between New Zealand and France, together they’ve developed an incredibly nuanced and original style of image-making; managing the concept, styling, lighting, set-building and photography between them.

K — Photographs which I also style, and costumes for film and quite often musicians. I’ve been doing all these things since I was 20 and work in collaboration with Delphine — my partner of 18 years. Together we shoot fashion, advertising and lots of art projects; publishing a book and doing shows.

D — Photographs by designing lighting, and making sets alongside Karen between New Zealand, Sydney and France where I’m from.

I create —

K — The very recent Margiela 2024 Haute couture spring summer show. So many of my all-time visual inspirations were in there — corsetry, stockings, mirkins and prosthetics, alongside strong Victorian aesthetics and Cindy Sherman references for me. One of our photography shows at Saatchi & Saatchi Gallery had a bed with a quilt we fashioned from my collection of corsetry and hosiery, and a chandelier made of stockings — so this show really resonated with me.

A show with the artisanal level of handmade mirkins made with real hair is something I could only dream of, and makes me so hopeful for the future of fashion which has recently been quietly luxurious — and not as interesting to shoot.

D — Films by directors Celine Sciamma, Lola Quivoron, & Fanny Liatard (with Jeremy Trouilh). Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Rodeo and Gagarine are three beautiful films which have recently influenced me.

I’m currently inspired by —

K — Blue Nights by Joan Didion — I’m working through everything she wrote and really respond to her writer’s voice.

D — I have two books on the go, one is Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and the other is The Wim Hof Method.

I’m reading —

“I prefer natural because it is unpolished, more honest and less disappointing.”

D — Trying to get enough sleep, exercising, walking and playing ball with our dog at the park everyday, gardening and bonsai for my rest and relaxation, cold showers, swimming in summer and mostly all our food made at home.

K — Dog walks with Serge, pilates most days, and a Mediterranean style diet that is mostly plant and fish. I also get to unplug every year and go to France for their summer — my absolute happy place which keeps me charged all year.

I take care of myself by —

K — Everything is becoming fake, modified and less real. I prefer natural because it is unpolished, more honest and less disappointing, 

D — It's closer to how nature intended it. I do everything I can in my garden to encourage birds and insects coming in, planting fruits and vegetables and native trees, doing it all organically.

I choose natural because —

K — Black Anise. Absolutely this is my scent, I’m obsessed with anise and for years have been buying the French candy Les anis de flavigny in France. Now I have a little anise with me wherever I go. It’s very me.

D — Green Cedar. I was drawn to this fragrance as I have always loved the smell of cedar. With the notes of cardamom and magnolia flower it has a fresh scent with a hint of masculinity that I really love.

My favourite Abel scent —