Scrapbook: Synth Pop Duo Paperwhite Sift Through Their Fashion Fails and Triumphs Too

The Philly-based brother-sister duo dig deep into the vaults to reveal marching band outfits paired with a bandana and much, much more #tbt goodness.
May 12, 2016, 2:15pm

It's Thursday so it's time for your weekly dose of stylistic #tbt in the form of Scrapbook, where we make artists take a little trip down memory lane to talk about some of their fashion faux pas and triumphs along the way.

This week it's sibling duo Katie and Ben Marshall, a.k.a. Paperwhite, whose swirling synth-pop is light and airy like a meringue but rooted in beats that propel each song (and your feet) forward. Imagine the meeting ground between Oh Wonder, Say Lou Lou, and Chvrches and you're coming close. Below is the stream of their newly released EP, the aptly titled Escape.

We made the NY-based duo root through their old photo albums and here's what they dug up.

As you can tell by this 1991 Robin Hood look, we’ve been pretty into dressing up since day one. This is one of many in a series of Disney characters and superhero costumes that we wore on the regular. This look was hand sewn by our Grandma, so it’s extra special!


Both of our parents wear glasses, so all three of us (our brother Sam is on the left) wanted in on their go-to accessory. It looks like these are fake glasses but we can remember many times getting a hold of the real thing just to see how blurry our vision could get!

This picture always cracks us up. Ben’s showing off his tap dancing outfit! Sadly for everyone else, this phase was short lived. We would have loved more sequined top hats in our lives. (Yes, we still have this top hat.)

For Ben’s 7th birthday our Grandma got him his first tux. This tux would later be Ben’s outfit choice for his 2nd grade yearbook photo.

Here's another shot of the three of us. We don’t think we’ve ever been as stylish as we were in this photo. Ben’s stripes and rain boots are especially killer.

Well, maybe this is actually Katie’s most stylish. Santa hat X Mom’s Glasses X Holiday garlands. It actually ending up being on a holiday card at some point with the caption “Marvelous, Darling!”

Growing up outside of Philadelphia, one of our favorite summer trips was going to the Philadelphia Zoo. They had an awesome treehouse where this amazing sunflower chair lived. The best part of going to the zoo was bringing along our elephant shaped zoo keys which we all have around our necks. At each exhibit you would put your key into a speaker and it would tell you amazing facts about the animals!

We always had a piano in our house so we would put on concerts especially for our Mom mom and Pop pop who visited all the time. Katie would even make up tickets and have them sit as audience members.


This photo was taken in 1998 for Katie’s first day of second grade. It definitely showcases the best of the 90s: flannel, a floral dress, and a giant lunch box. What could be better?

Ben and Sam’s first band was called Lithium. This photo is from a house party in the year 2000. Sam’s bleached tips and Ben’s tank and baggy shorts were all part of their rock look.

In high school Ben joined the marching band and played quads. Marching band prepped Ben for writing awesome beats in the future.

In 2010, we went to Oregon to visit our Dad’s side of the family and we wore these ridiculous flip up sunglasses the entire time. We had no shame, apparently!

There were many years, pre-Paperwhite, where we played Katie’s singer-songwriter songs in a stripped down setting. This was us messing around in our basement before a show.

In the fall of 2015, we had the opportunity to go to Iceland with Converse’s Rubber Tracks and record in the amazing Greenhouse Studios. While we were there, we extended our trip to film our first music video, Get Away. We found this wonderful fashion designer Elvira ’t Hart online and ended up wearing her designs in the video. We loved having a unique look and it’s definitely inspired us to be bolder with our fashion choices and continue exploring our look!

Paperwhite's Escape EP is out now.