Elke Frick: Farewell to the ‘woman in white’ of Camden Town

Elke Frick has died aged 70 – people often stopped her for a photo as she only wore white

Thursday, 10th February — By Isabelle Stanley

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Elke Frick with her friend Ida May

THE “woman in white” – a familiar face in Camden Town’s coffee shops – has died aged 70.

Elke Frick was seen all around the borough with her distinctive all white outfits and hair.

She passed away on January 18 in her room at Ashdown Crescent supported housing in Queen’s Crescent.

Ms Frick moved into the block from her home above the Dublin Castle in Parkway at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Her close friend and former neighbour, Ida May, knew Ms Frick for 15 years.

“She was so special, a real character. She seemed like such a superwoman,” said Ms May. “I never thought she would pass away.”

Ms Frick was from Germany and had family there, but moved around between Frankfurt, New York and Camden.

Ms May said: “She was a journalist in Germany, writing for a German newspaper years back.”

Ms Frick frequented many of NW1’s coffee shops, with her favourite being the Starbucks at the bottom of Parkway – where she was often seen head-to-toe in white, and with her favourite order: a skinny latte with a single shot.

Ms May said: “She didn’t cook or anything I don’t think. She stored flowers on her stove so it would have taken 15 minutes to clear it off. I think she lived on coffee.”

Everywhere she went, people asked to take her picture, and “she said she’d be rich if she started charging for them,” according to Ms May.

She was also sometimes known as “Snow White” due to her wardrobe choices.

But there was a twist.

Despite her all white attire Ms May said: “Her home and Elke as a person was the most colourful person I knew.”

Annu Kilpeläinen, another close friend, said: “She always dressed in white, but her home was all yellow and red and green.

“She said it was all from a magazine article that she’d read that talked about the effect of colours and how colours affect your mood and how you’re perceived by yourself and others.”

She added: “From that day on she decided to test that out, so she’d used those colours at home and then wore white.

“She was always the same, always amazing, always had her own way with things – she’s always been the same as long as I’ve known her.”

BACK in 2014, the New Journal ran a regular online column called Camden Street Style in which our reporter Alina Polianskaya would scour the streets and ask strangers to talk about their interesting fashion choices. One Friday afternoon, she found Elke having a coffee – and was told she was a former “professional character model from Germany”.

That day, Alina reported, Elke had “chosen leggings from American Apparel with leg warmers, a shawl from a 99p store, two dresses over each other from markets in Camden, and a coat from Germany on top.”

And: “Her boots were a find on Amazon, and she has accessorised with plenty of jewellery, including beaded necklaces and rings from Pylones in Carnaby Street.”

Elke said then: “I love Camden. Sometimes it can be a nuisance because it can seem like everybody knows me. They come up and say, ‘Oh hi, I have seen you here before’ and I want to say ‘Sorry, I have never seen you’.”

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