Ribbed knit tee, Carmen Slacks – Filippa K.

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art direction SHINI PARK photography MR TRIPOD in collaboration with FILIPPA K

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Ribbed knit tee, Fiona peg pants – Filippa K. Bag – Mansur Gavriel.

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You know ‘Filippa’ – the girl from school you might not recall at first but in fact her every ounce of detail is subconsciously filed your mind. Like how she never had to brush her hair after gym class or the way she did casual Fridays in a simple white t-shirt and a pair of slacks, and still looked better than the rest of us put together. She read dog-eared classic foreign novels during lunch and always ate an apple in the bus home. She’d smell of white soap, not the cheap, sugary, mall-bought perfume that comes in a turquoise bottle that all the girls bought over spring break. The boys all secretly admired her, teachers adored her; you may even have had a small crush on her too, although in your teenage daftness always looked up to the mean girl with one too many shades of eyeshadow past school regulation. Today, you want nothing more than to be a ‘Filippa’.

Short cotton shirt. Cotton linen pocket skirt – Filippa K

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Ribbed knit tee, Fiona peg pants – Filippa K.

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Merino Tee – Filippa K. Watch – Larsson & Jennings

The Stockholm-based label Filippa K may not be a new player in the game, but one that I know I will keep returning to. I’d personally only recently encountered the brand on my trip to Brussels a few months back, and then saw a few pieces in Liberty, every time drawn by the same reason: the girl in the campaign – she was my ‘Filippa’, the Filippa K girl, when growing up. Effortless, natural and kind-seeming; one who wove her life around family and passion, with nothing but a handful of essential pieces in her wardrobe. Likewise, the brand is all about sustainability, fair-trade, and quality in garments. You have to agree that they have the most beautiful curation of basics.

This is to date, one of my favourite collaborations – shot in a beautiful Airbnb we were staying at over Copenhagen Fashion Week. It’s nothing close to the actual ‘Filippa’ but here’s me trying anyway.

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#CoachFall2016

I may have opted out on the grand expedition across the snowy island of Manhattan over the past week, but I’ve been very resourceful in terms of keeping up with the 52 ways of describing how balls cold it is. (My favourite was ‘It’s so cold I think my virginity came back’ by somebody). Keeping up with the collections have been equally easy – although not as profane – and of course my favourite was seeing the Coach Fall 2016 show live via Google Cardboard Viewer. As much as I love live streaming, 360º viewing is a whole new level in terms of experience. i.e I may or may not have spent the first 10 minutes of the show sitting with my virtual ‘back’ to the show and staring at Ciara. Because Love, Sex and Magic.

Coach Fall 2016 is the varsity team, the all-star compilation of Stuart Vevers’ 2-year take on the brand so far – the all-American magpie that tops off a bohemian floral-print dress with a handsome shearling when not donning the quarterback’s jacket. Then there is the metallic, encrusted chunky-heeled loafers as seen on 18th Century aristocrats. And somehow it all played out so well on a basketball court runway. What a great Coach.

Watch #CoachFall2016 at uk.coach.com or via The Coach App.

Runway images from uk.coach.com

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Paris
Dice
    Kayek

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who DICE KAYEK what HAUTE COUTURE FASHION WEEK PARIS when JANUARY 2016

I’m going to let you in on a secret: next time you draw up a bubble bath, take a box of walnut baklavas (from that Turkish café on the high street you’ve always been eyeing) in with you*. It’s a match made in heaven – just like Dice Kayek Haute Couture and that one January morning in Paris. Those that are familiar with the label might know the founders Ayşe and Ece Ege’s wild love/yearning for Istanbul: from the intricate grandeur of the city and the allure of old Constantinople, to delicate shapes taken from the Botany tulips that grow in the palace gardens, and the gentle swirls of silk in the markets.

This season a fairy tale is woven. Ece Ege is adamant in dreaming up a new world – expertly crafted with the Dice Kayek stamp of technical know-how for precision sculpting and the ever-defying of gravity in voluminous silhouettes. I came by the atelier on the eve of the show for a glimpse at before my fitting and had to stifle my surprise on how calm the mood was. Of course, a back-cover snippet all but tells the full story, but from what I caught it looked to be a page-turner.

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Smooth sailing, 15 hours before the show and not an ounce of panic.

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Morning of: wearing a ballooney top means more space for croissants in my bra.

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Top – Dice Kayek. Trousers – Filippa K. Heels – Sarah Flint. Bag – Chloe.

The day of the show was particularly frosty; I arrived just about fending off a migraine that had sprouted out of nowhere that very morning, but the collection came as a balm. Dark, and even Gothic in setting, the looks came floating out like foam. An Audrey Hepburn-French count cross-breed sauntered out, followed by a Little Red Riding Hood cake icing… the caped jackets and belled sleeves seemed almost ceremonial if not cinematic. Eye-makeup resembled something that a court jester might don. It all reminded me of that part in the childhood fable The Lion, the Witch, and the Lion where the White Witch offers a Turkish delight: that altogether curious, healing, warming sensation brought on by a new idea or encounter. And what better setting for a fairytale, if not Paris?

*The syrup has a tendency to seep out, at which point all you have to do is lick it off your hand before it hits the water.

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Le Grand Bellevue
Hauptstrasse, Gstaad, Switzerland | bellevue-gstaad.ch

When it comes to reaching anywhere off the beaten track (i.e a destination not entirely manageable with a local taxi straight out the airport), somewhere remotely remote and high up/buried deep on a mountain there is bound to be a fair amount of schlepping involved. By this I mean that for most of the journey you will most likely drag your overstuffed wheelie on uneven terrain while juggling local currency + a pocket-full of relevant/irrelevant ticket stubs + some really dodgy foreign language skills. You will most definitely quiver as you look out for your stop, half certain that you missed it some time ago and because there is suddenly a lake outside the window when your destination is a ski-resort.

Lest we forget, the Swiss efficiency knows no schlep. This is no ordinary night on the Overground from Haggerston to Hackney Central. And for this to work you’d have started with a Swiss flight, whereon the doors close bang-on-the-dot and touchdown like butter on warm toast (perhaps not always but our flight out of Heathrow was what all flights should be). The glass-ceiling Golden Pass train from Montreux glides by quaint villages and perhaps the most sensational scenery in Europe. The phenomenally glassy Lake Geneva is but a teaser to the view that unveils at 900 meters above sea level. And hey, wasn’t the mountain to our right when we departed?

On arrival into Gstaad, a vintage Bentley collects us to go the last 100m down to Le Grand Bellevue, our final stop. The driver tells us the car was formerly owned by Roger Moore. See, the schlep never happens.

Coat – Woolrich. Cashmere sweater – The White Company. Bag – Celine. Jeans – 7 for All Mankind. Hat – H&Ma

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Le Grand Bellevue is warm – almost homey if not for the resident five-star service. If the canary-yellow façade wasn’t hint enough, plush velvet and fabric sofas give it away immediately on arrival. We are handed a brass pineapple at check-in. Attached, a key (!) that opens the door to our room under the cone tower of the East Wing. We abandon our bags and head down to recharge with the afternoon tea by a crackling fire, available at the lounge daily. After a plate of scones and a few chapters of airport-bought Grisham later, we drift back to the room – drunk on the aroma of burnt wood and a hint of peppermint or lavender wafting from the lift coming from the spa floor. Rest tonight, tomorrow we’re going skiing.

Park & Cube was a guest of Le Grand Bellevue, all views and opinions are my own. The season ends March 31, and re-opens for summer June 24th so make sure to book before then to catch the ski-season!

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creative direction SHINI PARK photography TEAM PARK & CUBE in ambassadorship for COACH

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Runway images credit: Vogue.com

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The American outdoors

Let’s pretend for a second that the wind howling outside our single-pane windows isn’t about to French braid the crap out of the bush by the gate and our recycling bins aren’t blown into a different post code entirely. Let’s pretend, in fact, that the office is bathed in golden sunlight and a westerly breeze tickles the tips of VAT receipts peeking out from the solemn black folders. Heavens, is that Chloë Grace Moretz in my samples closet?

I had missed the Coach 1941 SS16 show back in September by a mere ten minutes sitting – forlorn – in NYC traffic (aka the world’s oldest excuse), which meant moping around the show-space as the music thumped inside the glass terrarium, hoping to see a glimpse what I was meant to see in relative comfort of a name-plated seat. What I did get to see was how a chunk of the Highline transformed into an abandoned railway track strewn with dry, overgrown grasses and fig trees: a stage on which the brand would celebrate its 75th anniversary championing the great outdoors, clothed in the trademark American curiosity and confidence. I loved playing with some pieces, seen here – albeit for a glorious, imaginary sun-drenched minute before slinking back into a pile of yarn and resuming the anthem of ‘do you want to make a frickin snowman out of me’. The new collection hits stores 15th February.

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All clothing & Accessories – Coach 1941

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…the great outdoors, clothed in the trademark American curiosity and confidence.