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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 a glass terrarium, hoping to see a glimpse what I was meant to see, live, 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: 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.

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direction SHINI PARK photo assistance SIMON SCHMIDT location FLORENCE ITALY
Jacket, Dress, Bag – Coach SS16.

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Had I known micro-trips is to be the running theme of January, I’d have at least nabbed some tiny stocking-filler toothbrush & toothpaste sets and kept some advent calendar chocolate aside over the holidays. The thing about these overnight stints is that it puts you in somewhat of grey area of ‘purposelessness’, because you decide it is too short of a trip to take your usual ‘purposefulness’ kit which helps you be productive, if not be entertained. So you end up sitting in that window-seat like a potato, thinking of potato things.

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One thing I did notice: shorter the trips, smaller the carry-on handbag. Passports come out their elaborate, monogrammed, multi-pocketed travel wallets and into a coat pocket; same with ticket stubs and any other paperly goods – dog-eared and unidentifiable by the tenth time Ryanair checks that you are indeed you. Cue the Saddle Bag, key player for Coach Spring16 collection and a nod to the classic design from the archives, just in time for the brand’s 75th anniversary. The smaller size (Saddle 23 – £325) got me through a 22h stint in Florence just last week: big enough to scrunch in a silk blouse I scored at a vintage shop off the beaten track, and perfectly concise enough to enjoy a brief-but-glorious moment in the Italian sun.

In collaboration with Coach as the season’s digital ambassador.

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Blazer – Acne. Trousers – Rodebjer. Bag – Coach Saddlebag.
…big enough to scrunch in a silk blouse scored at a vintage shop owned by a small Italian lady…

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All items Coach. Scarf – Acne ‘Canada’.

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Black Vase – West Elm.

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art direction & photography SHINI PARK in collaboration with YOUR MUM

What I’m doing in this flat is quite possibly in violation of some renters’ law: the comprehensive yet unspoken/unwritten set of rules that is policed by no one but adhered to by everyone who is under a tenancy agreement of sorts. You homeowners can go outside and play, this post does not apply to you… superior humans.
Picture frames all aligned at the same base-line (the floor), make-shift storage space under the stairs/behind the IKEA EKBY, free-standing clothes-hangers that buckle under sale purchases… yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We do not invest in big furniture, and when we do it’s made of cardboard (or breadcrumbs?), comes flat-packed and you probably transported it home in a bus yourself. Built-in storage is literally my wet dream. Maybe not literally.

Also, what is a drill, pray tell?

If it helps to further understand, these laws are accompanied by an Amazon recommended-product list full of sticker-back wall hooks and cheap draught prevention kits BECAUSE YOUR LANDLADY DOESN’T BELIEVE IN CURTAINS, so you spend the balls-cold weekend sealing off the windows with a combination of bargain-store fabric and clear plastic, and hope for the best. Doesn’t hide the fact that now your overpriced London flat looks like a blanket fort that Troy & Abed would approve of.

the bedroom

Ladder-shelf – Dwell. Blowfish – Boulesse. Coral decorative object - West Elm.

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Perfume – Dolce & Gabbana ‘The One’. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Bracelets – CARAT* London

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Glass vase – Muji. Hourglass – Bitossi via The Conran Shop. Candle holder – Trouva

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So me taking a measuring tape to the walls, is in clear violation of the above. A MEASURING TAPE, you guys. Then proceeding to ordering furniture that perfectly slide into the little indent in the wall next to the fireplace. We’ve even bought a drill, and have plans of making fist-sized holes into the walls come weekend; you know, for fun. My logic is this: Live a little. Why pay such a ridiculous amount to live in a relatively attractive, albeit ill-heated space and then further offend it by not making it a home? Because stupid, that’s what. Rant over. Here are some corners I’ve been refreshing in the last couple of weeks between the bliss that was my horizontal-and-TV adventures.

Marble vase – Dwell. ‘Hello’ sign – West Elm.
the office

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Aroma diffuser – Muji

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Chair – Eames. Desk – IKEA

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Rose-gold sunnies – RayBan

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Welcome
to a whole new year
of shenanigans

Dear readers, there are just some things you should never trust me with: the last slice of pizza, your mum, and New Year’s resolutions. In fact, you should not trust me with most things under the sun, but those, in particular, you should be wary of. Granted, none of the above three affect you literally – unless your mum is Jennifer Lawrence then GO TO YOUR ROOM I GOT THIS, but given my penchant to promise you withhold certain information that quite positively can lead to your actual general wellbeing (let’s be honest, how many things off the internet can you apply this to?), you should check up with me at least once if not 364 more times in a given year. For instance, promises to share how I kicked my eczema’s ass, or sharing a bit of know-how in terms of graphic design, as according to this ruddy account. Nobody cares whether I post Part II of a press-trip from 2012 – that I know for a fact.

As always my excuse is: my dog ate my homework, and I got busy; check my Snapchat (Sparkncube) for proof. On the other hand, don’t check Snapchat. Between Simon and me dancing in the office like a pair of lunatics, I’ve just realised that the rest are of me making jell-o and jiggling it (if my life were a movie I’d like Nicholas Cage to play me). I get it, this freshly-turned teen/neglectful parent excuse is getting old, and I do apologise. Said she, barely looking up from her laptop. This year my only three resolutions are these: 1) Get fat 2) Start drinking like a Polish farmer, and 3) start sending family daily hate-mail. By mid-January I’ll do the usual annual thing of forgetting all about it and revert to doing the complete opposite, at least with adequate effort this time.

Hope you had a successful first ten days of the New Year, and while I intend to deliver (at least partially) on last year’s promises within the next few years weeks – if your questions are urgent always feel free to shine a poop emoji into the sky and I’ll fly to your aid, Febreeze in one hand, a plunger in another. In all seriousness, some of you have e-mailed about eczema and I am more than happy to help. Welcome, to another year of shenanigans and illustrated rants.

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Six to
Eight
art direction & photography SHINI PARK in collaboration with FARFETCH

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How anyone in this expedited-delivery-obsessed century opts to wait 6-8 weeks for anything is a baffling yet fascinating notion. Patience is a ‘retro’ concept and kids scoff at the very thought. Heck, don’t we know our way around the IKEA warehouse like the back of our hands and are on first-name basis with the next-day couriers? How many times has the UPS delivery man made our blood boil by playing ding-dong-ditch with a yellow ‘We Missed You’ slip? Ergo, anything that takes 6-8 weeks to produce and deliver is 1) a long-term commitment involving a completely different mindset 2) a bloody tease, 3) from a dragon egg.

Perhaps it’s prescribing to the same ideas as stumbling upon a £10 note in the back-pocked of a pair of long-neglected jeans and feeling like you’ve earned some new cash, fair-and-square. Or signing for a parcel from US/Australasia, the one you ordered half-drunk a week back, and feeling rather as you’ve received a surprise gift. The one you bought with your own money.

Customized Trainers – MySwear via Farfetch

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Six weeks is how long it took for this MySwear beauty to be produced, and it did not disappoint. I’d spent just about the same amount of time swirling the virtual shoe around and around (and around), deciding on colour and texture like my life depended on it (of course, then ending up choosing the most basic colours, because sense). And all I can think is that for six weeks they planted the little MySwear seed, watered it, and fed it some corn until ripe. Week of Christmas, it arrived in its wooden-boxed, woollen-dustbagged, customized glory – and of course it felt like a gift by then.

Now I just wish they have a dissertation option so that when I time-travel back to 2010 I can just feed it ‘Cream suede, white sole, ivory laces’ and wait 6-8 weeks for good results.

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