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creative direction SHINI PARK photography assistance SIMON SCHMIDT in collaboration with CALVIN KLEIN JEANS

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I had one pair of leather trousers as a teenager. Contraband, of course. (And as genuine leather as your mum’s cast-iron skillet.) A true tiger-mother presumably would never condone her spawn to be exposed to any a lifestyle that might hint at the need of 1) weather-proof garb for helmetless fast-driving, 2) electric guitar(s), and 3) 1978 John Travolta. Tell me about it, stud. The noise it made when I walked in those trousers was not dissimilar to a packet of crisps dipped into car wax, and let’s say it was permeable as, well, your mum’s cast-iron skillet.

The secret to this item of rebellion was however, not the prospect of future-killing, homework-undoing and tramp-a-making. It was simply a teenage ploy for attention, because the first thing my mother would say is: How the damn do you wash these trousers? And you’d revel at the image of your very mother dabbing at your cheap (plastic) leather with anti-bacterial wipes in the name of laundry. REBELLION.

Because let’s be honest, good leather is like performance arts. It plants balls in your hipster panties, and gives moves like Jagger. Good leather like Calvin Klein Jeans’ Rebel Edge capsule collection, in which walking sounds nothing like squeaky crisps, but a Toyota Prius. (That shit be silent, and buttery.) This rebellion is against your goody-two-shoes self – Eat dessert first, write your to-do list on a banana peel; stand on the left, walk on the right, get yelled at, yell back. See? Good leather is a keeper.

Calvin Klein Jeans Rebel Edge capsule, available at the Regent Street store and MyTheresa.com

Jacket – Calvin Klein Jeans Rebel Edge capsule. Trousers & hoodie – Calvin Klein Jeans. Boots – Acne Studios

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bomber & top CALVIN KLEIN JEANS leather trousers CALVIN KLEIN JEANS CAPSULE

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All – Calvin Klein Jeans Rebel Edge capsule

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Pullover & trackpant – Charlie May. Watch – Shinola ‘Runwell’.

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art direction SHINI PARK photography & styling TEAM PARK & CUBE in collaboration with Shinola

I feel like this is one topic that has been discussed numerous times before in passing, but I still wonder whether I am perhaps… a dude? Evidence suggests that I, in fact, may be a 13-year old boy, what with the lack of chesticulars and fondness to playing with matches. But on some days I find myself slouched in the pink couch guzzling down some beer or strawberry cider or another, plotting the car I should decorate my mid-life crisis with and ask myself what AM I? A pastel-purple Jaguar (they’re going to have to mix a heck load of white, red and blue at the garage) is the answer so far, although the thought of a velvet-wrapped Porsche is also pretty enticing – solely for the reason of baffling/pissing off society. Sure, this probably is an age-old depiction of ‘man’, and my feminist assistant Simon, will weep silently in a corner in the office once he reads this (#genderequality, you guys) but hey – you tell me if these evidences say ‘lady’ anywhere.

I’m getting to a point, I promise.

Now, I had not known of Shinola (pronounced ‘shy-no-la’, originating from ‘shoe-shine’) until a few months back, during a routine stalking of fine gentlemen on the intranets (you know, Monday morning thing) I came across the brand’s website. A cursory session of digging of the wonder-emporium of leather goods later, decided it was ALL made for me: The leather footballs, stationery, watches with graphically sound (and when I say sound I mean HANDSOME) faces, and MY GOODNESS the bicycles, expertly assembled and shipped from Detroit, which is where the brand originates from. They boast a strong American heritage, in value and history, and all designs are inspired by the city’s industrial past.

iPad cover, notebook, watch – Shinola.

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Bicycle – Shinola ‘Bixby’

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They boast a strong AMERICAN HERITAGE, in value and history, and all designs are inspired by the city’s industrial past.
LEFT: Top – Muji. Trousers – ASOS. RIGHT: Turtleneck – Lands’End. Trousers – ASOS. Watch – Shinola ‘Runwell’.

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I wanted to be that silently brilliant man that took pride in his profession, who treated his possessions with firm-yet-unobsessive care, and owned a fine watch because his time was currency itself. I wanted to set the boob jokes/box of matches aside, change out of that beer-stained shirt and write stories in beautifully bound stationery; roll my sleeves up and take the bicycle to a neighbourhood uncharted before – Detroit, perhaps.

So, this is what a brand with solid value system does to a consumer: it makes a man out of a boy. Add a dose of expert craftsmanship and healthy influence to a socio-economically struggling city… how many times do I have to say, great stories are infectious?

Here is a digitorial, in efforts to emulate the Shinola ‘man’, a rite of sorts, I suppose.

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I wanted to be that silently brilliant man that took pride in his profession, who treated his possessions with firm-yet-unobsessive care, and owned a fine watch because his TIME was currency itself…

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Bomber – Coach. Top – Dagmar. Backpack – Shinola. Skirt – Charlie May.
Watches – Shinola ‘Runwell’

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Jacket – Filippa K. Utility trousers – ASOS. Shoes – Acne ‘Jensen’. Bicycle – Shinola ‘Bixby’

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Brussels by foot, nose and waffles
Discovering Elixir, the new Flower by Kenzo

There must be some kind of a grand plan to have me familiarize with the city of Brussels through briefest of stints, using – quite exclusively – my olfactory senses. It’s like one of those memory games where a card flashes a part of a photo and with every card you have to do your best to figure out the larger picture – in my case, the Brussels I know consists of: the pungent aroma of a sack of cocoa beans (with a chocolate factory attached to the end of it), the whiff of cinnamon sugar on my very genuine Belgian waffles*, and a fruity, sweet note of Elixir – the new Flower by Kenzo perfume – a note that graduates into a scent bathed in rose, and ends with a tinge of bourbon vanilla.

A couple of us girls arrived via Eurostar on a snug Autumn morning, and weaved our way through the city towards the launch of the fragrance at MAD (Mode and Design) Brussels, curated by artist Jean-François d’Or. The exhibition is a play on words and a performance of scent. A little trivia would reveal, that ‘Coquelicot’, or French for the word poppy, was oft written coquelicoq – where Coq means rooster. As a tribute, the most notable installation – Le chant du coquelicot (the song of the poppy) – fanned golden leaves into the air, every time the sun rose in the world. The campaign is a nod to the power of flower and celebration of peace and justice. By the dawn in Panama City, we shuffled out to catch the train home, pockets full of silk poppies doused in Elixir, leaving golden leaves dancing in our wake.

In collaboration with Kenzo

*contrary to doughy wannabe’s on Oxford Street (aka Does sir know the Heimlich Maneuver), the original proves to be quite fluffy in texture, and therefore makes sense to inhale with a layer of melted chocolate, and ask for seconds at the next block.

Coat – Versus. Leather trousers – ASOS. Bag – Celine. Top – Zara. Boots – Acne

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Dress – Hush

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Shirt dress – Hush ‘ Iris’. Boots – Stuart Weitzman. Bag – Mansur Gavriel. Scarf – Acne ‘Canada‘. Felt fedora – Hoss Intropia (similar at ASOS).

Welcome to the season of 23-hour daylight savings. I swear, whoever is saving all these daylights must be able to afford to buy a country right now, if not already surrounded by hot girls in bikinis, throwing 15 million°C light bulbs around like it was hundred dollar billz. JEEZ. The sun stayed out for exactly an hour the day this was shot, by the time I’d done up the buttons of my Hush shirt dress it had slunk back into whatever solar cave it had come from. Yet another reason to fling a fist to the sky.

I told you weather is always a good topic. This is why you and I are friends.

Photos with Mr. Tripod

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Welcome to Mayfair, Bally!

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Jacket & Bag – Bally. Sweater – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara. Shoes – Acne Jensen boots

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Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery

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Hedonism Wines

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Annabel’s chocolate cake, at Mount Street Deli

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Mount Street Deli

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Jacket & Bag – Bally. Extrafine Merino knitwear – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara (similar). Shoes – Acne Jensen boots

Oh Mayfair. Home to old-school London opulence and playground to hedge fund boys; and reportedly – the scene to Prince Philip’s stag night, way back when. Dusty terracotta-orange bricks punctuate the neighbourhood, Victorian filigree curling around the frames. And the occasional Lamborghini, parked like boys’ bicycles on the curbs. Soon to add to the flags of the not-so-commonwealth along New Bond Street is Swiss brand Bally who, those of who will remember, my sister from another mister (in my dreams) – tucked in a corner at number 45, designed by none other than David Chipperfield Architects (of Hotel Cafe Royal, Valentino NY flagship…) In the lead-up to the store launch I worked with Bally on leading a new video series named #BallyMayfairWelcome, essentially doing what new neighbours do and knock on doors of their Mayfair neighbours, pie in hand. Of course, in some cases we ate the pies… Annabel’s chocolate cake at Mount Street Deli will change your life (TEAM CHOCOLATE) – you heard it here first. The videos are being released in the Bally blog, but do keep an eye out on their Twitter and Instagram as from the sneak peeks I’ve been seeing so far it looks a right stunner. Think leather shoe boxes lining the walls, mid-century furniture and stone stairwells…

I’m coming to realize that I never managed to share this news here, but I’ve been consulting for and managing the Bally social media accounts since July. (The amount of times I very nearly tweeted chocolate cravings and in-bus rages from that account… heart palpitations.) Do come by and say hi soon!

Many thanks to Laetitia (another sister from another mister) for helping with the photos of me. In Collaboration with Bally.