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photography SHINI PARK assistance MR TRIPOD location CONRAD MALDIVES

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There is a special place in my mind, a cove, a nook, what have you – located in the general thereabouts of naughty-thoughtsburg and childish-schemesville. A little room that’s lined with premium faux-fur (‘stroke the furry wall, Albus’), and a make-it-yourself-burrito/burger/sundae/pho buffet in each of the four corners. And Henry Cavil as butler, in Olympic swimtrunks with ‘FAB’ written across the buttocks. We are not talking about the Maldives just yet, this space that I describe, is my ‘Happy Place’.

bracelet X JEWELLERY swimsuit ONIA. sunglasses DIOR

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Swimsuit – ASOS.

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Shirt & Bandeau – ASOS. Beach Pareo - Tallulah & Hope.

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straw hat H&M (SIMILAR) leather dress ASOS

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Ever since November 2015 however, my Happy Place has had a refurbishment. Now it is the exact replica of Conrad Maldives: white beaches with glassy water frothing at the hem, azure horizon that meets a cotton candy sky canvas, and all the amenities in a water villa. This is where I go in my mind, when my dude is particularly bewitched at the notion of explaining the supply and demand chain in the heaviest economist-lingo he can muster. I mentally snorkel out to the reefs and lather a wave underwater to a family of clown-fish while grunting the occasional Mmn, and ooh really‘s as he proceeds to pull out a complex-looking spreadsheet. Happy Place, Happy Place…

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Conrad Maldives
Rangali Island, Rangali 20077, Maldives
+960 668-0629

Park & Cube was a guest of Conrad Maldives, all views and opinion my own, as per usual.

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creative direction SHINI PARK photography assistance SIMON SCHMIDT styling TEAM PARK & CUBE in collaboration with MoËt et Chandon

Long time readers will understand if I said I had to skim ‘Dummy’s Guide to: Partying and Generally Having a Jolly Good Time with Friends Without Involving a LAN Cable or Pizza Pockets’ before shooting this feature. This is all foreign territory, this 1) having this many friends at one go and 2) being out after 8PM – latter not because of stellar home education (‘a lady should not be seen mingling in the darkness’ – said mum) but because I believe I’m just not programmed to function in such interactive settings, someone somewhere just forgot to install that patch for me.

Dress – Tata Naka.

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Man, was I wrong. Regardless of inherent awkwardness, what matters are the people you are with, and how many somersaults you can do in your full gown before gold glitter gets into every crevice of your body. GLITTER DOES NOT COME OFF, PEOPLE. Not sure how I learn this at age 28. With the help of Sarah, the prettiest girl in the world I’m sure you’ll agree, and my trusty editorial partner Brian, the forever adventurist & babe-magnet, we celebrated the NOW, with Moët et Chandon.

It’s soon time for the New Year, New Me bullshit, but before that, remember to Open the Now with the people you love most, and don’t forget to let live a little, engage in some good-hearted tomfoolery!

And of course, drink responsibly.

Sarah wears: dress – Self Portrait

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Bustier – ASOS. Skirt – Razan Alazzouni. Shoes – HOGAN

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#MOETMOMENT

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Sarah wears: Dress by Todd Lynn

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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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Sweater, trousers – Charlie May. Shirt – Junya Watanabe. Sneakers – Coach.

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Triangle hoop Earring
By Boe
Choker
Miansai
Bustier Top
Fleur du Mal
Cropped Trousers
Y’s
Crinkled skirt
Junya Watanabe
Corduroy Wrap Skirt
Maison Margiela
Customizeable Sneakers
MySwears
Shirt – Junya Watanabe. Skirt – ASOS.

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Tuck into a wrap-skirt and belt off (and belt out, in Disney songs)

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While I like to assign elaborate stories of acquisition to each piece that I add to the closet – be it temporarily (samples) or permanently (splurges) – I have a creeping suspicion there was a rather simple – if not primitive – reason to why I made a beeline to this Junya Watanabe crinkle shirt from Farfetch. Perhaps it was familiarity: hey you look like all my shirts in my closet, in fact hey you look like EVERYTHING in my closet (Iron? What’s that?) But really, I think it was a gut-reaction, an empathetic response of some sort, a bit like how one does to a wounded animal. This shirt looks EXACTLY like my current deadline situation, and I wanted to take care of it, even if just for a few nights. So here, three ways to wear it, because SENSE.
In collaboration with Farfetch

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Coat – Rochas. Shirt – Junya Watanabe. Choker – By Boe. Bustier – ASOS. Trousers – Y’s.
Pair with a tight-fitting bustier and re-enact the scene from The Pirates of the Carribbean to get attention.

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Layer under a sweater and casually scrunch up the sleeves to show the crinkle madness underneath that cutely describes your current situation with deadlines.

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Top – Dagmar. Trousers – Rodebjer via Zalando. Shoes – Sarah Flint. Necklace – Lali Shop & Vivienne Westwood.

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My Sexy
art direction SHINI PARK photography MR TRIPOD in collaboration with ZALANDO & CK

If you happen to know me in real life, or follow along on Snapchat, you know my reaction to fresh-baked pizza, glistening spaghetti, or a steaming burrito wrap: “YAAaaaARS”. As loud as possible, and with a roll of eyes that would knock down a ten-pin bowling line-up. One bite of said burrito would send shivers down my spine and I’d feel an odd sense that I, am in love, with this food, would like to procreate with it, sit under the stars, read poems together about salted caramel, and roast garlic over open flame. #LongTechnicallyInacurrateSentenceDontCare. So, what do I consider sexy, you ask? A bowl of phô wearing Agent Provacateur.

On occasion of Zalando’s #SHAREYOURSEXY #UK campaign with Calvin Klein Underwear, fronted by ultrababe Joan Smalls, here are a few other things that I think sexy: Food, great sense of humour underlined by dirty jokes and sarcasm – sharp enough to make sashimi out of any serious/non-serious situation – and nerds. Talk to me ONLY using lines from LOTR and you can be Ron to my Hermione (also must be proficient in at least two FPS games and own a gaming mouse).

What’s your Sexy?

Shirt – Jil Sander. Corset & Skirt – ASOS. Necklaces – Lali Shop, Louis Vuitton

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humour (aka dirty jokes)
AKA Any joke including your mum, weiners and farts, essentially, because we all know I have a mind of a 13-year-old. Great humour make my knees weak, especially the borderline-inappropriate kind, laced with darkness and dripping with sarcasm. Arrested Development, Rick & Morty, Natalie Tran – I’m looking at y’all.
geekery/nerdery
If you haven’t dissected your PC tower at age 15 and spent 4 days catching Mewtwo in Pokemon Red, then you wouldn’t know the joy in communicating solely  using lines from Star Wars/Trek, LOTR, Harry Potter, Marvel/DC comics, Sims (yes, the jibberish) and occasionally dirty lines from Game of Thrones – the books.

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good food, bad food (ALL THE FOODS)
Doesn’t matter if it’s been swimming in grease, or fresh-plucked out of the ground, food is my BFF and lover. More the cheese, the sexier it gets, though – that’s one equation that works every time.