Top – . Skirt – Loewe. Heels – Manolo Blahnik. Bag – Celine.

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in conversation with Bentley

‘Verified’. It’s an open secret that anyone with even a dab of digital presence will have looked up on Google, nay, will have asked various forums and perhaps even inappropriately prodded a vague contact at Instagram (sister of a friend of a friend) how one attains a ‘verified’ status on the platform. The famous blue badge that denotes legitimacy of an account, and all at the same time trivialises the collective effort of the ‘unbadged’ rest. For my journalist friends, it’s Twitter; for my golden-locked and Gucci-clad acquaintances, Instagram, or even Youtube.

I too, can confess to having spent three quarters of a weekend hour (i,e thing of gold) trying to suss the system out… digging around for perhaps a painful W8-BEN type form hidden in the nooks of the settings page, or some fiery hoops to jump through. I figured, nearly ten years in this game, I could flirt with the idea of ‘going legit’. Only, I found out too soon (and suspiciously easily), that there was no system as such. This baffled me. One girl reportedly reported a FB employee who had sold their anointing power to a slew of influencers, and as a thank you for they awarded her said badge. The rest of the advice was ‘amass a huge following’.

Okay.

Developed by the Mulliner Special Commissioning Unit, with only 50 cars produced, the Bentley Mulsanne Hallmark Series is a stamp of authenticity, and veracity.

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This got me thinking, given the various ambiguous methods of displaying self/career-worth available, and the seemingly unfulfilling tokens in place, what is it that truly verifies one’s authenticity and credibility? What was my hallmark?

Thankfully, the brands I choose to work with are great teachers in demonstrating exactly this — namely Bentley, and the Mulsanne Hallmark Series: a limited edition by Mulliner released at the Geneva Motorshow, which celebrates the marriage of unparalleled technology and craftsmanship. Only 50 units available in Gold and Silver, symbolic of its inspiration – precious metals which are authenticated by a hallmark, or stamps, validating their worth. No absurd grading system, simply the excellence in product. And the notion that, your true hallmark is purely your own passion and effort, even if there is no blue badge to say so.

Discover the full prestige of the series at Bentley Mulsanne Hallmark Series

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…the notion that, your true hallmark is purely your own passion and effort, even if there is no blue badge to say so.

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Top & trousers – Jacqumus. Belt – Loewe.

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photography & words SHINI PARK created for BENTLEY and BALLY
…like something out of a comic book in blue and red

Our drive from Geneva’s airport, along the namessake iridescent lake and through the spirited town of Vevey (only to stock on road nibbles, first-aid medicine and cash) right up to the foot of the Grimselpass was done in near-absolute silence. Not a single tune filled the Bentley Flying Spur W12 S, conversation tapered to pensive grunts, and after a while, the only sound in our rolling chamber was the gentle clicking noise of the turn signals. Even the inbuilt GPS, perhaps sensing something sacred, signalled silently but earnestly with her animated arrows. Without telling each-other so, my husband and I had been busy soaking up the innate luxury of the car, silently fingering seat controls and grazing the graceful lines of the athletic dashboard with our eyes. The scent of new leather permeated the car, reminding of the freshness of the journey.

It was only when I pulled over at a lay-by at the base of the pass, delicate snowflakes melting on the gleaming hood of the purring Flying Spur, when the excitement kicked in. We started the climb, all windows down, Bluetooth paired, blasting the James Bond medley as we heard a waterfall roar somewhere in the distance. 52kms down, 921 to go. Our sprint through the Alps was to be short but resolute, in scaling heights and documentation. But as ever, when it comes to Bentley, I – the driver – am the sidekick.

Copy in this feature is a revised adaptation of the Bentley Magazine Issue 59 article.

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Swiss Air

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A string of hairpins up a mountainside to a sleepy village, with almost no traffic at all, does it get any better?

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We were chasing the point where the rain was still snowflakes.

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Where to stay? Grimsel Hospiz, its fire-brick red shutters pronounced amidst a medley of snowy whites, greens, and rock-face greys.

Its façade like something out of a Wes Anderson flick. It’s as remote as it gets, perched atop Grimselsee reservoir, with views that make you reconsider the one night stay. The kind of place where, in winter, the snow is piled high and the hot chocolate and ratatouille lasagne dinner, the things you wake up for. Stay at least 3 nights, if you can afford the time.

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Hotel Grisel Hospiz
Grimselpass, 3864 Guttannen, Switzerland
+41 33 982 46 11
www.grimselwelt.ch
Wearing: All Bally Apres-Ski resort

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Sean Connery in Goldfinger (1964)

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The Flying Spur W12 S is like a modern sculpture, gliding by mountains of solemn might, hailing similar ideals of strength, timelessness and endurance.

Wearing: All Bally Apres-Ski resort

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Kitzbühel: Where to stay? The Bentley Lodge is a homely, wooden, Austro-Alpine bliss, swathed in all the necessary fluffy carpets and branded woollen blankets.

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Bentley Lodge Kitzbühel
Franz-Reisch-Straße 21, 6370 Kitzbühel, Austria
+41 33 982 46 11
www.bentleymotorslodge.com

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973 kilometers (603mi), one short flight into Heathrow, and four keen weeks later, the five-page feature is available in Bentley Magazine Issue 59.

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