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creative direction SHINI PARK photo assistance SIMON SCHMIDT created for CARTIER

Amulette de Cartier: pink gold, malachite, diamond

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I want young women to discuss the difference of beauty in Krispy Kreme vs Dunkin Donuts, stop hauling, and find some context in life.

Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that with my impending immigration across to the next age-box I am also slowly packing my bags for an ever titillating journey of ‘age-induced casual offensiveness’ that get oh-so-entertaining when fully ripe. If I smoked I might as well be a Parisian. Thirty-something, speaks her mind without the Chihuahua-quiver of a young-un’ or the fear of judgement, and a slight potty mouth… what a GLORIOUS prospect. Granted, I don’t mean to imply that age is the only factor that affects one’s frankness (some people – like my mother – were born with balls) (OK strike that), but my journey of expression seems to mature with age. Alas, I am also a Korean and hence inherently age-ist, which means I use the word ‘mature’ like I would when describing cheese, and isn’t mature cheese really just an older, stinkier version we all put up with…

For the time being, I’m enjoying sticking the proverbial hand out the window to test the weather before the journey – everyone and everything is subject to an inappropriate joke. (“Sorry, are you poor?”) The typical week at the Cube Collective office is divided into Monday, Ageist Tuesday, Insult Wednesday, Sexist Thursday, and Bloggerist Fridays. My PA suffers on all days but Friday, which is when we order a pizza and howl over badly written blog entries on the intranets. Truth is, while I joke, I do believe said political frankness helps a great deal in refining one’s outlook in becoming a critical adult because it turns silent slander (where inappropriate really is, literally, inappropriate) into constructive criticism lined with some brand of humour that challenges people to grow.

#UnlockYourWish

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Lace top – Zara. Skirt – Milly. Necklace – Cartier.

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top ELLERY trousers RAZAN ALAZZOUNI necklace CARTIER

We inhabit the age of compulsive digital expression rife with passive positivity, so passive that the landscape is flattened for newcomers – no novice will know and appreciate the difference between Vuitton and Vetements because their heroes chant “I love my FROW seat and the show was beautiful”. How is EVERYTHING beautiful, pray tell? Mauritius might as well be Cambodia according to our non-review reviews. Maldives is seriously pissed off for being compared to yet another white beach.

Instead of contriving a Disneyfied story about some farfetched personal ambition to accompany this collaboration with Amulette de Cartier #UnlockyourWish, here’s my real wish, unabridged: I want young women to discuss the difference of beauty in Krispy Kreme vs Dunkin Donuts, stop hauling, and find some context. It’s a whole lot more interesting to see aspirational women who want to make a difference in the world, who also happens to love fashion. Being a blogger for the sake of being a blogger (or God forbid, money) will leave you in an emotional, if not professional, bind in less than five years – take my word.

And enough duckface snaps, HONESTLY. Happy Insult Wednesday, all.

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Cartier, hailed as the “king of jewellers, jeweller of kings,” by King Edward VII, is also king of stories (say this ten times faster). For what is an engagement ring without the story of two? Or a 69.42-carat pear diamond without the on & off-screen saga between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor? Come with me to explore the Cartier arsenal of real-life fairy tales that transform rock into diamond…
art direction SHINI PARK photography & styling TEAM PARK & CUBE in collaboration with Cartier
Necklace – Galanterie de Cartier. Dress – Jonathan Simkhai

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It’s not a secret that we – namely Millenials, the ‘Y’ or Peter Pan generation – have a thirst for summaries, a Cliff’s Notes version of unashamedly long, winding, heart-breaking-and-waking stories with valiant heroes and fearless heroines. How many times has J.K Rowling lifted and dropped our hearts with every page turn? Heck, now it’s all about 140-character notes and #nofilter squares that somehow boil down to a point when squinted hard enough, and those blasted abbreviations, because there’s no time at all to LOL IRL since YOLO, apparently. So you’ll agree, stories are worth its weight in gold, or diamonds.

London saw, in its final week of November, a hailstorm of leaves that left the city’s canopies bare and vulnerable to the elements. And snow it did, in the form of a Le Diamant, a private exhibition at Philips displaying rare, diamond-clad treasures from the Cartier archive as part of its travelling Tradition collection and the new art-deco inspired range Galanterie de Cartier. It was by sheer chance that we caught the spectacle.

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LOVE Bracelet, Pink and white gold diamonds

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If love is fleeting, haphazard and possibly a string of coincidences, according to Kundera (The Unbearable lightness of being, 1984), then this must be love – this implausible set of accidents that have led for the Galanterie de Cartier necklace to be looped around my neck, and thus being a part of the Cartier story, albeit for a fleeting moment.

The Pur Absolu necklace worn by Karen Elson in the dazzling Christmas campaign, along with the Tradition collection, will be on sale in Cartier New Bond Street boutique for a month.

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…hailed as the “king of jewellers, jeweller of kings,” by King Edward VII

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Above: Core range in diamonds. Left: Necklace – Galanterie de Cartier. Dress – Jonathan Simkhai

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Sleeping is just time travel to breakfast = yes/no?

Let’s say yes. Not because it’s the correct answer (it is), but for part two of Winter Tale with Cartier, I envisioned a sunny morning of Christmas Day, crisp winter breeze cutting through a crack in the window letting this cynic-turned-Christmas-Elf know that the breakfast she’s about to wake up to is extra special. Nevermind the gifts, for now, it’s the fact that today, the members that have gathered to celebrate with you have nothing else on their itineraries. No meetings, no computers, no phones. All replaced by whim, tradition, and a good dose of ambling in between.

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Sweater – H&M. All jewellery - Cartier ‘Juste un Clou’

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Even as a innate sceptic I’ve always loved Christmas mornings: waking up to the smell of my mother cooking Korean food, and my father cleaning out the car – some years there would be fluffy snow, some years not – and a huge, hearty breakfast, served on the big wooden table in the kitchen as to accommodate for quick exit so that we can load up and make it to church on time. Gifts were usually exchanged in the evening over fruit and dessert, and since for some unknown reason we had stopped putting up a tree since around year 2000 (them Y2K silver tinsels didn’t do anyone any good), gifts would appear out of nowhere. And every year we’d discover, that mother hiding gifts in the fridge, inside what looked like kimchi containers, is the work of a true artist.

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While unfortunately I will not be joining my family this year, I will be rockin’ around the…  Aloe Vera tree with the hubby and bringing a bit of my own tradition from home. I may however, be forced to re-think the gifts-in-kimchee-container tactic unless I want to spend Christmas in A&E with the hubby choking on a Grooming kit because I GUARANTEE HE WILL TRY TO EAT IT IF IT’S IN THE FRIDGE.

I’m not signing off just yet, but I wish you all the magic and happiness over the holidays, and who knows, maybe a red box from the sky? Pray the cubs are playing rough this year.

And to all my fellow cynics out there: have a whiskey, open a gift or two. Relax.

In collaboation with Cartier. (Read Part 1 here) Art Direction – Park & Cube. Photography – KrisAtomic. Location – Blake’s Hotel

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A cynic’s winter tale
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When it comes to the holidays I have a painfully pragmatic, almost sarcastic approach to things – this my agent Abi, AKA Captain Christmas, can attest to. Hubby and I don’t decorate the flat, usually until D-3, when we cave and decide to use the overgrown Aloe Vera plant as an evergreen substitute, on which we string up stale Ferro Rochers dug out from the pantry. (Half of which disappear mysteriously during the night, I may start believing in Santa after all.) (Why they are stale is also a good question.)

This year however, December started with a series of accidental celebration: a spare hour between meetings that was burned shuffling around the Somerset House skating rink, a sprinkle of marshmallows in my morning coffee which has now triggered a daily ritual (in my defence, they were calling my name), and decking the flat with winter flowers because nothing else was available at the flower market. By the end of week 1 I was shopping for wreaths, and as we draw near the end of week 2 I am now contemplating changing my voicemail recording to the tune of Little Drummer Boy and request that anyone wishing to leave a message needs to follow up with the second verse. (Maybe that’ll stop people from using the darned voicemail, once and for all. It’s actually a good tactic.)

All jewellery – Cartier ‘Juste un Clou

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I jest. But there undoubtedly is a new-fangled (or at least re-fangled) buzz in the air, a sort of anticipation but perhaps also the joy of keeping oneself busy while the temperature drops and the days get darker by day. I decided to collaborate with Cartier again, to celebrate my accidental celebration, and also continue the story of their 2014 holiday campaign. I’ve always wanted to shoot the Juste un Clou range, and a bit of sparkle never hurt no cynic, last time I checked. And now, should a few leopard cubs knock down a few Cartier boxes from the clouds, it wouldn’t be met with a contemptuous meh, but at least a slightly better-decorated Aloe Vera tree and twelve, not nine, empty marshmallow bags in the trashcan.

Cape, blouse – Zara. Jeans – DL1961. Bag – Marni. All jewellery – Cartier

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Turtleneck – Zara (similar). Skirt – Mango (similar). Earmuffs – Karl Donohughe via Harvey Nichols. Jewellery – Cartier

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As usual, the topic returns to things that fall from the sky. Although, surely no fist is to be shaken to the clouds should it rain Cartier? Lemme think about it. No. No fist.

Stay tuned for Part Two, the morning of. In the meantime, I want to hear what colour your panties holiday decorations consist of.

In collaboation with Cartier. Art Direction – Park & Cube. Photography – KrisAtomic.

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Blazer – Zara (similar). Culottes – ASOS. Shoes – Gianvito Rossi. Belt – Vintage LV

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Necklace – Amulette de Cartier

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Necklace – Cartier. Top & Trousers – Louis Vuitton Icon. Scarf – Zara. Bag – L.K.Bennett. Shoes – ASOS.

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Necklace – Cartier.

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Above: Hat – Chanel. Sweater - Zadig & Voltaire. Necklace – Cartier. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Heels – Malone Souliers

There’s an urban myth that flight attendants look for neatly-dressed passengers in Economy to upgrade into Business class in order to balance the weight of the plane when the flight is under-booked. That, of course, is not the reason I wear heels when I travel. I am the passenger that has breadcrumbs all over her chin and sweater before take-off because I genuinely believe that I will starve and die before they bring out the food trolley. I’m also the passenger that is virtually invisible because she’s reaching under the seat for a fallen Skittle.

ANYWAY. I may have briefly touched up on this before, but the more I travel, the more I realise how much I’m addicted to the first 24 hours of a journey: the flurry of packing, pre-flight jitters, and the view out the plane/train window, then finally landing on foreign soil and cataloguing new scents and sounds into memory. From a certain point I started to dress up for it, like I would to any anticipated event, like a good show – figured I’d be sitting for hours in the plane anyway. While I don’t think I’ve yet fully mastered the art, so far these tricks have worked for me: Frothy cashmere, a great pair of heels you can easily slip out from, and single, fuss-free jewellery like the Amulette de Cartier that won’t bring down the entire airport.

In Collaboration with Cartier; photography by KrisAtomic; Location: Booking Office at the Renaissance Hotel.