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creative direction SHINI PARK photography assistance SIMON SCHMIDT created for CALVIN KLEIN
Top – Calvin Klein. Bag – Calvin Klein. Jeans – Zara

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“My superpower? Awkward.”
“What’s awkward?”
“No, that’s my superpower. Inducing awkwardness.”
*awkward silence*
“Okay.”

At the start of a recent phone interview I was dealt this ice-breaker question, which – for all means and purposes – I wrecked. I basically GLUED TOGETHER any ice at this point and the rest of the interview was downhill from there. When I was 14 this would have brought me to hot tears, and would have faltered in my full skinny, gawky glory. Believe me, I had the full set: the braces, the cheap glasses and a social aptitude that of a blind mosquito.

However, from a certain point in my life I started being able to use this awkwardness to my advantage – accidentally at first – and found it the most exhilarating superpower in my arsenal (right next to being sexay). It wasn’t easy to hone, probably because you can’t hone it – I’m still awkward AF, but when used right it’s magic. It’s a truth serum at times, and in others, a douchebag survival tactic. (Asking “are you poor?” with genuine concern works EVERY TIME) (However, this has now morphed into a bit of a running joke on Snapchat @Sparkncube)

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Dress – Charlie May. Leather Trousers – Calvin Klein Jeans Capsule. Bag – Calvin Klein.

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I suspect that this is one of the reasons why I was drawn to this Calvin Klein pony-hair number so much. Its slightly awkward size and shape is reminiscent of my past (and admittedly still, present), but flaunts its personality and functionality in the way it knows best. In simple terms, this bag fits everything (including a proper book, for once) and goes with practically anything. Even douchebags like me.

Top – Calvin Klein. Bag – Calvin Klein. Jeans – Zara

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Created for
Moët & Chandon

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The thing about being a crippling introvert, especially when your two out of three words in your unofficial (cringe) job title is ‘social’ and ‘influencer’ (heck even ‘media’ is a plural, SAVE ME), is that you don’t really have friends. By friends I don’t mean the people you hang out with because they look good on your Instagram feed (same logic applies to ordering photogenic food that you hate eating, like muesli – what am I, a bird?), it’s people who actually listen to your nerdery (?), like explaining the difference between Windows 8 and Windows 10 (and why there is no Windows 9* **).

This very blog is the realization that, for the past seven-going-on-eight years, I’ve been looking inwards and playing in front of the looking glass. And for the better half of said eight years, my £19 tripod was a pretty good pal until the day it chucked my (thankfully inexpensive) camera down on the asphalt outside the house, blurted ‘DONE WITH THIS SH*T’ and hobbled off, three legs and all. I knew I had to find some real friends then. Obviously it didn’t come easy – I met people, looked for buttons to press, and occasionally offered ham. I mostly made friends with parking meters and foxes.

*Because Seven EIGHT Nine. LMAO. GET IT. Seven ate Nine.
** This is why I have to buy friends onlinest.

Dress – Tata Naka. Jeans – Stylenanda. Pumps – Zara.

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Fast forward to 2016, I’m proud to say this gang of dorks are friends
Skirt – Tara Jarmon. Shirtdress – Stylenanda. (On Sarah) Dress – Tata Naka
Charlie wears: all Charlie May. Ring – Mara. Choker – Maria Black.

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Fast forward to 2016, I’m proud to say this gang of dorks are friends. I may have offered a day-trip to Brighton (chaperoned by this crazy Asian lady driver), carby road-snacks and bottomless-ish Moët & Chandon champagne as bait, but I suspect they would’ve done it for nothing. Let me introduce: You know Sarah: sunshine personified, looks a lot like a goddess, humour like a merry bunny. There’s Charlie - designer, girl crush and the real culprit behind the minimalist movement (Philo who?). Emarr, rising star to the world of the fast-spoken rhymes – SoOo talented IT HURTS (Don’t check his Soundcloud, it’s just full of AWESOME, you wouldn’t like it). Last but not least, albeit not pictured, Simon – whom you all know if you follow on Snapchat (sparkncube) – my feminist, zealous, flaming-ball-of-enthusiasm PA (who I may or may not pay to hang out with me). Cheers, and thank you for the #moetmoment. Who needs hydraulics if five of us can make a car bounce to Dr Dre.

creative direction SHINI PARK editorial assistance SIMON SCHMIDT in collaboration with MOËT & CHANDON #OPENTHENOW
Who needs hydraulics if five of us can make a car bounce to Dr Dre.

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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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Sweater – Charlie May. Trousers – Rodebjer. Choker – By Boe (similar). Necklace – Louis Vuitton. Bag – Coach ‘Swagger 27′

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#givecoachorelse

Coach holiday campaign #GiveCoachorElse

It’s that time of year again, when you’ve just done dusting Halloween sweets off your chin and immediately a school of reindeers materialize above you, harnessed by a string of fairy lights, attached to a (glittery, it has to be glittery) sleigh of some sort. You yell ‘STAHhhP’ and try to protest, but you can’t deny that the days are shorter, colder and that toffee nut latte is exactly the thing you need to replenish the calories lost shivering in your ill-heated office. You feel bad and dust the top with a bit of your husband’s banana-tasting protein powder, for which you later get yelled at for spilling all over his gym bag.

Yep, even I – the self-proclaimed Cynic – have taken to mentally dividing shops into gift categories (i.e bag of sweet potatoes at Tesco’s = Husband) and threatening for certain gifts – quite like the cheeky new Coach #GiveCoachorElse holiday campaign, where the Coach girl gets exactly what she asked for. I’m excited to share with my readers here first. See, it’s my kind of campaign, because 1) I, the cynic, have always wanted to punch Santa and 2) one really should be clearer about what they want unless they wanted a drugstore hairbrush for the holidays. This bag, husband, this bag. And vouchers for Five Guys.

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

Disney characters strung up on a massive dead fir is definitely my kind of Christmas tree
London St Pancras station
Leather shearling trench- Coach. Bag – Coach ‘Swagger 27′

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Leather shearling trench- Coach. Trousers – Simon’s own. Brogues – Chanel. Bag – Coach ‘Swagger 27′. Luggage – Globe Trotter. Sweater – Coach.

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