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creative direction SHINI PARK photography TEAM PARK & CUBE in ambassadorship for COACH

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Runway images credit: Vogue.com

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The American outdoors

Let’s pretend for a second that the wind howling outside our single-pane windows isn’t about to French braid the crap out of the bush by the gate and our recycling bins aren’t blown into a different post code entirely. Let’s pretend, in fact, that the office is bathed in golden sunlight and a westerly breeze tickles the tips of VAT receipts peeking out from the solemn black folders. Heavens, is that Chloë Grace Moretz in my samples closet?

I had missed the Coach 1941 SS16 show back in September by a mere ten minutes sitting – forlorn – in NYC traffic (aka the world’s oldest excuse), which meant moping around the show-space as the music thumped inside the glass terrarium, hoping to see a glimpse what I was meant to see in relative comfort of a name-plated seat. What I did get to see was how a chunk of the Highline transformed into an abandoned railway track strewn with dry, overgrown grasses and fig trees: a stage on which the brand would celebrate its 75th anniversary championing the great outdoors, clothed in the trademark American curiosity and confidence. I loved playing with some pieces, seen here – albeit for a glorious, imaginary sun-drenched minute before slinking back into a pile of yarn and resuming the anthem of ‘do you want to make a frickin snowman out of me’. The new collection hits stores 15th February.

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All clothing & Accessories – Coach 1941

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…the great outdoors, clothed in the trademark American curiosity and confidence.

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direction SHINI PARK photo assistance SIMON SCHMIDT location FLORENCE ITALY
Jacket, Dress, Bag – Coach SS16.

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Had I known micro-trips is to be the running theme of January, I’d have at least nabbed some tiny stocking-filler toothbrush & toothpaste sets and kept some advent calendar chocolate aside over the holidays. The thing about these overnight stints is that it puts you in somewhat of grey area of ‘purposelessness’, because you decide it is too short of a trip to take your usual ‘purposefulness’ kit which helps you be productive, if not be entertained. So you end up sitting in that window-seat like a potato, thinking of potato things.

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One thing I did notice: shorter the trips, smaller the carry-on handbag. Passports come out their elaborate, monogrammed, multi-pocketed travel wallets and into a coat pocket; same with ticket stubs and any other paperly goods – dog-eared and unidentifiable by the tenth time Ryanair checks that you are indeed you. Cue the Saddle Bag, key player for Coach Spring16 collection and a nod to the classic design from the archives, just in time for the brand’s 75th anniversary. The smaller size (Saddle 23 – £325) got me through a 22h stint in Florence just last week: big enough to scrunch in a silk blouse I scored at a vintage shop off the beaten track, and perfectly concise enough to enjoy a brief-but-glorious moment in the Italian sun.

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

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Blazer – Acne. Trousers – Rodebjer. Bag – Coach Saddlebag.
…big enough to scrunch in a silk blouse scored at a vintage shop owned by a small Italian lady…

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All items Coach. Scarf – Acne ‘Canada’.

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Track and field
Three ways to style the Nike Cortez
creative direction SHINI PARK photography & styling TEAM PARK & CUBE in collaboration with Nike

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shirt DAGMAR silk black top MALENE ODDERSHEE BACH skirt KIOMI trainers NIKE ‘CORTEZ’

Gone are those days when my hooves – tad tall for the day’s purposes – made odd Christmas-tree shaped marks in the pavement on a hot summer day. Banished, are the thoughts that fleeted into my post-adolescent, under-cooked brain, teasing with a very useless idea of purchasing stripper heels with a 3-inch perspex platform and a goldfish residing under each foot (or dollar-note tips, whichever). You know, kids and their insecurities, one of mine were: short, Asian legs. My early twenties was in fact, punctuated with poor choice in footwear: cheap ‘leather’ glued with ‘wood’, and heels generally too high for my/my immediate surroundings’ own good. And to think of all the things I could’ve done had I been a little closer to earth – all the buses I could’ve caught, the nights I could’ve slept indoors had I not given up on walking home on the bloody stumps I called feet…

Perhaps it’s life’s Yin & Yang, but now I own a UberXL-load of sneakers in varying shapes and sizes, a hefty bunch Nike’s – naturally. All made for a ‘track’ or another (the Cortez originally a running shoe), but worn beating down London pavements and chasing buses (and catching them for once). Insecurities are re-allocated (cellulite, taxes), but I’m glad to say that for the past few years I’ve been sleeping indoors every night, thanks to this obsession for trainers. The Nike ‘Cortez‘, returning since its original debut in 1972 and then 1994 in Forrest Gump, is new to the family. No plans yet to run cross-country in them but here’s three ways you can at least get to the next meeting without hailing down a black cab.

Gentle colour-blocking works famously when layering basics: sleeveless top TODD LYNN skirt STELLA MCCARTNEY trousers COS trainers NIKE ‘CORTEZ’

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Sporty, but not for sports. Top off with statement jewellerydress FILIPPA K cardigan MANDKHAI earrings ASOS NIKE ‘CORTEZ’

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Lots of legs (read: Angelina Jolie slit) to balance out the casual : red dress KIRSTY WARD black dress BACK BY ANN SOFIE BACK trainers NIKE ‘CORTEZ’

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dress FILIPPA K cardigan MANDKHAI earrings ASOS NIKE ‘CORTEZ’

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The ‘meh’ emoji is all-encompassing, and wholly made for this time of year. You know the one, with the mouth that looks like that pen-mark you make when you try out pens in Muji, that dash that just could not care less about being straight.

meh – this one.

Got your tree up yet? – meh. Time for some Mariah Carey? – meeehhhh. Sent out all your gifts? –meh (shiiiiiiiiiit?!). As usual, my impeccable timing have left me soiling my pants a little – what with a pile of gifts looking bored in a cold corner in the office, and my sheer repulsion for the local post-office taking physical shape and casting sarcastic (?), sticky webs over the whole thing. It doesn’t help that I’ve donated the last of our blue IKEA bags in the last charity shop round, which means WHAT DOES ONE USE TO TRANSPORT LARGE AMOUNTS OF SMALL ODD-SHAPED BITS AT ONE GO?

…the yellow lipstick case, just stuff some tampons in it and stun the giftee with your resourcefulness.
Coach x Basemen cosmetic pouches, Lipstick – Bobbi Brown

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Come to think of it, I may in fact employ the same approach to gift-sending as to taxes: painfully last minute, and usually involving some form of begging/wailing in a public place. Hey Carey, all I want for Christmas is some TaskRabbit coupons so that my mother doesn’t write me out of her will all over again. (It is however, becoming a bit of an endearing annual tradition)

As acting ambassador, I thought I’d call in some Coach x Baseman bits that might spark some Coach gift ideas if you’re still stuck. I’m especially pining for the yellow lipstick case, just stuff some tampons in it and stun the giftee with your infallible resourcefulness.

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

Coat – Versus by Versace. Flares – Frame Denim. Bag – Coach ‘Crosby’ patchwork. Scarf – Coach x Baseman square Turtleneck – Lands’End

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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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