I've moved on...
...to a different domain. Why, what were you thinking? The truth is, I just woke up one day and decided it's time for a change—a metamorphosis, if you will; or, in layman's terms, if Britney can shave her head, then maybe so can I? Nevertheless, it's been a rather handsome 10 years of talking to you, and thank you for putting up with all my moodswings and terrible dad jokes. Fear not! The hormonal imbalance and jokes are more terrible on CUBICLE, see you there.


photography SHINI PARK
In a way, the world begins at 18, non?

Eighteen. A number not commonly spotted in the usual roster of suspects, nor accompanied by some far-fetched superstition that leads 4’s to be scratched off elevators and 13’s to haunt perfectly innocent Fridays; it is perfectly harmless, almost mundane. Little do we realise that 18 is, in fact, a glorious number. A not round but so-very-round figure that bottles in just enough experience, evolution and ‘manhood’ for a product to be deemed ready for the world.

Be it in a gawky, all-arms-and-legs teenager or a dusty bottle of Bordeaux from your parents wedding, 18 of anything is a painstaking process of trial & error, handicraft and refinement. Even if Joe’s braces aren’t coming off until next Springtime. Chanel is a master of said 18, hours of which it takes (depending on material) for one handbag to be produced. Each is subject to meticulous care, from sketch to packaging – every step sanctioned by quality control – after which it is then ready to begin its story. Now multiply this by decades of finesse and perfection.

The skins are preserved in a temperature controlled chamber


Each is subject to meticulous care, from sketch to packaging – every step sanctioned by quality control – after which it is then ready to begin its story.

A range of hand-made mock-ups are produced before selecting a final prototype nased on proportions and stitching details.



I’m not going to lie, when I climbed in that van outside Hotel Costes I promised myself to Jason Bourne the crap out of the ride, ready to count the minutes between each turn and memorize particular kinks in the road. Just to be able to be privy to – if not trace back for personal pleasure and some light stalking of – one of fashion’s best-kept secrets: the address to the Chanel handbag factory. Alas, my carb-y lunch had been filling, washed down with a glass of white wine, and by the fourth junction out of La Défense, I was out like a decommissioned traffic light. I might as well have had a dust-bag over my head.

We arose to the sound of soft crackle of gravel as the van pulled into the entrance to a handsome building covered in matte-black tiles that resembled the iconic Chanel quilting. The interiors airy corridors in calming tones bouncing off diffused natural light. Workers and craftsmen weaved past us, practically gliding, talking in gentle tones no louder than the soft, diligent whirring of the machines. A cart with a small stack of lemon-yellow leather hide wheeled by – perhaps a limited-edition 11.12 in its infancy – as I made a bee-line to the table where the quilting was being stitched. Room after another, I dashed, mid-sentence – to a corner where the logo hardware was being set, to the station where seams were being hammered… At one point I’m certain I caught my poor guide glancing at a spool of bag chain, no doubt contemplating a makeshift leash.

The iconic 2.55 throughout the ages


Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.
Coco Chanel

Not one bag is the same, multiply that by six collections produced each year under Karl’s boundless design direction, then add a challenge of technical variation for each. Heck, throw a differentiation equation in there for good measure, and that should adequately sum up the level of expertise exercised in the factory. The same building houses also nearly 3,000 bags in archive, forming a rich library of inspiration for designers and craftsmen but also a thick resume of Coco Chanel-class problem-solving skills. “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” The factory certainly was all doors, all solutions.



Many thanks to Chanel UK for the rare peek behind the scenes.

How a Chanel 2.55 is made
photography courtesy of CHANEL

The aged calfskin is quilted by needlework according to a lozenge “diamond” pattern.


A template is placed onto the leather and cuts the different components, which are then individually lined with thin foam.


The emblematic double C is sewn onto the leather, appearing underneath the flap inside the bag.


The two bags are placed one within the other to create a single bag and then assembled; this is the “bag in the bag” technique.


Eyelets are inserted on the bag for a chain made of flat links in metal known as the “jewellery chain”. A rectangular turn-lock clasp, called the “Mademoiselle lock”, is positioned.



The bag is complete and the finishing touches are checked before it is packed and sent to the CHANEL boutiques.


Coat – Stylenanda. Ruffle top – ASOS. Satchel – Disney x Coach 1941


direction SHINI PARK photo assistance SIMON SCHMIDT in collaboration with COACH


We all love a good American union: Brad and Angelina (Brad and Jennifer, if you like), Facebook and Instagram, fried chicken on waffle (has anyone tried Oreo with Sunny D because MIND BLOWN) and this is no exception. If anything this one puts me straight back into DPA* meetings because I’ve once again burst out in song in the middle of the road and pissed off my parole officer. 0 Days since last Colours of the Wind. Two icons join hands under one limited-edition collection: Coach, who celebrate their 75th anniversary this year, and the mascot of pop culture – Disney’s Mickey Mouse, who is basically my soul animal (high-waisted red shorts with white gloves and a mischievous grin go hand-in-hand). Watch me replace the husband’s protein powder stash with Nesquik this summer.

*Disney Princesses Anonymous, in which I am the token Asian girl that is always expected to sing My Reflection.


…Mickey Mouse, who is basically my soul animal (high-waisted red shorts with white gloves and a mischievous grin go hand-in-hand)


Top & jeans – Stylenanda. Shoes – Kurt Geiger. Pouch – Disney x Coach 1941



creative direction SHINI PARK photography assistance SIMON SCHMIDT in collaboration with DELL

So, it all starts like this: I like computers, I like pictures, I like not moving. I also happen to like burritos, and DIY (once upon a time). Drop all this into one cauldron – add bat-wings for double-jointedness – and brew 12 years… POOF! out comes a Graphic Designer. Apparently. (Hey, this story needs to be in my LinkedIn profile. *goes and adds*)

A fortnight ago, Dell threw a two-day workshop shindig around the adept new Dell XPS – sessions that were fine-catered to productivity and professionalism for influencers, and I was graciously invited to lead a one. One might note, that by this point in time I was determined, if not hell-bent, on starting a serious conversation with my fellow online publishers regarding branding and professionalism in the industry. So I accepted. Gladly. Twitter conversations are SLOW, what we need is a round-table discussion.

Photos 1,3,4 courtesy of The Apartment


Between the inappropriate/dad jokes, I cautiously raised what it is to be a blogger in this day and age, how we are – so to speak – dime a dozen, and why branding is perhaps the single most important thing we need to invest in. As a matter of fact, what I really wanted was to be frank, pound the podium, beat the gavel. Alas, what authority did I have, other than some pixel shifting know-how?

But what I didn’t realise then was how crucial this #WeLoveYourWork Dell XPS event was to be for those participated. My gig ran after a VAT & tax 101 class, and then was succeeded by panel discussion session on Influencer professionalism & growth the following day… guys, sign me up, I think I’m ready for another degree. No cauldrons – I do it right this time.

– · –

One of the easiest branding tools happens to be integrating your own personal handwriting into content. Give it a go yourself, the tutorial is available below.



#Weloveyourwork #DellXPS


organic handwritten typography: a how to
Easy as a microwave dinner
what you’ll need

Some paper (I keep a cheap sketchbook aside), scanner or smartphone, A brush, ink or paint, Adobe Photoshop (Pixlr is a good online alternative). Any other writing tools such as coloured pencils, markers, pens, watercolour… etc.


Clockwise from top: Watercolour, marker, ink – all three have slightly different textures

Decide on the words, and write the sh*t out of them

Write repeatedly until you have a few potential candidates, work on letters separately if you’d like – everything can be pieced together later. Try different writing/drawing tools, and brush size. Try wet/dry application. ParknCube_Dell-XPS_009b


Once the ink is dry (and do make sure it is fully dry, especially if you opted on using the scanner, as the some ink can dirty and even stain the glass surface).

Alternatively, you can simply snap the page with a smartphone. NOTE: For maximum results, make sure to snap on the highest resolution possible, under brightest light – watch out for shadows. Using flash also helps.



Set up shop

Open Adobe Photoshop CC. By clicking File > Open, open the image you want to work on (you can choose to work on a blank canvas too, in which case, click File > New and set your canvas size). Open the scanned files as well.ParknCube_Dell-XPS_013


Grab that lasso

Using the lasso tool (shortcut ‘L’ on Photoshop), roughly select the version that looks best.

Copy (Ctrl/Cmd + C) the selection, and paste (Ctrl/Cmd + V) into the working canvas, or drag the selection over.

Repeat for the rest of the words.

Black & White

Working on the typography layer that was just pasted in, click Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and pull the Saturation all the way down. (Or Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U shortcut)

Click Image > Adjustments > Levels (Ctrl/Cmd + L) to clarify the image – play with the three arrows to make the white, whiter and black, blacker.

* For white font, invert the colours by clicking Image > Adjustments > Invert (or Ctrl/Cmd + I). The font should appear white on black.

Multiply or Screen

On your layers panel (bottom-right of screen), change the blend option for the typography layer to ‘Multiply’. For white font, select ‘Screen’.

You may need to adjust the Levels again (as above) to clear away any ‘dust’ in the white. Alternatively, use the Erase tool.


Resizing should always be done at the very end, (for more than one layer, select multiple by holding down the Ctrl/Cmd key while selecting) click Edit > Free Transform to resize and adjust your handwritten elements.



Now play!

Experiment with the best placement for the text (generally white font looks cleaner on busy backgrounds). Handwritten elements look handsome mixed with other typography.

Save for Web by clicking File > Export > Save for Web. (Or save normally as a *.psd if you’d like to revisit the work.)

Think outside the box, consider scanning in your own doodles, sign-off signatures, patterns… the possibility is endless. Good luck!

some inspiration to get you going…