THE FIRST STORY I worked on for this issue was our “Born Free” fashion shoot. I had Halloween on my mind and was thinking that, even more than horror films like The Shining, the movies that give me the greatest sense of eeriness have always been those about the unending sameness that comes from living in isolated environments with too much imposed order. So, I wanted to do something to shatter that spooky feeling. Shooting in Japan, I selected clothes that moved without restriction, where the wearer can play, do as they please, and create happy chaos amid the order and monotony of suburban planning. When the images came in, they were joyful and carefree. I wanted more. And so, the stories that follow look at ways to push against the boundaries of the norm. Take Jeanne Damas, who has used her status as a French It girl to give nuance and depth to Parisian women, spotlighting female creatives through her brand and her books to push clichés out of their boxes and into a world of complexity. Then there’s Barnabé Fillion, perfumer to Aesop whose inspirations for the Australian label are investigations into Greek myths and philosophical ideas. November is also when we present you with our couture report. What better way to highlight the magic that comes from smashing through boundaries than with intricately created fantastical silhouettes and pieces? We couple that with our high jewellery shoot “Facing Facets”, which leans into a different mood than the ones often associated with such grand pieces. And there are the experiments at the gastronomical level. Our features writer Stephenie Gee looks at the way chefs are pairing up to create four-hands collaboration dinners to push the frontiers of culinary art into new, unexcavated territory. Not to forget Sooyoung Choi, our cover star. A member of South Korea’s original K-pop girl group sensation Girls’ Generation, the dancing-singing starlet and now actress wants to explore as many facets of humanity through her craft as possible. For example, choosing her projects based on the types of people she wants to dive into and know deeper. She’s also a different kind of celebrity than the ones we’re used to working with – giving ideas on set, wanting to do as good of a job she can because, “I realise it’s not just my work. Everyone here on set is expressing their art through me.” We’re also featuring the eight young talents of Warner Music Hong Kong’s Future Is Now campaign, all of whom are pushing the boundaries of what Hong Kong music can sound like today, and the equally impressive Matt Orr, a footballer who is curious to dabble in worlds outside his sport but remains passionately disciplined about training. Freedom is on my own personal horizon too. I’m taking my first journey out of Hong Kong in three years and, just maybe, some of that excitement has worked its way into this issue. I’ll be happily ensconced in coats in colder climes but while I’m there, I hope that these pages will bring you the same sense of delight that I felt while putting them together.