Between U and Me: Laura Kim
Laura Kim is one of those alluringly enigmatic people who makes doing it all look effortless. And we do mean it all. Alongside co-creative director Fernando Garcia, she hasn’t merely kept the distinct vision of Oscar de la Renta alive and well since taking the helm in 2016. She’s managed to continuously energize the house while honoring its legacy. If that already sounds like a serious feat, let’s not forget she and Garcia also head up Monse, the luxury label famed for rethinking classics, like the trench coat and draped jersey dress, with a modern spin. And if you follow the New York City-based Kim on Instagram, where she’s better known as @tokibunbun, you're aware she also posts as many aesthetically pleasing shots of home-cooked healthy dishes as she does major style inspiration.
Here, she gets in-depth with U Beauty about a few of her favorite things (spoiler alert: we make an appearance), including her beauty routine essentials, personally designed fall fashion edit and an exclusive recipe that’s a must-make for fall:
My beauty routine is all about...
1. U Beauty Resurfacing Compound: “I can’t say enough great things about U Beauty’s hero product, which is fortunate, since Tina is a good friend of mine! In all seriousness, this is a miracle serum. It gives me glowy, brighter, bouncier skin in a single step, every day.”
2. Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream: “I love a good moisturizer—then again, who doesn’t?—and there’s a reason this one is called ‘The Rich Cream.’ I put this on after applying the Resurfacing Compound to seal it in.”
3. Clé de Peau Beauté Enhancing Eye Contour Cream Supreme: “Tina and I don’t just have a love for simple skincare and all things Oscar in common. We also happen to be devoted to eye cream! I use Clé de Peau’s Eye Cream Supreme. It’s extremely sumptuous and a little goes a long way.”
4. Joanna Czech Facial Massager: “I’ll admit it: Tina also got me hooked on rolling. This roller is my favorite because it’s both simple and versatile. I like massaging my face with it ahead of applying products, especially before an event (which these days often includes Zoom karaoke!). Joanna says seven minutes a day is what you need to see a difference.”
5. 111SKIN Mask: “Speaking of masks, they don’t get much better than 111SKIN’s sheet masks. I especially love the Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment, which contains actual 24k gold, along with damask rose, and one sheet session makes you feel (and look) like you’ve spent the day at the spa.”
My ultimate fall style is...
“A head-to-toe look from Oscar de la Renta’s new collection. Designing for the house is a dream job and as a result, I get to help create pieces of dream clothing. This season, I’m excited about ladylike silhouettes updated with fresh tailoring. The sleeveless slit dress in evergreen stretch-wool delivers a much needed color boost, while clean lines leave room to accessorize.
Topped with the Baroque-inspired red jasper pearl ring and coordinating pearl drop earrings and finished with the Oath shoulder bag, it’s got me fantasizing about traveling to Paris and long leisurely lunches with friends.”
My favorite recipe is…
"Acorn Squash Dukkook. Not only is this an easy recipe to make, it’s one of the dearest to me because it’s the first dish I learned to make with my dad growing up in Seoul. Dukkook translates to ‘rice cake soup,’ which might not sound particularly glamorous, but it’s delicious. And happens to be equally easy on the eyes; I’m in love with the acorn squash’s naturally chic shape.
One acorn squash
Beef, chicken or vegetable broth
First, cut the acorn squash and empty the seeds. Scoop out some of the squash, but not all of it, to create your bowl. Don’t throw out what you scoop—you’ll need it for the soup, aka dukkook.
Bake the partially hollowed acorn squash in the oven for 45 minutes at 425 degrees.
Next, the soup: You can use beef, chicken or vegetable broth. They all work well. Boil the broth with the scooped-out acorn squash. Once the squash is cooked and soft, chill it for a bit and blend it with a hand blender (also known as an immersion blender).
Season with salt. Then put the soup back on high heat and when it boils again, add a rice cake. I recommend buying them from a Korean supermarket, if you can, to make it authentic. Cook for 10 more minutes.
Remove the warm acorn squash bowl from the oven and pour the soup, with the rice cake, inside.
Add a few drops of sesame oil for a subtle flavor finish, a dash of pepper to taste and decorate with a borage flower and nasturtium leaf to make it look as good as it tastes. That’s it!”