Singapore’s Best Boutiques
Singapore is easily the shopping mecca of the far East. From swank, shiny malls with their towering steel and glass facades to the designer boutiques that dot Orchard Road, this maximum city is a shopper’s paradise. The Great Singapore Sale notwithstanding, the city offers an array of cool buys for the seasoned shopper. Clothes, bags, shoes and accessories are displayed in every store window, enticing customers with the promise of effortless chic. With so many options to choose from, the task of shopping can be daunting. Condé Nast Traveller presents its pick of five Singapore boutiques that manage to get it right, time and again.
Invoking images of New York City, a town so nice they named it twice, ActuallyActually is half-gallery-half-store. Whitewashed walls and dark wood flooring make for a beautiful canvas and the clothes are artistic masterpieces. Shelves are made of stainless steel pipes that stick out in rows along the walls, but the most striking feature are the numerous geometrically shaped mirrors that populate this space—sleek glass pyramids rising out of the floor, and running along the seams between the walls and floor like little rivulets, they immediately catch your eye. The store stocks hip clothing brands like Daniel Palilllo, Fleamadonna and Mae Pang as well as some seriously stylish footwear from the likes of Jeffrey Cambell, Suecomma Bonnie and Cipher. With so much to choose from, the danger of overlooking their highly individualistic accessories is very real. So be sure to check out some of the quirky pieces from Haoshi, Yazbukey and Wear and Tear.
ActuallyActually, 16 Purvis Street #02-01, Singapore (+65 6336 7002; www.actually.com.sg)
This almost clinical industrial space plays host to one of Singapore’s hottest menswear boutiques. Ironically, KIN aka Know It Nothing seems to know quite a bit. Independent labels from New York rub shoulders with trendy brands like Sifr and Shades of Grey. Vintage wear from the likes of Gitman Vintage and chic beachwear from Onia are big draws while the collection from London Undercover is not to be missed either. Their dignified bags and bowler hats almost seem to hark back to an era of understated yet classy fashion while their umbrellas are almost too good to get wet. Additionally, for a dash of the far East, this otherwise Western establishment also retails the world-famous Naked & Famous Denim. If you’re a gent who knows what he wants, stop by Know It Nothing and you will not leave unsatisfied.
Know It Nothing, 51 Haji Lane, Singapore (+65 6392 5475; www.knowitnothing.com)
The key word at this store is vintage. The store specializes in clothes inspired by the Roaring 20s, where women dressed to the nines and went out on the town, all the way up to the counterculture of the 60s. It just goes to show that true style is timeless and Dulcet Fig is the perfect embodiment of this principle. Eye-popping prints, classic cuts and retro colours jostle for your attention the minute you walk in, all in stark contrast to the pale yellow walls that make for the perfect backdrop to show off these stunning pieces. Go ahead and ask if you can play with one of the three surly ginger cats that freely roam about the store.
Dulcetfig, 41 Haji Lane, Singapore (+65 6396 5648;dulcetfig.com)
A multi-label concept store that brands itself as selling “fashion + art,” Front Row is located in one of Singapore’s oldest neighbourhoods—the Bras Basah district. The store believes that it is not only reputed designers and brands that deserve the limelight but lesser-known local designers too. So it stocks them all, shoulder to shoulder on its shelves. As far as the art aspect goes, Front Row houses a small art gallery. Singapore has always been known as a fashion forward city. A city where a teenager dressed in quirky, unbranded local fashion can be just as much of a trendsetter as the Prada-toting, well-heeled expat. Front Row understands the logic and demand behind this and stocks brands ranging from the hugely successful—and local—iamwhoiam to global brands such as United Nude.
Front Row, Raffles Hotel Arcade, 328 North Bridge Road, Singapore (+65 6224 5501; www.frontrowsingapore.com)
The hansel ShopSingapore designer Jo Suh’s quirky women’s’ wear store is named after her pet Jack Russell Terrier and stocks everything from clothes to bags and accessories. Her label is famous for retro-inspired cuts and an ingenious mix-n-match of colours. In addition to her flagship store, Suh has also launched hello hansel, a diffusion line specialising in casual-chic yet comfortable daily wear. Her main aim is to establish the fact that hansel is a young, dynamic and vibrant brand that should be worn by anyone possessing a certain joie de vivre. Her current Flyaway Donkey line is a throwback to the sixties with ample lashings of boho-chic thrown in for good measure.
hansel, 02-14 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, Singapore +65 6337 0992;www.ilovehansel.com)