Time Out goes shopping. So should you.
9 THINGS YOU CAN ONLY GET IN SINGAPORE
►The Vanda Miss Joaquim Orchid Bloom pendant
RISIS Gift Gallery, #01-084 Suntec City Mall (6338 8250). From $22
►The Coxford Singlish DictionaryAvailable at most local bookstores. $10.50.
►Little Facts about Singapore T-Shirts Museum Shop by Banyan Tree, Singapore Art Museum (6336 3670). $178.
►Oh yum, micro-filtered reclaimed water. Take a free sip of NEWater at their guided plant tours.
►Gourmet Fusion EZ Cheese Bak Kwa
►Membership to the
Singapore Paranormal Investigators Club. $20.
►Singapore Sling premix or chocolatesTrue Heritage Brew’s Singapore Sling Boutique
Premix twin pack $39; box of 6 chocolates $24.
►SQ girl look-alike kebayaBugis Village stall No. 21. $22.
►Uniquely Singapore MonopolyToys ‘R’ Us, #02-183 VivoCity (6273 0986). $46.90.
11 THINGS YOU CANNOT BUY IN SINGAPORE LAH
►Toygers, trendy cats bred to look like tiny tigers
►Paul Wall’s diamond grillz. Unfortunately, this is exactly what’s been missing from your look
►Guns & ammo or even pepper spray
►Ice cream maker balls
►Eco-friendly Tesla roadsters
►Hemp seed and oil
►Hawker food without MSG. Even when it says ‘No MSG’
4 COOL INDIE SHOPS
Owners Earn Chen and Mo’ Wax DJ/producer James Lavelle
Where did the name come from?
James came up with the philosophy of ‘surrendering to life’ and so when we started our clothes label in 2004 we decided to call it Surrender.
What do you sell?
Our own line of apparel under the Surrender brand, plus bags, accessories, shoes and Japanese clothing labels like Neighbour, Visvim and Head Porter.
Owner Ros Lovell
Where did the name come from? My husband and I were on our first buying trip to Hanoi in November 2001 and we overheard a lady use the word ‘cho lon’. It had a beautiful sound to it and we were desperately trying to come up with a name just then. The words literally mean ‘marketplace’.
What do you sell? Opened since 2002, the shop sells almost everything from vintage furniture, designer light fixtures and old and new accessories to quirky books such as ‘The Funniest Things You Never Said’, ‘A Thousand Places to See Before You Die’ and ‘How to Walk in High Heels’.
Where did the name come from? I wanted something that was easy to remember and wouldn’t give a pre-conceived image of what the shop might sell. Our shoes are unique – apart from your everyday black shoes, we stock pairs with metallic studs, New Rock punk boots as well as zebra and horse-skin shoes. Everything but Dorothy’s red ruby slippers.
What do you sell? Men’s and ladies’ shoes, belts, handbags and other accessories like cigarette cases and lighters. All at 50 to 90 per cent off their retail prices.
Owners Kazumi Hiruma and Lynette May-Pjuen
Where did the name come from? L’Artichaut, when loosely translated means ‘art hot’. We want our gallery to have hot art that gets people’s hearts racing.
What do you sell? We stock up to 25 designers from countries like Paris, Italy, Belgium, Japan and Singapore. An example is the label OSel by actress-turned-jewellery-designer Nadya Hatugalung. New designers include Alex & Chloe, Argentum,
Atelier11, Boudoir and Corpus Christi. 37 Novena Terrace (62529155, www.lartichaut. com). MRT: Novena. Mon–Fri 10am-7.30pm; Sat noon-5pm.
10 Favourite second-hand stores
►The Attic Lifestyle Store
Beaded bags, faded jeans, fantastic plastic lampshades. You can hire everything you’d need for a fab party, with outfits from $40 a day and furniture from $30.
#04-146a Far East Plaza (6732 3459). MRT: Orchard. Mon-Sun 2.30-9.30pm.
►The Camera Workshop A place where the cameras still need film.
#01-27/31 Peninsula Shopping Centre (6336 1956). MRT: City Hall. Mon-Sat 11.30am-7pm.
►CK Collections Household items, especially fans and lights, and and an extensive selection of art deco light fittings.
586 Serangoon Road (9382 3438). MRT: Farrer Park. Open by appointment only.
►Designers Exchange Well-loved bags and shoes from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada. #03-58 Orchard Plaza (6734 5717). MRT: Somerset. Mon-Sat noon-8pm, Sun by appointment.
►Dinky Di Store Soviet-era watches and other collectables from Russia. #01-37 Golden Landmark Shopping Complex (6297 5700). MRT: Bugis. Mon-Sun 11am-6pm.
►House of Japan Kimonos and dresses at No. 78; jeans, jackets and T-shirts at No. 55. 55 & 78 Haji Lane (6396 6657). MRT: Bugis. Mon-Sun noon-8pm.
►My-shop.com.sg Household gear, electronics, sports equipment, CDs and books.
#01-566 Rocher Centre, 1 Rocher Road (6396 6166). MRT: Bugis. Tue-Sun 11am-7.30pm.
►New 2U Clothes and a good selection of books, including Western classics and modern bestsellers.
Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations Centre, 96 Waterloo Street (6837 0611). MRT: Bugis. Mon-Fri 10.30am-2.30pm.
►Novelty Music Instruments of all kinds, from drums and guitar to banjo and flute. You may never see your name in lights, but at least they’ll engrave it on your drumsticks.
#B1-17/18 Parklane Shopping Mall (6336 8996). MRT: Dhoby Ghaut. Mon-Sat 12.30-9pm, Sun 2-6pm.
►Yee Sing Motor Co Pre-owned Vespa specialist.
Blk 1004, #01-25 Bukit Merah Lane 3 (6278 2084). MRT: Queensway. Mon-Sat 9am-6pm.
8 kitschiest Merlion gifts
|Toothpick dispenser with floating Merlions ($9.90)
|Merlion mini cocktail set (3 for $10)
|Metal lighter (3 for $10)
|Bottle opener/paper weight with spinning dice ($8)
|Plastic and fabric Singapore icons fan (3 for $10)
|Metal ashtray with Singapore skyline (3 for $10)
|Magnetic joining heart keychains ($7.90)
|STB stuffed mascot or keychain (only for corporate clients, alas)
8 Expat finds
►Island beauty Eskinol is a popular skin-care brand in the Philippines. The wide range of products uses natural ingredients like lemon, cucumber and real calamansi.
Nayong Pilipino Minimart, #03-28 Lucky Plaza (6733 2566). MRT: Orchard. Daily 9am-10pm.
►Bug out For a nation that embraces efficiency, it’s no wonder the Arimetzu ant killer ranks high with the Japanese. Just a few drops around problem areas ensures they stay ant-free. ($10.50 per 55g).
Nishino Pharmaceutical, B1 Liang Court Daimaru, 177 River Valley Road (6337 5831). MRT: Clarke Quay. Daily 10am-10pm.
►Link to home
Cervelats sausages are popular with the Italians and Germans, and every other day the Swiss Butchery turns out delicious links of chopped pork or beef combined with bits of onion and garlic. ($19.50 per kg). Swiss Butchery, 30-32 Greenwood Avenue (6468 7588). Take a taxi. Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm.
►Erin go bean
Ireland’s Jelly Beans (yes, that’s the name) come in unusual flavours like bubblegum, marshmallow and popcorn. What, no Guinness? ($3.50-$10.80).
Candy Empire, #B2-32&33 VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk (6376 9610). MRT: HarbourFront. Mon-Sun 10.30am-9.30pm.
►Using your noodle
Impress your Italian friends with some Garofalo pasta from Napoli. Reputed to have a better ‘bite’ than others, even mamma may be forced to admit you’ve perfected the art of al dente. ($3.50-$4.80).
Culina, 617 Bukit Timah Road (6468 5255, www.culina.com.sg). MRT: Newton, then bus 171. Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm.
Start your day like the French with a fresh, homemade chou chou ($3) or better yet with some delicious poilâne bread, specially flown in from Paris. ($15.90 per quarter loaf).
Choupinette, #01-01 607 Bukit Timah Road (6466 0613). MRT: Newton, then bus 171. TueSun 9am-8pm, Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 8am-6pm.
After a heavy night of drinking, do like the Indians do and grab a pav bhaji, a pillow-soft bun filled with vegetables, potatoes and spices that takes just five minutes to heat. Look for the Mumbai brand. ($2.50 per pack).
Available at the Mustafa Centre supermarket, 145 Syed Alwi Road (6295 5855). Daily 24 hours.
Surprise your Aussie mates with a crate of Victoria Bitter Stubbies for just $83. 6 Drunk Men, a speciality distributor, has Down Under favourites like Cascade, Coopers and Red Back. And they have them by the barrelful too… Oh yes, 50 litres for $502.
4 FASHIONISTAS' SHOPPING SECRETS
Name: Natalie Faye
Occupation: Actor turned author
Where do you shop?Thrift shops, flea markets, vintage outlets, chain stores, designer boutiques, eBay and various online stores.
Describe your style.
The only thing consistent is my tendency to mix-and-match and create a hybrid look of various styles.
Do you have something that you love but dare not admit to?
Shamefully, I admit to owning a pair of Uggs despite the fact that I think they’re the ugliest shoes in the history of mankind. I have never worn them out of the house and will not wear them out even if fashion magazines say so. Uggs are definitely shoes built for comfort and not style.
Name your favourite overseas shopping haunt.A store I never miss is Trash & Vaudeville in New York’s East Village. You can find everything leather, spiked, shredded and studded, and in my opinion they sell the best skinny and drainpipe pants.
Name: Celeste Chong
Occupation: Marketing director of Butter Factory
Where do you shop?Usually online at stores like www.80spurple.com and www.drjays.com and in Taipei and Tokyo. LB-03 from Tokyo is a brand that I cannot do without. In Singapore, it would have to be Guess.
Describe your style. Ghetto-fabulous, baby! I’m a mix of hip-hop and street, and my current craze is hoodies. I also like to imagine myself dressing like a member of the Pussycat Dolls, but just not as skimpy.
What are you wearing? Hoodie by Zoo York, a tank top by LB-03, my bottoms are from Made in Heaven and sneakers by SBTG.
What will you not be caught dead wearing?
Frilly dresses or girly dresses.
Name your favourite overseas shopping haunt.Definitely LB-03 in Tokyo.
Name: Vestan Low
Occupation: Senior merchandising executive, TANG + CO Men
Where do you shop?Tangs, Blackjack, Paul Smith and stand-alone shops.
Describe your style.
Individualistic. I look for certain detailing, like shirts with pin tucks or ruffles.
What are you wearing?Shirt from Rice; pants by Arthur Galan AG; shoes by Swear. All are from Tangs.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I have a weakness for shoes, I have about 80 pairs. I think I have too many for a guy. I probably have more than most girls.
Name your favourite overseas shopping haunt.Daikanyama Street in Tokyo and everywhere in London.
Occupation: Looking gorgeous and Invigorator of Humour
Where do you shop?
Between Tangs on Orchard Road and CK in New Bridge Road.
Describe your style.Fun, colourful, frilly and elaborate. Big, big, big, darling. If you can’t get into one dress, buy two and join them together. Nobody knows the difference. One has to be proud of one’s figure. I’m always seen with my handbag, feathered fan and sunglasses.
What’s your guilty pleasure?I love wearing tight panties because it supports my tummy. And I love my compact mirror but all my friends complain that I’m very hiao because I’m always checking myself out!
Name your favourite overseas shopping haunt.It used to be Oxford Street in London but it’s become very commercialised. I’d say Norwich, a little city just outside London. It’s the equivalent of Haji Lane and it’s my favourite place of all. You can get a lot of homemade things. The last time I was there I bought a pair of metallic silver boots which I absolutely adore.
7 THINGS YOU CAN GET CUSTOMISED
Ever wanted to own ‘Blackie’, the same guitar that Eric Clapton toured and recorded with in the 1970s and ’80s? Call Singapore’s only certified luthier (someone who makes or repairs string instruments), Malcolm Tan, and he will suss out the exact specs and recreate it for you. Perhaps Jimmy Page’s Les Paul electric guitar is more for you, but you prefer it in pink. Tan can do it for you – and will keep his personal opinions to himself.
Prices from $3,200 (www.mtlutherie.com).
Roger Tan’s reusable vinyl stickies covers are not just decorative, they also protect your laptop or iPod from scratches – and can easily be removed when you tire of the design. Give him your own design and he’ll work his magic.
From $95-$105 (www.shuffle-art.com).
►Converse sneakersVisual artist ZR3ST5 inks plain Converse canvas sneakers with unique ornamental graphics. Just give him your creative brief and let his imagination run wild.
$80-$200 plus cost of shoe (www.zero3sixty5.com).
►JeansBreathe new life into old denim by embellishing them with graphic artwork, blinging them up with Swarovski crystals or lace, stonewashing them or distressing them for rock-star effect. If you like, the creative talents at Haut can even transform your old jeans into a skirt or a bag.
►MuralsCommission the five-artist collective Monochroma to paint pop-fantasy style wall murals. Their most unusual request was beautifying their friend’s Chinese junk boat in damask prints. |
►PoemsGive Rage Goh a word, and she’ll clack out a personalised ode an old-school typewriter. Often found honing her craft at the MAAD (Market for Artists And Designers) weekend, Goh adds another twist to her unusual service: you can pay her whatever you like.
(9383 4654, ).
►Wheels A paint job is not just a paint job when Yee Weng Kheong gets to work on your car or motorcycle. Yee can elevate a common people carrier into a piece of art by fabricating fuel tanks, delivering a highly decorative flame job or even detailing an elaborate alien figurine onto your bonnet. Yee does every job by hand and has even reworked a Lamborghini in camouflage warpaint. That task took him 200 hours and he charged a mere $15,000 for it.
Sunburst Motorcycle Products, Blk 5034, #01-315 Ang Mo Kio Ind Park 2 (6486 0561, 9119 9652). MRT: Ang Mo Kio, Mon-Sat 10am-7pm.
8 ANTIQUES SHOPS
#02-06 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road (6735 6315). Mon-Sat 10.30am-6.30pm, Sun by appointment. Japanese antiques of distinction with a smattering of Chinese and South-East Asian objets d’art.
Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road (6734 0318) Mon-Sat 10.30am-6pm. Burmese, Chinese, Siamese and Khmer stone statuary and ceramics.
►Harvest Straits#03-31 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road (6836 3178). Daily 11am-7pm. Wood and stone tribal sculpture from the region. Large museum-quality figurative pieces from Flores, Timor and Sumatra can be spotted from time to time but do not remain in the shop long.
►Isan Gallery42 Jl Kembangan (6442 4278). By appointment only. Fabulous modern woven textiles from Northern Thailand as well as old lacquerware, silver and pottery from Burma, Thailand and the region.
►Kensoon Asiatic Art
#02-58 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road (6732 7380). Daily 10am-6pm. Gallery head TS Loh is probably one of the city’s most knowledgeable dealers of Chinese ceramics. Look for Song dynasty wares, plus Vietnamese, Khmer and Siamese ceramics, stone and bronzes.
►Lopburi Arts & Antiques
#02-26 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road (6737 6068). Mon-Sat 10.30am-6.30pm. Indian and SouthEast Asian jewellery, tribal and classical; a good selection of old silver, Asian as well as some European.
►Tatiana#03-29/30 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road (6235 3560). Mon-Sat 11am-6pm. Giorgia Kan, Tatiana’s owner, has spent decades combing the region, including many of Indonesia’s least accessible islands, for SouthEast Asian primitive art.
WHAT $111.50 BOUGHT US AT THE SUNGEI ROAD MARKET -
►1930s carved wooden deer head with horns and fur ($30)
►Vintage Parker gold fountain pen from the 1950s ($40)
►White sea shell ($7)
►Blank paper fan for artist to paint (50¢)
►Tiger paw ($30)
►Vintage glass lemon press ($4)
Ready to bargain
He’s got the goods
Baubles for the picking
Man’s best friend can be yours
Compiled by Billie Cohen, Charlene Fang, Natasha Golding, June Lee, Sabrina Lee, Iola Lenzi, Gregory Leow, Jade McLean, Jamie Nonis, Jaclyn Tan