The difference between living in Singapore and just passing through becomes extremely clear once you grapple with the frustration of shopping here. I’d made peace with the fact that, as one of my recent Brunch with BGIS interviewees said, “Singapore isn’t about value for money”, and I’d made myself open to what it had to offer. In short, open to buying less as long it was good quality, however overpriced.
I decided last year to cool it with the online shopping and started to venture into department stores like The Hereen, Far East, GWC, Cluny Court etc.
Yesterday, however, was an extremely frustrating day. I’d recently bought three pieces in London, two trousers and a skirt and I was looking from some tops to go with them. I spent all day from one end of Orchard to another and I couldn’t find anything! It’s not that I didn’t see anything I liked (I saw nice dresses and accessories in Bimba Y Lola’s flagship), I just didnt see anything that went together. The closest I came was M&S at Paragon and I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything from M&S before! (No shade)
I quickly moved to designer stores like Calvin Klein and and DKNY (Paragon) but I found their clothes so boring…everything meshed into one.
The Hereen probably had the most diversity and I actually started to enjoy myself, but my pockets aren’t deep enough to be browsing through Elizabeth&James on a random Saturday. Still, it was good to see clothes that looked like stuff I could wear.
Walking home, I started thinking. It’s not just that my tastes are different to perhaps the average Singaporean girl who may be going more for young and cute (think, short high neck dresses, denim shorts, florals and pleats). I think the main problem with the shopping in Singapore (and after 2 and a half years I feel I can have an opinion on this), is the complete DISCONNECTION with the trends and designs of the international runways.
What colour is on trend for AW15? What fabrics? Which model/actor/singer is embodying this season’s spirit? Where can you get a more affordable version of Marc Jacob/Marni/Fendi’s most popular bag/shoe/jacket?
If you can answer any of these questions, you don’t live in Singapore.
There isn’t any filtering from high fashion to the high street. There isn’t a high street!
Of course, Singapore should have it’s own sense of style distinctive from the rest of the world, but there is a central hub (Paris, London, New York, Milan,) where the creme de la creme of artisans, creatives and fashion geniuses come up with the most incredible clothes and accessories. And then, fashion magazines show us how to inteprete these great creations for ourselves, on whatever budget we may be on.
This keeps things fresh and interesting AND allows everyone to develop their own individual style. There is change, flux and growth.
You see where I’m going with this.
I don’t think the climate is a good enough excuse. It rains in London just like Singapore, and I used to love the unusual umbrellas and raincoats you could get over there. Why not here?
What ends up happening here is people look the same, year in, year out. Everyone flocks to Zara because it’s the ONLY store that offers affordable FASHION. Otherwise, we go online.
So that’s what I’ll be doing. I’m throwing in the towel, sorry! I’ve been spoilt by so many years taking this stuff for granted in London, having editors and stylists do all the work for me!
I’ll be doing future posts on my online purchses, but in the meantime, I’m starting a petition for a Singapore High Street! Affordable mid/high-mid range stores that are inspired by and connected to high fashion, and committed to providing clothes their customers LOVE. But first, I guess enough people have to care, and maybe they just don’t.
PS – In case you were wondering WHAT ARE THE AW 2015 TRENDS, here’s a link! I still haven’t achieved last season’s mixed print so I’m way behind hunny!