Singapore 2011 - Shopping

Three weeks seems like a long time but it certainly wasn't enough for me. Each time I go back to Singapore I feel like there's never enough time to do everything I want. The most important items on my agenda are typically to spend time with my family, eat and shop and if there's time, maybe a few other things like the zoo and touristy attractions.

Thankfully I managed a lot of the first two and a little bit of shopping with this trip and even though I didn't do a ton of it I bought what I felt I needed that I couldn't already get in the US.

What's cool about Singapore are the local boutiques - there are a ton of them popping up in little pockets inside and outside the Orchard Road area and whether they import clothes made in Thailand, Korea or Hong Kong or whether they're locally designed, it's all cute and different and the trends are way ahead of what we see here. I managed to find a couple of things from this one shop called reckless (the r is backwards). Their clothes are all made of cotton/jersey material and, perfect for the Singapore heat and is all I ever want to wear. (Picture below of their shop in Vivo City from their FB Page)

I wanted almost every other piece I saw there but limited myself to a modest two purchases. I bought the dress below in red and a grey convertible dress that can be worn 3 ways. See more of their catalog here.

My sister brought me to some cute little shops in the Tiong Bahru area. She's a designer and has fantastic taste and knows where the hip spots are. And I did just say hip, shows you how old I am.

Strangelets (pronounced: strange-leys) is run by interior designers and architects with a storefront that sells jewelry, accessories and home goods. Think Anthropologie but a lot better lit and spacious, a lot more airy and clean feeling inside. They actually sold a few things that Anthropologie also carries but had a lot more edgy items as well. I couldn't take any pictures of the place but do check out their website here.

The last time The Husband and I were in Singapore we went to a mall that had an independent book shop that sold all sorts of knick knacks from my childhood. They've since moved to their own space two doors down from Strangelets. Books Actually is a book store I can get down with - books by Singaporean authors I grew up reading like Adrian Tan (author of two of my favorite books The Teenage Textbook and The Teenage Workbook) and comic artists Lat sit admist other story books, graphic novels, magazines and coffee table books. It's a shop that will send book lovers into a state of euphoria. They had an even larger selection of Singapore toys and goodies from my childhood than in their previous space and I could have spent hours just browsing in there.

Shops like Books Actually make me hope even more that paper and books never go away. In spite of my love for iPads and gadgets, there's something about an actual magazine and the flipping of pages and putting pen to paper that I still hold dear and I don't want to ever lose. (Shop pictures courtesy of their flickr page).

Love the stark white shophouse walls with floor-to-ceiling books and tzotchkes.

Traditional (maybe even vintage) bowls familiar to most people my age who grew up in Singapore.

Vintage Pez dispensers - Two whole wall shelves of these. So cool. I managed to snap this with my phone. Sorry Books Actually!

Another place I went to a few times is owned by an old friend of mine. A Curious Tee Pee is a boutique that also serves food and on some nights holds events with music by an in-house DJ. I love its variety and how everything in there is so artsy and eclectic. Their website describes them as "A store and a cafe/bar with enriching programming for living a life more inspired." (Picture from their FB Page)

Apparel, accessories, home accessories and books - ACT has wonderful merchandise and great food and has become a personal favorite.

When it comes to high end designers, Singapore has no shortage of them. Singapore boasts the only Louis Vuitton store that "floats" on water. You can enter this store from the outside like you would a cruise ship (up a ramp) or from inside the giant mall to which it's attached. It's massive and a sight to behold.

The only "floating" LV store in the world.


The "deck"

The view from the deck

This particular store is attached to Marina Bay Sands, a casino resort that's one of Singapore's newest attractions. A huge part of the resort is the mall that has high end shops (as if Singapore didn't already have enough) like Gucci, Prada, Hublot, Miu Miu, Versace just to name a few, and is the only place in Singapore that has celebrity restaurants (Osteria Mozza, Cut, db Bistro Moderne, Guy Savoy, Santi, Hide Yamamoto, Waku Ghin). I will have more on my mind-blowing lunch at db Bistro later this week.

It was more window shopping than anything. With the exchange rate as crappy as it is now, I didn't feel this urge to just splurge on things especially now that you can shop from Zara and H&M online, there isn't much Singapore has that we don't. Or maybe it's age and now that I'm in my 30's my priorities have shifted and it was just about the time I spent there REALLY indulging in quality activities.

More on those soon.