Strength in Numbers

The contingent which makes up PACT has grown in numbers. From the original trio of Kilo (food), sifr (clothes) and pact+LIM (hair salon), also found that that LIM stands for ‘Less Is More’ (profound eh?), the team adds five more creative business under its expanded 7,500 sq ft Orchard Central spaces. The five are Code Deco, Fred Lives Here, Killari, kiyone+LIM, and SPUR Hauswerks.

Think multi-label store on steroids (the good kind!) – fashion retail, fragrances, jewellery, salon, nail art, food, homeware and furniture all rolled into one emporium that will give Diagon Alley a run for its money.

When you arrive at PACT, there are 5 zones to look out for:

Zone 1 – sifr

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This area holds primarily fashion merchandise and some accessories such as cards, notebooks, bags, sunglasses, necklaces etc. Here, you can get sifr and sifr essentials. Think about some of the most comfortable cotton tees you’ve ever worn in your life, multiply that feeling by five and maybe you’ll come close to the feeling of sifr’s pima cotton essentials range. If you aren’t adverse to wearing men’s cuts, I’d highly recommend the men’s singlets. (Am wearing mine now and it is SOOO comfortable)

Zone 2 – Kilo

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A casual dining and bar space, I quite enjoyed their salmon bowl (have you seen the picture I posted on Instagram?). They’ve revamped their menu to include an all day brunch on Sundays. And something I quite like are their sharing plates for dinner. A great space for groups to gather. Do note their kitchen timings though.

Tues – Sat

  • Lunch : 11.30am – 3pm
  • Dinner : 5.30pm – 10pm

Sun

  • All-Day Brunch : 11am – 6pm

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For large groups of 10- 14 guests, there’s a separate nook that you can have all to yourself (above).

That’s where I took this picture. Good memories (:

Zone 3 – pact+LIM

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If you aren’t paying close attention to Zones 1 and 2, you’ll completely miss Zone 3, an unassuming glasshouse-like structure with cacti and air plants. It conceals sibling hair salon studio to the renowned Japanese salon kizuki+LIM, located at Raffles Hotel (and part of the larger collective of Less Is More salons). If not already evident from the clean and minimalistic ambience, this salon has a distinctly refined Japanese aesthetic. The all-Japanese crew have built a reputation for the high attention to detail and low-key advice. (They are also uber stylish) Writing this, makes me want to experiment with a more Japanese style. But I’ll mull this over a bit more first.

Also, if you ever seek under-the-radar locales to visit in Japan, get your hair done here. I hear the staff are in the know of where to go  and would be more than happy to share a few recommendations for the land of the rising sun. Is that good service or what!

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Call +65 6884 4143 to book an appointment with pact+LIM.

Zone 4 –  Store-ception

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Zone 4 is a collective of store-in-stores. (I’ll explain the store-ception later). SPUR Hauswerks takes the front section of Zone 4, with Killari’s semi-precious jewellery off to the side. More on Killari in a bit.

SPUR Hauswerks started as a pop-up in Tiong Bahru in 2011. It is very evident that founders Indri Tulusan and Aiden Hopfner are classically trained in design. Their curation focuses on well-designed homeware and lifestyle products with an emphasis on slow design. They also avidly promote independent designers and makers. You can be very assured that each product and label curated by the duo have strong, compelling stories, visions and messages. That said, the team also promises that the range of products is constantly evolving, and takes into consideration customer feedback and the founders’ own discoveries. Personal favourites are Soil’s natural moisture-absorbing products (which don’t sound all that fancy, but my life changed (a little) after finding out such a thing exists!).

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There’s some science behind how these Soil products work. Can’t wait to read up on it.

Another favourite were these amazing chopsticks which will never touch the table and my current obsession, Tattly temporary tattoos.

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Killari

Killari, a jewellery brand, which uses semi-precious stones is one of the newer members to join the PACT fold. Founded by Sofia Villacis, an Ecuadorian and self-described ‘nomad’, she started Killari as a tribute to her passion for the hunt.

There were some stunning necklaces and fun bracelets which I’d love to own. But most captivating were the stories behind each of the stones used. A personal favourite were the Maw Sit Sits, found exclusively in Myanmar. Imagine jade that’s been intensely saturated to a bright emerald green, speckled heavily with deep forests greens and blacks, that’s maw sit sit for you. These stones were previously mistaken for a unique variation of jade, and wasn’t till 1963 that it was identified as a separate gem altogether.

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Perfume brand Code Deco, slated as Singapore’s first artisanal perfumery, has its flagship store-in-store glasshouse in PACT’s zone 4. It that takes you another place, one that shuts out the distractions of the outside world and focuses your mind on being present in a space. Code Deco is an exploration of the conceptual ideologies, science and imagination that is perfume.

The fragrances are designed in several categories and each category has a spectrum of scents of increasing or decreasing masculine/feminine tones. Like Emma Watson says in her speech, we ought to see “gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals”.

I had an interesting chat with founder and creative director, Gauri Garodia, about the perfume culture in Asia. She commented that Asians, Singaporeans included, don’t really have the same kind of connection with scents as do people from (the all encompassing) ‘West’. I thought it was such an interesting comment seeing that foods, spices, flavours play such a vital part of our culture which also also involves the sense of smell.

A 50ml bottle retails for $150. But if commitment to one scent smells like fear to you, there’s also the option of a sampler set (I want one for Christmas please!) which comprises six vials, 3ml each, for $75.
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The last space in this space-ception Zone 4, is Kiyone + LIM, a gel nail salon with a distinctly Japanese flavour. The staff are deftly skilled with their paintbrushes and if gel nails are your thing, I think they’d be up for any challenge.

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Kiyone + LIM also has a hidden back space reserved for pedicures as well. Walking through the store and into the this hidden space brought back childhood memories of playing ‘house’ with my siblings. We had the most awesome sponge sofa set (sounds hideous, maybe, but the most amazing modular play pen ever!

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Zone 5 – Fred Lives Here

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Fred Lives Here makes the final zone of this PACT collective space. A homeware and furniture retail space which is unapologetically bold and buzzing with energy. They deck out the spaces for Art Stage and F1, so they definitely have some street cred. The Fred Lives Here team constantly switch things around, so visit often for a visual feast!

They also take custom orders, so if you have any crazy ideas for your home. The leather chair with three-inch long gold spikes you were always dreaming of, Fred Lives Here can help you (:

So that wraps up Zones 1 to 5 of PACT. The numbers for each zone is quite arbitrary.

My best advice for navigating this space is to pace yourself. I won’t try to visit all spaces at one shot, it’d take too much time to pour through Diagon Alley. So maybe tuck in at Kilo at PACT and browse through Fred Lives Here. Return another time for a hair cut or new swanky nails. And look through the rest on another visit. (Suggested itinerary only)

A Palette for all moods

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Even if Italian artist Simone Legno’s name doesn’t ring a bell, his famous tokidoki illustrations, seen on LeSportsac bags since 2006, shouldn’t be a stranger. Coinciding with Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (I think), Simone Legno was in town to launch the latest tokidoki for LeSportsac collaboration in Singapore.

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Fans of the brand, and there were many, had the opportunity to get a limited edition poster and meet with Simone Legno for an exclusive fan meet & greet and autograph session. Many who queued had requests for sketches of their favourite characters. Simone, with his arsenal of Sharpies was very obliging with requests for sketches, autographs and photos. Props to Simone for whipping the sketches up in a flash!

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The meet and greet was held at the LeSportsac store at Ion Orchard, B1-12. The store was packed with lots of people all trying to take photos and have a closer look at the exclusive 19-piece collection creation for this collaboration and to mark LeSportsac’s 40th Anniversary. Staff had on the cutest temporary tattoos, so they were easy to spot amongst the crowd.

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A special for this collaboration, Simone Legno and LeSportsac unveiled a new character for the tokidoki series.

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If you follow my instagram (@wearewottoncool), you would have already met Palette, the leopard.

Palette really knows how to wear her heart on her sleeve – her leopard sports change colour based on her mood.

Now what’s not to love about a cat that does that?!

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Palette makes her appearance alongside the rest of the tokidoki crew on both the tokidopoli and tulipets prints. It was almost a game of “Where’s Wally?” trying to find her.

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Although tokidoki isn’t in my arsenal of usual go-tos, seeing from the crowd that gathered for Simone, the tokidoki cast and Palette, I can’t deny that there’s definitely an allure to this heavy influence of Japanese pop culture. Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Takashi Murakami is one other example which immediately pops into mind. 

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Prices for this 19-piece collection ranges from $105 for a cosmetics pouch to $635 for their duffels and weekender bags.

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My personal favorite is the Palette backpack (above), available in white and black, which retail for $305. I think it’d make for an interesting editorial/model off duty shot. hehs.

The collection is available at all 5 LeSportsac stores now. Their locations are at Ion Orchard B1-12A, Isetan Scotts Level 1, Isetan Orchard Basement 1, Robinsons JEM Level 2 and Takashimaya Department Store level 2.

If you buy the collection (especially the Palette backpack) please send me pictures!

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Terra Incognito

 

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I’ve been doing a bit of reading about the history of map-making, or cartography, as its called, and just yesterday, I came across the term ‘terra incognita’, which means ‘unknown land’. A phrase that map-makers often employed to label vast areas of land which they knew little about.

With that frame of reference in mind, it struck me as a little strange that Marc Jacobs would choose to title their key bag for this season as The ‘Incognito’ (above). A beautiful bag, no doubt, with a beautiful accompanying video that I caught while reading The New York Times online. You can watch here: The Marc Jacobs ‘Incognito’.

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The Incognito pays homage to the classic, and very structured, doctor’s bag. Yet despite the structured frame, is designed to retain a soft and pliable feel. The bag boasts clean and bold details which interest and intrigue. I especially like the very deliberate pleat on both ends, it gives the bag a distinctive silhouette.

The buckle hardware at the handle, however, throws me off a little, but I’m willing to overlook that.

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Upon further reading, the name Incognito is a tribute Marc Jacob’s muses, such as Faye Dunaway and Jessica Lange, for their understated, effortless style and their quiet strength.

All Incognito bags are handmade at an atelier in Florence, Italy. Each bag comprises 124 individual parts and requires a full day to construct (which I think is pretty fast, if you ask me!). They also come in smooth or textured leather, as well as crocodile.

Personally, I find the smooth leather finish the most successful. This pale blue one featured has the smooth finish.

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Available at the Marc Jacobs store (ION Orchard, #02-12). The Marc Jacobs Incognito comes in two sizes and a variety of colours such as black, pale blue, forest green (crocodile), cashew and plum. Prices range from $3,490 to $4,990. The croc-skin bag, however, will set you back $9,900.  

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Image credits to Marc Jacobs and Club21.

Perfect flats

It’s exciting whenever a designer brings a new line or products to the table. Are they doing it on their own? Who are they gonna collaborate with? How absolutely radical is it going to be? He/she’s had a background in this yada yada yada… There was Proenza Schouler’s PS1, Philip Lim’s 31 Hour bag, etc… such that undergoes a mini reinvention in terms of colour and cut every season.

Another US brand and CFDA alumni that has been exceptionally successful in this arena is Jenni Kayne with her D’Orsay flats. It may not seem much at first sight, but it definitely grows on you with its smooth silhouette and gently contoured seams. Quite a thing of beauty. So I think we need to focus on admiring and extolling the virtues of these perfect flats in our own time.

My favourite right now are the seaform suede and chambray (for denim on denim on denim looks… duh) pairs, but her Resort and Spring 2013 collections (both clothing and shoes) are getting me really excited with the deep, clean colours and prints.

I’ve got a few of them sitting in my Shopbop cart for quite a while now, I haven’t got to checking them out of the cart because of the price tag.. but their BIGEVENT12 sale is making it so hard to resist and it is so difficult to pick one! Plus, have I mentioned how easy and effortless it is to procure something online?

Pictures from here, here and here.

Limitlessness

On Pedder‘s in-house zine is the literal, visually dynamic and tangible manifestation of the brand. Starting tomorrow, it celebrates ten previous issues and the 11th edition – Exhibitionist – with a retrospective exhibition inviting viewers through a succinctly curated collection of the most captivating images from the publication’s archives.

To be honest, I never knew the extent of Pedderzine’s creative prowess, which I very openly admitted to the On Pedder Communications team as they brought me through an intimate presentation yesterday. Perhaps its easy to dismiss zine, with all its secrets and wonders trapped within tiny confines. Perhaps its the flurry of print media we’re bombarded with on a daily basis. Perhaps its also that these zines are so hard to come by, since they are typically only reserved for top customers. On a sidenote, after realizing the amount of work that goes into each zine, I had flashbacks of my experience being a student union finance secretary and having to justify magazine publication budgets. Completely understand them spending the money where it matters (read: Top-tier customers) because I’m not exactly at the stage where I can drop a month’s salary on a pair of shoes (with ease). Not yet at least! (:

Under the artistic direction of Singapore’s Theseus Chan (owner of WORK Advertising), ten unassuming zines on display within the exhibition space at the Scotts Square store house past collaborations with works from the likes of renowned British photographers Simon Larbalestier, Singapore’s John Clang and Keiichi Tanaami. My favourite cover would have to be Edition #3 “Super Natural” featuring John Clang’s larger-than-life Dries Van Noten cover for Spring/Summer 2008 (below).

Leave me with enough time to pour through these zines three or four times over and I’ll still be discovering new things I never noticed before every single time.

This exhibition, which has been six months in-the-making, stands as a small but notable testament to On Pedder’s commitment to aesthetics since it’s first issue in 2007. I look forward to a larger scale exhibition when their 20th or 50th issue celebration rolls around. I want to see these works blown up on a large scale and hung in a gallery space. Every single page you could frame up and call it art! I kid you not, each page is that gorgeously AMAZING. And since each issue is so different from one another. There’s bound to be something that appeals to every one! Bottomline, I love what I see and I want to see much much more of On Pedder’s creative world.

This exhibition got me thinking: ‘The bane and beauty of art is in its limitlessness.’ And anyone whose ever taken a class in art and experienced the overwhelming fear and uncertainty of a blank paper or canvas staring back at you understands this. It can paralyze, freezing you in your feet or it can be wildly addictive, as you chase the high from the boundless exploration that will ensue. Safe to say, I have a newfound appreciation for On Pedder’s commitment to pushing boundaries and taking on the challenge of tackling this limitlessness in new and exciting ways every season.

And when you are at this exhibition, take a moment to think about what you would put to paper if you were given all the creative freedoms and access to some of the world’s most gorgeous shoes and accessories. Then take the time to really appreciate all the subtleties that each Pedderzine brings to this exhibition. And for that moment or two, get lost in their world. What have you got to lose?

Exhibitionist: Pedderzine Uncatalogued
September 28 2012 to October 19 2012
On Pedder, Level 2 Scotts Square

Limited edition tote bags (below) from Exhibitionist: Pedderzine Uncatalogued will be available for sale exclusively at all On Pedder stores. There are 11 different designs.

Karla Spetic-ular

We’ve been keeping tabs on Australian designers ever since we worked part-time in this multi-brand store that focused on brands from down under. Camilla and Marc, Sass & Bide, Therese Rawsthorne, Zimmermann, Zambesi, loved it all! Might have shifted our focus to our surely burgeoning local scene, but let’s talk about Karla Spetic now.

Croatian-born, Australia-based Karla Spectic delivers simple silhouettes in subtle prints, so subtle and subtley used compared to the ones here.

She’s incorporated digital photo images of the Australian outback and the suburbs so that customers could “wear what we see” and has since taken a more stylized perspective with porcelain and ceramic motifs and most recently, Roy Lichenstein’s pop art prints against leopard.

I spy 1960’s pop art meets the waist-conscious and swelling skirt of the 1950’s ala Mad Men, with the too-manly military suit influences in 1930’s womenswear but it works.

Oddly enough, with such a still, minimalist streak in her collections, you might think her though process a thorough and linear one, but it’s far from it: “I don’t draw my designs. It would make it so much easier if I did sketch but then I get bored with it and don’t want to look at it anymore… I make a conscious decision to keep everything jumbled in my head so I never know what’s going to come out or how it will end up looking. So when things come to life – with my colours and prints and shapes and patterns draped on a dummy – that’s when I find peace; when I feel that satisfaction. And I feel really happy about that.”

Pictures from here (beware there is an online store, but according to the website also available at Lula Rock in Singapore), excerpt from here.