Legendary editor Diana Vreeland once proclaimed that “the eye has to travel”, and that remains possible thanks to these stylish concept stores at Takashimaya Shopping Centre that propose bright ideas and an international shopping experience.
Let these shopping havens bring you the chic of the Marais in Paris, the boundless creativity of contemporary Asian fashion designers, Japanese style cult favourites, and some of the best local fashion and accessory concepts – no passport required.
La Perla (#02-12G)
Italian brand La Perla is perhaps the most well-known of luxury lingerie makers in the world. It was founded in 1954 by Ada Masotti, an Italian couturiere of corsets who applied her expertise and talent to elevating lingerie design to the heights of fashion. Today, the brand has a broad range of collections: from silk designs painstakingly worked with macrame and lace embroidery to modern shapewear.
Rue Madame (#03-13C)
If you’re still mystified by French girl chic, here’s the secret: you can buy it. Rue Madame is one such place you should look, as it carries exactly the sort of Parisian and international fashion labels that French women have in their wardrobes. Tie-dye label Bikind, which hand-dyes Moroccan-made t-shirts and sweatshirts in London, is a good place to start for building a wardrobe of eclectic chic basics.
The multi-label retailer SocietyA is one of the foremost stockists of Asian designer labels. Today, they carry more than 50 brands from Korea, Paris, New York, Indonesia, Thailand and more, bringing the talents and creations of Asian fashion designers under one convenient shopping spot. A buzzy name you might have heard of is Minju Kim, the winner of the Netflix fashion design competition series Next In Fashion. The South Korean designer’s eponymous label is exclusively stocked at SocietyA in Singapore, and you can expect the fantastical whimsy and joy of Kim’s designs.
Bangkok label innit, founded in 2010, works with the concept of versatile pieces for modern, everyday women. Their signature is a pleat and curl technique that is done by hand on limited runs of fabric. All of Innit’s pieces are drafted, designed and crafted in-house, and the results are a distinctly exquisite and romantic style. The separates make great everyday pieces with a little textural uniqueness, while the dresses – especially the ones with the intricate curled pleats – make standout evening options.
FRAY I.D (#03-08B)
Fray I.D is a cult Japanese label with a sharply curated eye for what they call “career fashion” for the “next generation”. The brand combines minimalist elegance with a touch of the avant-garde to create pieces that are sharp, intelligent, and designed for the busy working woman. It undoubtedly has a touch of old-Celine to it, but with a gentler Japanese sensibility that makes it more approachable and easy to wear.
Also from Japan is snidel, a renowned and popular fashion label founded and based in Tokyo. The fashion of snidel pulls inspiration from the worlds of street style and high fashion, threading these together to create a hybrid of formal elegance and contemporary casual style that’s almost effortless to integrate into your wardrobe. Keep an eye out for the brand’s exciting collaboration collections, which have in the past included the Peanuts comic series, 90s rock band Rage Against The Machine, Italian sportswear brand Fila and, most recently, with trendy footwear brand Reebok.
Beyond The Vines (#B1-42/46)
Singaporean brand Beyond The Vines is one of the most successful contemporary local labels. It’s recently undergone a rebrand – from a ready-to-wear label to a design studio – that you can experience fully at its boutique in Takashimaya Shopping Centre. The focus is now broader – there’s homeware, bags, accessories like Apple AirPods cases, and stationery – and has a clear aesthetic of bright, punchy millennial workwear for creatives.
LE LABO (#B1-31)
LE LABO is one of the perfume brands that truly ushered in the age of niche fragrances. Founded in New York City in 2006, it took the fashion world by storm and signature scents like Santal 33 quickly became immediately recognizable status symbols. The sole boutique in Singapore is in Takashimaya Shopping Centre, where you can experience the brand’s “fragrance lab” approach, in which the labels are personalised and you get to choose from and experience the wide range of eau de parfums, scented candles, body care and grooming products.
Although the Australian brand Aesop makes fantastic skin, hair and body care products, it’s arguably just as much about a sense of worldliness and culture. The brand has a unique, location-specific approach when designing its boutiques. The one at Takashimaya Shopping Centre features a wall of caged rocks meant to evoke the 14th century legend of the Singapore Stone, an ancient relic and one of the country’s national treasures. Inside the store, though, the soft lights and earthy palette make it a relaxing abode that takes you away momentarily. Of their extensive range, consider the brand’s latest – and first ever – Aromatique scented candles , which can bring a bit of that sophisticated environment home.
Bynd Artisan (#B2-38A)
Local leather and paper goods brand Bynd Artisan is a bright spot for fans of handsome, luxurious stationery. The brand’s concept is centered around artisanal craftsmanship, which you can see clearly in the high quality natural grain cowhide leather they use for their notebooks and accessories, the hot-stamping personalisation services they offer in-store, and in the craft workshops they hold to promote and encourage the love of handwrought creations. For Christmas, Bynd Artisan have come up with thoughtful gift boxes. Our pick of the lot: the Candle Trio Set ($220) which has French vanilla scented candles in frosted glass jars, clad with leather sleeves – customisable with monogram stamping, of course – that can be repurposed for cups and jars after the candles are finished.