2017 has thus far been quite a momentous year for Singapore. In the last two months alone, we've been in the global news quite a bit for a number of reasons - some raised the city's cool cache to a whole new level, while others... not so much. I mean, remember Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and their portrayal of Singapore (and Geylang)? It was altogether hilarious and painful at the same time. Fact Check: Singapore is not some underdeveloped city that's filled with dark alleys and shady encounters. Sure, we have Yishun... but who goes to Yishun voluntarily, anyway? (Sorry, Yishunites! :p)
If you're still not sure what the whole Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders saga was all about, check out the video below that's put up by Mr Brown (arguably, Singapore's favourite blogger):
You can search for Part 2 on YouTube.
Anyway, back to the point of this post. This year brings many things that we should be celebrating. Not only is the nation turning 52 next week (August 9th, if you don't already know), we've so many cool openings and goings-on that cannot be ignored. What are they, you asked? Well, then. If you've been living under a rock the past year, here are some of favourites.
1. APPLE STORE
In May this year, Singapore welcomed its first ever Apple Store to great fanfare. News reports indicated that on the morning of its opening, about 2,000 were in line (some started from the night before) to be one of the first few to explore the newest addition to Singapore's premier shopping belt, Orchard Road. The tech giant's Singapore outpost spans over two floors in the Knightsbridge mall, and is not only the first Apple Store in Singapore but also in the whole of Southeast Asia. Pretty cool, huh?
As with all Apple Stores around the world, the interior is filled with Instagram worthy spots... that is, if you can get in on a day when there aren't that many people in the store (quite impossible, actually). Most who have visited the place will know that one of the main draw of the store is the spiral stairs that's made from stone, which brings you up from the first floor to the second level. The store's design is inspired by Apple Park, which is the new Apple campus in Cupertino. Interesting to note (because maybe some of you weren't paying close attention), if you look close enough, the stairs are designed such that they appear to have railings etched into the wall, with smooth seamless lines.
Of course, with the opening of the Apple Store, we now have the full range of products within arms reach. But what I'm more excited about is the fact that there's a genius bar here and I can finally see my warranty doing its work properly. :D
2. DOVER STREET MARKET SINGAPORE
If you have not heard anything about the arrival of Dover Street Market Singapore, you are definitely living under a rock. The opening of the Singapore outpost of London's famed retail haven Dover Street Market (DSM) was covered by almost every news outlets, and shared multiple times across all social media platforms.
For the uninitiated, DSM is a retail destination for fashion lovers looking for a cool mix of up-and-coming upmarket brands as well as established cult favourites. They include, among others, Comme des Garçons, Molly Goddard, Balenciaga, Gucci, Craig Green, Celine, Gosha Rubchinskiy and JW Anderson. DSM is known for its exciting and interesting collaborations with sought-after designer names, producing some of the most covetable DSM-exclusive merchandise.
In Singapore, the multi-label fashion haven makes its home at block 18 on Dempsey Road. DSMS is one of the few new-and-exciting additions to the not-so-easily-accessed Dempsey community of restaurants, cafes, and other boutiques.
3. LOUIS VUITTON SPECIAL RELEASES
Last year, Singapore was chosen to be one of the handful locations around the world for the global launch of Kanye West's Pablo collection. This year, the city state is one of the very few locations to have the Louis Vuitton x Supreme fall/winter collection. Launched in July, the day saw throngs of Louis Vuitton fans, #hypebeasts, and, erm, resellers, getting in line which started at the front door of the brand's ION Orchard boutique and snaking its way towards Ngee Ann City (that's very long!). So incredibly covetable are the pieces that Louis Vuitton reportedly unceremoniously cancelled there rest of the pop-up launches (both in stores and online) that were scheduled in other cities around the world. But sources have indicated that the collection will indeed be made available -- but at an unspecified time later this year.
And then there's the Louis Vuitton & FRAGMENTS collaboration which was launched earlier this year at the ultra cool multi-label boutique SURRENDER. Based on the fictitious music band “Louis V and The Fragments” created by Fujiwara and Louis Vuitton, the capsule collection features preppy elements, fresh, bold embroidery, and prints. The pop culture, graphic motifs, history of sportswear, and passion for men's wear design icons shared by Fujiwara and Jones are splendidly blended, and are expressed in leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories. The pop-up store saw fans flying in from around the region just to get their hands on these exclusive merchandise.
Not bad, Singapore
4. ATLAS BAR
Move aside Long Bar Raffles Hotel, there's a new player in town and it looks to be the go-to bar for anyone who's visiting the city. Housed in what many Singaporeans call as the "Gotham City building", Atlas Bar opened its doors earlier this year and billed itself as having the world's largest collection of gin. What's really a crowd pleaser and the draw of the place is the bar's art deco interior that looks to be straight out of The Great Gatsby. Spanning 7,400 square feet, the gorgeous bar is the brandchild of Vicky Hwang, the managing director of the umbrella business, Chyau Fwu Development, that owns Parkview Square (which is the Batman building).
Atlas Bar is definitely on the top of our list every time we want to have a great night out with friends. In fact, we've been there so many times, they practically know us by name. If you want to know more about Atlas Bar, stay tuned on Page Five.
5. EXCITING CONCERT ACTS
One of the most anticipated concerts in Singapore took place last month when Britney Spears held her first full-length concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Prices for the concert tickets were through the roof, and while they had to slash the prices by a bit, it didn't stop the die-hard fans of the Hit Me Baby One More Time singer from coming out in droves to watch the American performer dance and gyrate on stage.
The 90-minute concert, showgoers said, was exciting and intense -- what you'd expect from a performer of Britney Spears calibre. She is, after all, one of the best-selling artists of 2000s, according to Billboard, and have had her albums climb to the top of the charts.
We would have another exciting concert had he not cancelled. That would be Justin Bieber. Arguably one of the hottest performers of this generation, Bieber called in sick and cancelled the rest of his world tour to take a moment to focus on himself and his well-being. okayy.
But Singapore can expect more exciting acts coming our way. For the F1 Night Race happening next month (September), Arianna Grande will be headlining the annual concert which has seen the likes of Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
And there you have it. Some of our favourite moments that happened in Singapore this year that made us go "So Haps, Singapore!". What are some of the memorable moments for you this year? Let us know in the comment box below! <3