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City Style Snapshot: Singapore





Milano Meets Mumbai

By: Katherine Goulart

Lion City, Singapore


If variety is the spice of life, a visit to the Lion City may do well for one’s longevity. From the prim and preppy English women walking along Orchard Road to the casual dress of Malaysian teens shopping in Kampong Glam, this port city provides fascinating glimpses of fashions from around the world.


I arrived in Little India amid Deepavali celebrations. Music from the neighborhood’s temples rang in the Hindu New Year with excitement while local men in plain clothes hawked anything and everything, and my party marveled. Gold glittered in windows and dangled from ears, made the more brilliant by black hair. Saturated hues of silk brought almost the vendor’s set price, and lay elegantly over so many shoulders in the crowd. Deep maroon on an older woman, dark yellow with an ornate pattern overlaid in black on her daughter.


Strings of fresh flowers refreshing me after an exquisite Indian lunch, I headed for the Singapore Art Museum via rail. Inside the gallery I stood with a Chinese woman in tennis clothes to my left, and a French couple to my right, dressed in such a way I can’t remember except to say it looked effortlessly chic. The four of us looked at Hyung Koo Kang’s large painting of Mao Zedong, our perceptions of the piece as various as our backgrounds, as foreign to one another as each other’s language.


I pondered this later that evening as I walked through Somerset toward my hotel, the hulking buildings full of Hermes and Prada all dark by this time of night. I passed two models by a closing Clinique makeup counter. Mr. Kang’s paintings, his enormous portraits of iconic figures from around the globe, have a voice to speak in a city like this.


When I stepped into my room, it was as though I closed two magazines I’d been reading at once: Harper’s Bazaar, and National Geographic. Reflecting on a short visit to Singapore, the sound of the city-state’s four national languages, the smell of its famous cuisine, the beauty of its multi-cultural heritage, I close in confidence that neither of those popular magazines could summarize any better than I myself can, what a spectacularly diverse and attractive world there is within the Lion City, Singapore.



 Photography by Fotolia.com




Kate works on avionics by day, but moonlights as a writer and artist in Japan. She enjoys running, practicing French, and getting lost in Tokyo. See what she’s exploring @kateroseearly on Instagram.

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