Most probably because I’m obsessed with TV, I was recently invited to a “Prime Time Fall Fashion Show” presented by Robinsons Department Store and Singtel Mio. I’d never been to a fashion show before, not to mention it was held at the brand new nightclub Avalon at Marina Bay Sands (i.e. 5 minutes from home) so it was a pretty easy sell. Even better, there was an open bar. Holla!
The basic premise of the event was to highlight the new season of US TV shows that Singtel Mio has exclusively on their cable system (I wouldn’t know, we have Starhub), including Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives, Vampire Diaries, Nikita and the new show Revenge. Actually, I don’t know if they necessarily have exclusive rights, but I think they’re the first in Asia to show them, and often just one or two days after they air in the US. Coming from Australia where a lot of stuff seemed to air three months later, I can definitely appreciate that.
Robinsons put together looks inspired by these various shows, which are generally fashion-forward anyway. I mean, it kind of felt like a heavy-handed marketing event more than anything (especially when I showed up and was handed a gift bag, then a PR flack grabbed it out of my hand and said I wasn’t supposed to receive it, then someone else pointed out my wristband and said I was a VIP and was entitled to a gift bag), but it was certainly something different for a Thursday and it was fun to see what a glitzy Singapore “event” would be like.
BTW, the gift bag I so dramatically received was kind of a disappointment. It included a 2-for-1 voucher for a manicure or pedicure at Vedure Salon that expired on August 15 (not so helpful since the event was on September 29), and a hand-labeled CD copy with TV season trailers. To be honest the highlight has been a Singtel Mio kleenex box, which particularly came in handy last weekend when a nasty cold hit. I can’t say it’s made me want to watch Nikita any more, though. If anything it makes me feel a little bit bad about my legs. But anyway.
I find it so entertaining here to walk by a store and see wool coats, knee-high boots and heavy sweaters on the mannequins, because there is no way in hell you would ever want to actually wear those things in Singapore. So either these fashions are geared toward super-rich jetsetters who travel all around the world constantly (not entirely out of the question here I suppose), or it’s meant to be aspirational and perhaps inspire a warm-weather interpretation of said trends. During the Gossip Girl portion of the show, for instance, I loved seeing the cute coats, hats and wool tights paired with dark skirts and jackets, but I don’t see myself running out to Robinsons to buy those items anytime soon. However they did helpfully point out exactly which designers were responsible for each outfit (interestingly, they were all local brands I’ve never heard of).
A few other stray observations:
-This may be the only time in my life where I’m a VIP at a swanky nightclub and get to take the special elevator to the top floor. I did enjoy myself, although the open bar closed far too soon after the fashion show ended (at, like, 10:30). I’ve never seen a club clear out so fast. The fog machines suddenly had no one to toot for, yet continued to pump out fake fog anyway.
-Avalon is nothing but soaring glass walls and its location jutting out into the Marina makes for some pretty spectacular 360-degree views of the city and Marina Bay Sands.
-Just like when we lived in Australia, I’m amused by the fact that I wouldn’t recognize about 99% of the local “celebrities” here. KF Seetoh the food blogger is probably the only one, and maybe Denise Keller the model (?) because she is on every inch of free space on the walls of my gym. Anyway, there were all these papparazzi and video cameras at the event, and I honestly had no idea whom they were there to cover. Apparently there were some big Singtel execs in attendance, but yeah, I was totally clueless. I guess that also speaks to my poor networking skills.
-File under “DUH,” but Singaporeans go crazy for clothes and shopping. I was way more entertained by these chicks who were standing on their table and cheering wildly for each new outfit than I was by the models:
-Also to file under DUH: Damn models are skinny, huh? From years of watching America’s Next Top Model I know that a lot of models just have super-skinny body types and freakishly long legs, but seriously some of these chicks just didn’t seem human. From years of watching Miss Jay’s tutorials I also found some of their walks to be underwhelming (and felt bad for them having to wear sky-high heels, which must have made them about 6′ 7″).
-Speaking of Miss Jay, during the event I came to the realization that this was exactly the sort of thing ANTM contestants would compete in for a random challenge (inevitably someone falls and the winner gets to keep a couple outfits). When watching the show I always wondered if those events were totally fake staged or actually served a purpose. Now I know they sort of do (though sadly I didn’t see Tyra in the audience and I don’t think there’s a Singapore’s Next Top Model).
-I wore my 5-inch stilettos and was one of the tallest people there (not counting the models on stage). Only in Asia will that ever happen. Love it.
-Afterwards my friend Sally whom I’d brought along dragged me over for a drink at Sky on 57 at the top of Marina Bay Sands (it was a school night, and I was tired!). It was so worth it. Not only did we practically have the place to ourselves to enjoy the amazing views, but she happened to be friends with the bar manager, who was a very gracious host, to say the least. It’s a great spot, and you don’t even have to pay to get up there (which I think is maybe required at Ku De Ta?).
All in all it was a really fun night and I was happy to be a part of it. I’m always down for anything TV-related, and the open bar and gorgeous setting were just great bonus extras as far as I’m concerned. I love living in a place with so many exciting things going on, yet it’s small enough for these events to be accessible and fun (unlike in, say, New York where a mean look from a PR flack would make you question your own existence). Maybe one of these days I’ll even learn about some local celebrities.