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T Suggests: Menswear for the Great Outdoors, All-Black Watches and a Fluid Record Store

By Bianca Husodo

In the rocky wilds of Cap de Creus, located in Spain’s easternmost borders, British actor Josh O’Connor road tested Eye/Loewe/Nature’s first capsule collection for its campaign.
 
In the rocky wilds of Cap de Creus, located in Spain’s easternmost borders, British actor Josh O’Connor road tested Eye/Loewe/Nature’s first capsule collection for its campaign.

Loewe’s Alternative Take on the Great Outdoors

Subscribing to the movement of distancing oneself from digital confines, Eye/Loewe/Nature is Loewe’s new permanent line dedicated to the urbanites aching for a life beyond the limit of screens. It places British writer and naturalist Robert McFarlane in his book ‘The Old Ways’ as its starting mantra: “Anyone who lives in a city will know the feeling of having been there too long.”

Revealed earlier this month, its collection of ready-to-wear and accessories renders functionality serious and unserious manner. Technical parkas come colour-blocked in primary hues. Jumpers, with technicolour nature snapshots printed under the Spanish house’s Eye insignia, are knitted from partly recycled cotton fibre in similar bold shades. Louche sling sacks and canvas backpacks, moulded with padded backs and lined with cushioning for safe storage of tech essentials, are constructed with the modern fluid traveller in mind.

In a cultural point of time where masculinity is slowly breaking free of its amber encasing, Loewe’s witty exploration of utility is a tender shove towards the notion’s unmapped branches. The alternatives are endless.

Eye/Loewe/Nature is in Loewe stores now.

Chanel’s Case for All-Black Watches

The Chanel  Édition Noire line. From left to right: the Boy.Friend, the Première and the Monsieur.
The Chanel Édition Noire line. From left to right: the Boy.Friend, the Première and the Monsieur.

In 1987, Chanel released its first-ever watch, the Première. Devoted for its women clientele — unlike the decade’s traditional women’s timepieces, of which were smaller iterations of existing men’s designs — the pioneering Première gleaned its octagonal cues from the N°5 perfume’s bottle-stopper. Its chain strap, a nod to the 2.55 handbag. Going against the grain, it was a timepiece inspired by women’s favoured icons and it paved the way for the house’s watchmaking arm.

Fast forward three decades later, ahead of 2019’s Baselworld, Chanel takes the plunge yet again and ushers in the Édition Noire line. Reintroducing the Première, alongside the Boy.Friend, the masculine equivalent of the Première with a manual-winding skeleton movement, as well as Monsieur, the house’s latest round-faced men’s watch in a sleek, all-black facade. Everything on these timepieces — be it dial, number or strap — has gone dark. A bright idea, indeed.

Chanel’s Édition Noire is set for a limited release of 55 unit of each come September.

In Ann Siang Hill, a Vinyl Record Shop by Day, a Bar by Dusk

“We feel that nothing transcends the analog experience of record store shopping. There is no better retail therapy than walking into a record store, thinking that you already know what you want, before leaving with some unexpected new finds,” says White Label Records co-founder Darren Tan.
“We feel that nothing transcends the analog experience of record store shopping. There is no better retail therapy than walking into a record store, thinking that you already know what you want, before leaving with some unexpected new finds,” says White Label Records co-founder Darren Tan.

Whenever a new technology comes out, we often believe it will make an older technology obsolete. Yet, vinyl, an antecedent to CD, is growing out of its niche. Favoured for its warmth and depth that no digitised musical code can match, a mushrooming audience of record collectors — a large percentage born after the introduction of CDs in the ’80s — is signalling its global revival.

In Ann Siang Hill, the slender artery that pulses history-spliced hipness through Singapore’s downtown core, sits White Label Records. Opened last September, the record store gives the comeback of vinyl a contemporary outlook. What started as a hashtag, #vinyloftheday — there were over 1.1 million Instagram posts with the hashtag at the time of writing — amassed a pool of acolytes for the underdog of musical medium. Its founders, DJs Darren Tan and Christopher Kurt Loy, bit the bullet and decided to translate the online frenzy into an organic, real-life hub that is the White Label Records record store-cum-bar.

One can step in and thumb through the store’s eclectic selections of wide-ranging eras and genres — jazz, funk, soul, electronic and hip-hop. Expect carefully curated batches of local and regional records on a rotational basis. An all-day bar menu is available daily, while on weekends, DJs and live acts are lined for groovy beats. Its founders host themed music nights, showcasing their personal record collections. It’s a fluid community space for modern-day vinyl enthusiasts.

“We hope this will be a place where music lovers can discover both new music and new people,” says Tan.

Visit White Label Records at 28 Ann Siang Road.