Fah Thai: Labelled With Love

September/October Issue

The Orchard Road of my childhood is very different from the famed Singapore shopping belt that exists today. At weekends, my mother used to take me to Wheelock Place mall, where I knew that I could look forward to munching on chocolate tea biscuits fromMarks & Spencer while we spent hours perusing books and magazines at the late, lamented Borders store. A trip to Wisma Atria meant larking around at its rooftop playground; and further east, towards the Cairnhill Road intersection, is The Heeren, where I would spend hours thumbing through music magazines and CDs at the now deceased HMV while my mother browsed records in the classical section. As a teen, my friends and I would sneak in to Cineleisure Orchard to catch late-night movies.

Today, Orchard Road has undergone sweeping change. It is a one-way, traffic-clogged bonanza – a galaxy of shiny, mammoth-sized malls and opulent designer boutiques, where slick new sports cars are parked under the shade of historic angsana trees. Throngs of shoppers stroll past giant billboards for luxury fashion houses like Chanel, featuring lithe models with their necks draped in pearls. They wander past the chic, casual window displays of Marc Jacobs, which sits beside the glossy, polished regalia of Emporio Armani. The Cairnhill Road intersection is also where you’re drawn to the familiar beckoning of high-street darling H&M – and this branch is a double-decker doozy of a space.

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