C Ambassador Susan Casden’s dispatch from Chanel’s Cruise presentation—at a far-flung spot near and dear to her heart.
The Chanel Cruise Show is an annual global event, each year at a different location: Santa Monica Airport (2007), Miami’s Raleigh Hotel (2008), Lido Beach (2009), St. Tropez (2010), Hôtel du Cap Eden-Roc (2011) and Versailles (2012). On choosing Singapore—Chanel’s maiden voyage to Asia—Karl Lagerfeld said, “I haven’t been back in 25 years, and everyone told me that this place has changed so much. I wanted to see it for myself, and the best way is to do a show here.”
The first night premiered Lagerfeld’s Once Upon a Time…Deauville 1913 on the lawn of the famous Raffles Hotel. The following evening, 800 guests gathered at Loewen Cluster, an upscale residential area that formerly housed a nutmeg plantation and barracks. The presentation showcased long and lean skirt/jacket looks equally mindful of the tropical climate and the rich culture.
Having spent four years in Singapore with my father while growing up, I was also excited to see three decades of change. A melting pot of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and Western cultures, the city-state has become a mecca for foreign investment, magnificent skyscrapers, luxury shopping—and world-famous street food. Coming back, the Lion City had shifted, yet remained the same.
Located in the heart of downtown, The St. Regis Singapore is the top choice for luxury and pampering. 29 Tanglin Rd.; stregissingapore.com. • Marina Bay Sands has a 24-hour casino complex, top-notch restaurants, unparalleled shopping and a jaw-dropping skyline view. 10 Bayfront Ave.; marinabaysands.com. • Nearby, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore houses a modern art collection and spectacular views from every room. Seven Raffles Ave.; ritzcarlton.com.
Singapore Botanic Gardens has the world’s largest display of orchids, the national flower. One Cluny Rd.; sbg.org.sg. • Raffles Hotel Singapore is a colonial throwback—and home to The Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was born. One Beach Rd.; raffles.com. • Where history meets modernity, The Fullerton Heritage Precinct is a focal point for fine dining, shopping, nightlife and cultural sites all overlooking the Bay. One Fullerton Rd.; thefullertonheritage.com. • Once merely an outlying beach, Sentosa Island has transformed into a mega-resort. sentosa.com.sg.
With its award-winning futuristic design, ION Orchard is a crown jewel of malls: 300 outlets on more than eight levels. Two Orchard Turn.; ionorchard.com. • You can’t go wrong with Takashimaya Shopping Centre (Chanel’s home base here). Stop by Parsian Ladurée for macarons. 391 Orchard Rd.; takashimaya-sin.com. • The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands hosts the most stunning Louis Vuitton store. Two Bayfront Ave.; marinabaysands.com. • What used to be Central Manpower Base of Singapore (“CMBP”), Dempsey Hill has become a laid-back lifestyle destination where you can find antiques, artworks, crafts, fashion, markets and eats. Dempsey Rd.; dempseyhill.com.
The hottest place in town, Catalunya is by the creators of Spain’s El Bulli. The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay; catalunya.sg. • Min Jiang specializes in Sichuan and Cantonese dishes. 22 Scotts Rd.; goodwoodparkhotel.com. • Nothing to worry about: Singapore prides itself on its hawker fare (street food), and the quality and cleanliness are like nowhere else. Be sure to try Hainan Chicken Rice, Satay, Nasi Lemak and my favorite, Chai Tow Kway.
Edited by Jenny Murray