Far East Plaza

Corridors are filled with music and clothes bursting out of small stores. On upper levels perm agents and aromatherapy oils mingle with the aroma of fried noodle. Reputably the home of Singapore’s oldest lesbian hang out this plain old mall has very little about it that’s common. The presence of personality distinguishes Far East Plaza from its more glamorous, modern, counterparts.

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Haunted by the youth of ages past who found first loves, new identities and innumerable ways to spend their parent’s cash. It’s many levels house a myriad of outlets selling every conceivable type of good. Get designer rags, both rip off and real.

Find Goth gear, vintage, slogantastic tees and cheap shoes that will last a week but look ace at every moment. Choose from an exhaustive list of curl options or get dreads and a matching tattoo.

For those who run the stores there is another side to the story. With rents up high you’ve got to be shifting a whole load of fake Rock and Republic jeans before making any profit. A small well-placed unit on level 2 can cost you $6000 a month. And so it is that some of the older, well established shops sit and watch many fresh-faced entrepreneurs come, and then go again. The blind faith in being able to make it work adds to the atmosphere of youthfulness.

There’s been some speculation over the future of this iconic centre of optimism. Amongst leaseholders there’s some certainty that nothing will happen for a while, the status quo suits the real estate owners. Far East Organization say they have no re-development plans for the place. But change can come quick, especially when money is involved. So we suggest you get down there and get to know this singularly Singaporean shopping mecca.

Let’s check out this shopping Mecca!
Depression

Depression.com.sg

#04-41 12-9.30pm everyday, +65 9029 6032

In the back corridors, always a source of good finds, this distinctively styled store immediately attracts the eye. The name alone is intriguing. Inside tops emblazoned with the word f*ck stand out as must haves. Fulfilling the needs of the anti-social is the store’s avowed purpose.

Angelux

#03-25b, 12-8pm every day, +65 6836 7343

A pretty uninspiring interior, but a great collection of interesting clothes. Mindful of your bank balance designer rejects and seconds are offered, with new pieces coming in regularly. Marc Jacobs, Chloe and Tsumori Chisato are all here in name.

Angelux
Bape Workshop

Bape Workshop

#04-48, 12-9pm every day, +65 6836 3682

These guys flog the effortlessly cool Bape line of street wear. The distinctive camouflage print features heavily along with some good tunes and Jap style toys. The shop say the stuff is genuine, imported from Japan. Bape.com say don’t buy from stores that aren’t on their list. This store is not on their list.

Ao Sora

#03-111a, 1-9 pm every day, +65 6736 3118

Small but full of beauty, this store is run by a professional stylist. Firmly aimed at those with more years behind them and more cash in their pocket, this is where you go for the real thing. No fakes or seconds here just the well crafted designer originals.

It’s Hairy

#04-100, Mon-Fri 11am -8pm, Sat 11am-7pm, +65 6733 0976

One of few salons in Singapore where dreadlocks are on the menu. This place attracts those wishing to turn their hair into an object of wonder. The salon itself is decorated with cartoon character models and is home to several owners of more adventurous hair.

It’s Hairy
Ziyi

Ziyi

#04-33

Come here for all that is frothy, lacy and wondrously excessive. It’s run by a fashion graduate, whose fascinating creations add flavour to the store’s range. With imports from Japan, the motherland of cute, our favourite item has to be the gold Hello Kitty clutch.

Billboard

#03-20, 12.30 – 9pm everyday. +65 6735 9001

Framed like works of art, witticisms and t-shirts adorn the walls of this well-established store. The mature and curiously unlikely owner was keen to share evidence testifying the authenticity of his stock, most of which hails from the mighty USA.

Billboard
Primitive Art

Primitive Art

#04-101, Mon-Sat 12-8.30pm, Sun 1-6pm, +65 6735 3710

This friendly, relaxed tattoo and piercing studio has a uniquely family atmosphere. The guys that work here tempt you to endure the pain with their fantastic personal displays of adornments.

Pondok Jawa Timur

#02-66/ 67, 11.30am – 9.30pm every day, +65 6333 8785

Having shopped, perhaps added a piercing or two to your person and had a Japanese perm what better way to finish the day then with some home style cooking. Come here for excellent, and according to a Javanese friend, bona fide regional Indonesian food. The catfish is sublime.


Far East Plaza is at 14 Scotts Road, the nearest MRT is Orchard.