From Streetwear To Craft Cocktails: Homegrown Creatives Share How Singapore Inspired Their Work

(L) PCO Delhi ; (R) Limited Edt Urban Islander Collection
(L) PCO Delhi ; (R) Limited Edt Urban Islander Collection

Seek inspiration, and you shall receive. Be it the closeted poet inside of you or the unrealised haute couturier, the truly creative soul is forever on the lookout for inspiration. And, if there’s one thing that the bright colours of Peranakan shophouses and the flavourful confluence of Singapore can offer, it’s inspiration. Unbridled.

We’re talking Svami tonic’s Pandan tonic with the aroma of Gondhoraj lebu. We’re talking Limited EDT’s 'Urban Islander’ collection, spelling out the juxtaposition of Singapore being an urban city as well as a tropical beach getaway.

And, if you’re one for authentically inspired storytelling, come along, as we take you on an immersive journey into the cultural core of the island city through streetwear brands, creatives, wedding couture and mixology traditions that derive from the interplay of history and innovation and embody the melting pot that is Singapore.

Taste Of Two Worlds: Svami’s Pandan Tonic Blends Singaporean & Indian Delights

Nicknamed the “vanilla of the East,” Pandan leaves hold as much significance in South-East Asian culture and cuisine, as the banana leaf does in South Indian culture. Pandan is a tropical plant that is traditionally used as a flavouring agent in desserts and drinks.

Svami Pandan Tonic Water
Svami Pandan Tonic Water

Svami, India’s homegrown tonic brand, relies on locally sourced natural ingredients as the foundations of their tonic waters. Despite India traditionally being a consumer of brown spirits and beer, Svami’s co-founders dared to tread off the beaten path to revolutionise the consumption of gin in India.

While on a trip to Singapore as a culinary destination, Svami’s co-founder Aneesh Bhasin was introduced to Pandan as a cocktail-flavouring. And there was no turning back. Catering to the tastes of the new age Indian cocktail consumer who is both creative and curious, Svami tonics brings to you a Singapore inspired Pandan flavoured tonic - combining the aromatic, grassy sweetness of Pandan with the zesty, floral notes of India's Gondoraj lime.

Urban Island Chronicles: Limited EDT’s Cultural Voyage In Singapore’s Streetwear Scene

Limited Edt
Limited Edt

Founded in 2003, Limited EDT has gone from being the first standalone sneaker boutique in Singapore to transforming the streetwear landscape to one that's inclusive and expressive by catering to niches across the spectrum - right from basketball and skate to more high-end streetwear. 

Mandeep Chopra, the visionary founder, emphasises their approach of curating products based on consumer preferences, ranging from sports and music to high fashion. 

Fusing the urban sophistication and tropical flair of Singapore” is the Urban Islander Collection - a celebration of the long-standing partnership between Limited Edt and New Balance. Right at the heart of this collection is the exquisite New Balance 580. A masterpiece in craft, it adorns the signature pineapple print while embodying the Urban Islander lifestyle with its confluence of Hairy Suede and Woven Fabric. 

The Urban Islander collection holds the key to the hearts of those who love and live the paradoxes of creative expression and entrepreneurship. “The diversity of our culture with so many ethnic groups combined with us being such an interconnected and international city make us a unique melting pot. For this reason, I think our local streetwear culture will continue to blossom,” the brand shares. 

Sipping Singapore: PCO’s Journey Of Mixology With Origin Bar In Singapore

PCO x Origin Bar
PCO x Origin Bar

PCO is an award-winning cocktail bar that has locations across Mumbai and Delhi. They collaborated with Singapore’s Origin Bar to create a Singapore-inspired cocktail menu at major PCO locations last year. "My Singapore-inspired menu draws inspiration from various bar takeovers I conducted during my time in Singapore," explains Shelton Fernandes, a Bar Manager at PCO Bombay.

"For instance, E-Lacto was inspired by my takeover at Studio 1939 (Potato Head), where I crafted cocktails inspired by their innovative menu titled 'Palette of Sounds'. Demi-Soy took inspiration from The Elephant Room, a culture-forward ingredient-inspired cocktail bar, while Rosa Sage was influenced by Firangi Superstar, a modern Indian cocktail bar emphasising Indian spices and unique ingredients."

The collaboration between PCO and Origin Bar resulted in a lineup of cocktails reflecting unique moments, like the explosive Atomic and intriguing Play-Well, showcasing a blend of Metaxa, Yuzu, Wasabi, and Lego.  Fernandes further explains, "In each cocktail I've crafted, I've aimed to incorporate commonly available ingredients found in Singapore, such as soy, along with a diverse array of herbs, spices, and fruits like sage, pandan, strawberry, mulberry, and coconut." This Singapore-inspired menu at PCO fulfils the contemporary Indian cocktail consumers' desire for innovative and globally influenced flavours and techniques, catering to their preference for locally available ingredients and diverse culinary influences, while also inviting patrons to savour the harmonious blend of Singapore's global flair and India's local essence.

Designing Dreams: Rahul Mishra's Vision of Singapore-Inspired Wedding Couture

Rahul Mishra
Rahul Mishra

If there’s an elite cadre of fashion, it’s at the Haute Couture Week in Paris and amidst the circuit of emerging disrupters was Rahul Mishra, the first Indian designer ever invited to showcase his work at this apogee of fashion exhibits. A firm believer that the future of fashion is slow fashion, Mishra intertwines traditional Indian crafts with hints of futuristic detailing, positioning himself as a storyteller through couture. Inspired and enthused, his most recent work is a line of Singapore-inspired Indian wedding couture.

In an interview discussing his inspiration and design philosophy, Mishra says "It's truly magical that you are never far away from nature in Singapore. You're always in it, and Singapore is a city in nature. I think for me, as well as for the brand Rahul Mishra, nature has been one eternal inspiration." He elaborates on the significance of nature in his designs, emphasising the need to slow down and embrace its elements, which is reflected in his wedding couture as an invitation to appreciate life's beauty.

Furthermore, Mishra discusses the shift in the Indian wedding landscape and the influence of Singapore's ethos on his designs. "There's a lot of learning one can get from Singapore — the way they’ve created spaces and taken nature inside their buildings, where one can completely forget about the outside world," he explains. 

Mishra's designs reflect this balance, incorporating traditional Indian art forms with futuristic elements, much like the ethos of Singapore. His project, deriving inspiration from the visual expressions of Singapore, aims to transport wearers into a whole new space, blending sustainable, creative designs with cultural values. Mishra's approach mirrors Singapore's architectural and design ideologies; creating not just aesthetically pleasing but also artistically significant couture pieces that resonate with contemporary India..

Drawing inspiration is a skill, but finding novel ways of channelling it is the true art. These brands and creatives stand as beacons of ingenuity; shaping trends, fostering creative opportunities, and narrating tales that resonate with a global audience. These collaborations exist as a testimony to Singapore’s evolving approach to culture as it manifests through the intermingling of lifestyle experiences. 

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