Singapore Goth shop Alice 88th. Cosplay, Gothic Lolita & Punk clothing, & dollfies

While we were wandering around the Haji/Bali Lane area in Singapore 2 Saturday nights ago, we discovered a goth/ lolita /punk clothing, cosplay and dollfie  shop. It’s called Alice 88th, and intrigued by the gothic dolls in the window, we ventured inside to investigate.

Once inside we met Alice herself, a coloured hair punk like myself, and saw a fantastic array of Japanese brand clothing (some I’d just seen the previous week in Japan!), cosplay clothing and wigs, and dolls.
As it says on the Alice 88th website:

Founded by owner and designer, Alice Khor, Alice 88th is a unique one-of-its-kind concept based Gothic House, design studio & workshop and Cosplay (“costume play” in short) boutique all in one where you are free to let your creativity run wild.

Inspired by her passionate interest in costume play or ‘Cosplay’ in short (ko-su-pu-re in Japanese) combined with her own magical imagination and keen eye for details, Alice has a knack for selecting and designing outfits that literally transform into a colourful and textural feast for the eyes.

I also couldn’t help but notice the fantastic wigs, in all their spiky, technicolour glory:

But Alice’s grand passion is dolls. She takes great pride in them, and encouraged me to “nurse” them :)

She has put together and adorned  more dolls than you could poke a stick at, and can order in your favourites too.
To see all of them, check out the Alice 88th flickr site. There are also accessories like eyes in every conceivable colour, so you can customise the doll to look exactly how you want.
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There’s sweet lolita clothing as well as the punk and goth stuff I like:
Not to mention cool shoes and boots

Alice was uber nice to talk to, and the odd goth/alternative person popped in to say hi while we were there. Do drop in if you’re in Singapore and in need of alternative wear or cosplay gear. Or, you know, if you suddenly find yourself caught short in the doll department ;)

Alice 88th is located at: 15 Bali Lane, S189851 Opposite the Golden Landmark Building.

Singapore online fashion boutiques Nicolethen & Bonito Chico

While on the subject of Internet Shopping, why not hop over to Nicolethen‘s online boutique? Nicole was one of the presenters of the fashion workshop I took in Singapore at the Nuffnang Bloggers Symposium, and she has some great deals on her site!

There are fantastic fashion-forward pieces like this dress with shoulder fins

and these great jackets with Balmainesque shoulders
Each for less than 40 Singapore Dollars (or $30 Australian)
Or how about a visit to the store of the other presenter Valda? It’s Bonito Chico, and likewise has a great assortment of glam dresses
and cool workdresses (this one YSL inspired)
and yes, they ship internationally :)

Yes, I’m serial posting now I’ve got a bit of time at home. Have to make up for lost time, eh?

Singapore Nuffnang First Ever Bloggers Symposium!

Last Saturday I was in Singapore, and while Dom took off sightseeing, I wended my way towards the SMU School of Accountancy for the Nuffnang First Bloggers’ Symposium.

And wow! what a turnout!

Over 2000 applied to attend the symposium, and this was whittled down to around 400. We gathered in the auditorium for the Welcome, and to be introduced to the various workshops we’d be attending that day.  We were also given the lowdown on sponsor Canon’s latest products (and more info was supplied in the goody bag we each received.)
The 5 finalists in the Photo competition on the theme of Happiness, came up to talk about their photo and why they should win. Each said they were every nervous! It became a catchword of the day with each person onstage announcing that they too were nervous.
These were the 5 semi-finalists. It was interesting to me to note how happiness equated to family for them all in one way or another. Even in the white-water rafting pic, which I loved, the author spoke of the sense of community she feels with her team – not just about the rush of the sports themselves on her individually. A definite shift from the viewpoint of many in the west, I think. Which do you think won?
We had a tea break, and it was a good chance to catch up with people. Bear in mind I knew absolutely no-one, but I managed to chat to a few, find out about their blogs – and get recommendations as to where to eat in Singapore! 
While most of us only loaded our plates with 1 x sushi, 1 x chicken wing, 1 x curry puff etc, I saw some others had piled their plates high…and yes, by the end the food had run out, and some people went hungry. For shame! To be fair, the number who turned up exceeded the number they expected :)
See? My food photography is definitely sub-standard :/ But there were no tables, and I’m holding the plate in my left hand and taking the pic one-handed with my right, so not so bad, considering.

The bell rang, taking me back to my school days, and we hurried off to our workshops.

Blogger star Xiaxue  held a workshop on Photoshop, which I was sorely attempted to attend. If I’d known Kenny Sia would be there assisting her, I’d have been even more tempted, as he’s another blogging superstar who is very funny. Photos from her workshop are here: There were 300 attending her workshop, whereas the others held 60.

I attended the Fashion Workshop, ran by Nicole Then of mycherrymagazine.com  the owner of a popular fashion blog and blogshop and Velda Tan (belluspuera.blogspot.com)  one of the co-owners of blogshop Bonitochico.

Before they got up to speak, another Nuffie took us through an exciting new concept that meshes Internet shopping with Social Media. It’s called Jipaban.com, and though it’s not up and running til May, it promises to be an exciting innovation. I’ll write about this soon, so stay tuned for more.

Velda was up first, and she gave style tips on must-have items for your wardrobe – a little black dress, a good pair of stilletos etc. Velda also spoke about keeping your readers or buyers coming back, with tips such as update your site frequently, have good clear pictures and give good customer service.

We were able to ask questions afterwards, and though she answered a bit about her blogstore, I’d have liked to know more of the nitty-gritty. Blogstores are not common here in Australia, but there are over 1,000 in Singapore! It’s a real growing trend, and perhaps it’s something that will catch on here – but time will tell.

Nicole then spoke about taking good fashion shots and street fashion. Little Nuffnang gifts were given out to attendees who answered some fashion trivia questions – and I was one of them!

The heart-shaped Nufnang stressball was cute, but the t-shirt with an arrow pointing down towards the belly/crotch area with the words “Nang This!” left me bewildered. Really, Singaporean humour is nothing like Aussie humour. But then, what should I expect, when one of the Nuffie organisers wore a shirt with “iPood” on it? Puerile to some is hysterical to others.

Moving right along…I found Nicole’s talk really useful. She focussed on the challenges of street photography vs editorial photography, giving tips on getting good shots. She used her own examples, as well as some from Yvan Rodic of Facehunter fame, with whom she tagged along when he was in Singapore.

Having tried my hand in Tokyo at street fashion shots, I totally empathised with her battles with timidity. It’s hard to ask people to stop and pose for you when you’re shy! She suggested always having business cards with your blog URL on them, so people know it’s legit, and can go have a looksee when the photos are up. (Hmm…must get some business cards made up, as my Fiend Fashion Director ones aren’t relevant anymore).

Nicole gave tips on lighting and posing, and answered my question about self-pics in blogs. FYI, she uses a tripod to keep the camera steady, and uses the timer function. She got Velda up to help her demonstrate posing techniques, which was really helpful.

Other workshops included the food blogging session with Dr Leslie Tay, of  I eat I shoot I post , the Kids Photography session held by Leonny of Our Everyday Things, and the Events Photography session run by Joe of Techielobang. Actually, I wished I’d been able to go to that one too!

Back from our sessions, we reconvened in the main auditorium to learn the Best Photo winner, and for 2 lucky other people to win a Canon Powershot S90. I elected not to go into the draw to win, since I was an ang mo blow-in. I was lucky enough to be allowed to attend the event at the last minute, so I wasn’t gonna snatch a camera from a local as well!

While everyone was filing back in, some of us got shots with Xiaxue – yes, even me! Everyone’s a fangirl. Sheesh, but she’s short!! I had to lean down in my photo with her, making me feel like a giant (which was kinda new and nice, heh.)

I also met a few more bloggers.

The winner of Best Photo was announced to be….the baby with the balloon!

We then stormed the stage to get an all-participants photo (except a heap of people scurried home instead), and have last minute chats.  I also had a lot of girls coming up wanting photos with me, or of my shoes!! They were definitely a hit. They are Jeffrey Campbell “Tick” shoes, if you want to know :)

The official rundown on the symposium can be found at Nuffnang here, or if you want to jump straight to the photos of the day, here they are.

All in all, it was great to see how big the blogging community is over there, and to chat with some Singaporeans. I did lose a big chunk of my first day in Singapore that could’ve been spent sight-seeing, but hey,it was the first ever Symposium; I had to be there! And I did manage later that arvo and night to eat in a hawker style food court and attend the goth club.

The event made me want to be more involved with Nuffnang, (as did the great Sydney Christmas meet-up), and I’d really love to see a Symposium like this held in Australia. Better put my hand up, I guess!

Th
e day also made me aware of how far I have to go with my own photography skills, which are at the bare minimum currently. It was on the advice of Sydney food blogger Howard that I invested in a good DSLR. Now I have to learn to use it and practice, practice, practice!
 
*Photos are mine or the Nuffnang official ones, as noted on each pic.

Singapore’s Heart of Darkness

Possibly the friendliest goth club in the world. That would be ”Heart of Darkness”, held by the Singapore Dark Alternative Movement.

Saturday night was a special edition for easter, a deathrock night called “Bloody Fool”, and we would’ve been bloody fools to miss it :) It was held in a venue in Carpenter St near Clarke Quay, at a club called Six.

We’d just walked in and got a big smile from a guy with tattoo’d face – he turned out to be one of the dj’s. We walked to the bar to order a drink and the organiser Saito Nagasaki came up to greet us.  Noice!

Then others came up, and we chatted, and we met more than half the club by the time we left. Saito is 2nd from the left in this pic, and he has been organising clubs for years, since the time he lived in Perth and ran the club “Outbreed”.

I’d meet one person, and go off and dance to Bauhaus, and I’d look back and see that someone had gone to talk to Dom. So friendly, they didn’t want him to be on his own. Such manners could surely be used in our western clubs, yanno?
Yes, he’s a kind of scary clown, is the one below, Dalsix.
Except HE was the one scared by Eldred, who kept mock-raping him in the corner – funny indeed. Eldred is the one who designs the graphics and posters, and he’s a very talented illustrator, actually. I said he should post his work on Deviant Art or similar.
But sometimes Dalsix strikes back…

But it wasn’t all shenanigans and hi-jinx. Oh no! There was a superb selection of deathrock played, and some up-tempo, non-deathrock tunes played when requested. There was Morrissey, Buzzcocks, X-Ray Spex, and some EBM as well.
The eye opener for me was learning that Singapore is somewhat of a police state, and alternative people get leaned on and hindered, if not threatened, from running the events they want. One person described how the police wanted him to manufacture evidence and say that some tattoo’d guy they didn’t like had done something wrong, so they could lock him up. Our alternative friend refused.
The goth/alternative scene and its people are misunderstood everywhere, but in asia, there are even more pressures that we in Australia, for example, just don’t face.  We know about China, we know about Burma, but there is more that we don’t know.
But back to the fun and larfs. I already mentioned how fab the people were, and Dom and I had a great time meeting people and chatting with them. But there were other highlights. There were lovely ladies in bondage:
men in silly hats…
and DJ’s – this is DJ Ghoul, from the Netherlands. Saito was also a DJ, as was Mentor.
If you’re ever in Singapore and into gothic, industrial or ebm you really must set aside a Saturday night to check out the Heart of Darkness. It was small but awesome.

Date: first Saturday of each month
Time: 9pm – 3 am (but it actually went much later – I think we got to bed at 5?)
Venue: NOVA SAFRA Gamehaven, 29 Carpenter Street #06-00

Back from Singapore, bound for bed…

Once again, I’m back from overseas, very much looking forward to a good night’s sleep!

There’ll be some Singapore posts coming up, as well as heaps more from Japan. For now, here’s my outfit from Saturday night, when we went to a great little goth club near Clarke Quay.

Minihat – Closet Child
Ribcage necklace – DestroyX
Skeleton Ribcage corset – Louise Black
Skirt – Black Peace Now, Closet Child
Boots – Jeffrey Campbell “Tick” boots in tribal colourway, from Karmaloop
Under-eye bags – lack of sleep!