“Hey Justin, tough assignment: I need you to spend a weekday afternoon at your favourite three stores at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, to review their new Personal Shopping experience for a story,” said our Managing Editor Grace Tay, who had signed up for the same.
The trooper that I am, I steeled myself to spend three hours surrounded by luxurious temptation, trying on designer clothes. I dutifully filled out the short online questionnaire required of those who wish to partake of the Personal Shopping experience at The Shoppes at MBS. Among other things, I was asked to name my favourite colour (forest green) and brands (Prada, Dior Homme, Saint Laurent), and to describe my style (preppy, not afraid of colour). Completing this set of questions maximises your experience, as I found out a few days later.
1. I’m greeted by a buggy to zip me from store to store – a great start! MBS knows you’re going to spend the next three hours on your feet trying stuff on, so why waste your energy walking the long stretches between stops?
2. First stop, Prada, where I’m offered highlights of Fall/ Winter 2016, including two of my fave pieces from the collection: shirts featuring the work of artist Christophe Chemin. A motley crew that includes Jeanne d’Arc, Che Guevara, Nina Simone, Hercules and others locked in a brawl (or is it a ballet?) or Cleopatra locking lips with James Dean? Decisions, decisions.
3. An unscheduled stop at Gucci. Regardless, Sales Associate Dexter has prepared a rack of clothes for me (whether or not I was going to step into the store) – with preppy, colourful options, just as I stated in the form. Thoroughly impressed!
4. Loving the fit and details in Gucci men’s FW16 collection.
5. Taking a stroll around the Gucci store to get a feel of the outfit and those amazingly comfy loafers lined with kangaroo fur.
6. So thrilled to see the Saint Laurent Palladium collection up close. Sales Associate Liza talks me through the pieces and Hedi Slimane’s vision for his final collection as creative director.
7. Madly in love with a forest green teddy jacket that Liza picked out for me. The store has taken note of my favourite colour – plus points.
8. The approach at Dior Homme is more “pick what you like” and then you’ll be presented with related options. Clifton from Christian Dior gives me details about the construction of pieces that catch my eye as I make my way through the racks.
9. I try on a pair of jogger pants that are to die for, and when Clifton finds out I fancy them, he brings out different colour options and a super-classy one with pin stripes as well as shoes and shirts to match.
10. A post-experience chat with my host, Patrick, Supervisor, Retail Concierge. I feel like I’ve been to a fashion funfair that I want to return to again and again. I mean, personalised styling, obliging and knowledgeable sales associates, a $250 shopping voucher when you spend a $1,000, and high tea to wrap things up sweetly – seriously, what’s not to love?