Trained in graphic design and visual communications, Elyn Wong took an unorthodox route to fashion design, which is reflected in her work.
Inspired by architecture – in particular the brutalist movement – Wong designs structural womenswear under the label Stolen. Conceptual rather than decorative, her pieces nonetheless possess a feminine beauty.
‘I was born in Singapore in a neighbourhood called Boon Keng Road, where no doors were locked or even closed. We all knew each other. It seemed like mayhem but it was a really warm community to be a part of. Today I live in Tiong Bahru, a gentrified area in Singapore. The seamless, eclectic mix of old and hip is what I find the most charming about this neighbourhood.'
‘Books Actually in Tiong Bahru is quite possibly the coolest bookstore Singapore has. It stocks publications from major and independent labels, and supports a lot of local activities. It’s the prettiest bookstore in town and a lot of care has been taken to make it the way it is.
‘Inhabit at Mandarin Gallery and Club 21 in Forum The Shopping Mall are my picks when it comes to fashion. Their stores are tightly curated, with beautiful finds from labels around the world. The people behind Nana & Bird in Tiong Bahru stock accessories and garments that they’ve handpicked during their travels – it’s certainly for those with more playful and fun tastes. My label Stolen can also be found here.
‘I’ve been visiting the Sungei Road Flea Market with my father since I was eight. It’s the only real open-air flea market that still exists in Singapore.
‘For food, try the claypot crab beehoon at Melben Seafood in Toa Payoh Lorong – you can taste the sweetness of the crabmeat. Kazu Sumiyaki in Cuppage Centre is my all-time favourite yakitori place. I can’t find a place that makes chicken-skin yakitori like they do – even in Japan. Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant is made for lovers of Peking duck. There are two courses: the first is served with sugar and nothing else, and then comes the conventional one served with dark sauce. Divine. The Tian Tian Chicken Rice stall in Maxwell Market is the mother of all chicken rice in Singapore, while Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice stall in Tiong Bahru serves authentic Hainanese dishes.
‘Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse is great as I like my steaks simple. They’re cooked over an open fire and seasoned only with sea salt. I love relaxing at PS Café at Palais Renaissance. It’s where I take a breather from the bustling city to read a book or chill out with friends over a cup of tea. Otherwise, you can find me working every morning at the Orange Thimble.
‘My favourite view in Singapore is the one you get as you sit on the Marina Barrage, overlooking the waters, on to Marina Bay Sands and the Central Business District. It’s best seen late at night when the city is asleep, as the lights and stars glitter and shine. Or soak in the open-air infinity pool on the Marina Bay Sands Hotel rooftop at sunset.
‘The world has so many beautiful cities that inspire me in different ways, but I would always come back to Singapore.’