Malls in Asia vs Chadstone

photo-13-10-16-5-43-02-pm2 years – that’s how long one of my local shopping malls took to renovate a new block within the complex. Now that the 1st phase is completed I’m already starting to hear these common remarks: “Chadstone  competes with the shopping malls in Asia”, “it’s better”,”it’s bigger”. Why Asia?  Shanghai, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, and Saigon— are crazy about developing and expanding new urban landscapes influenced by the malls in America. They serve as the global hub for multiple mega complexes.

Asia’s economy in this 21st century thrives on the  ability to consume at levels at or near those of the US or Europe. Shopping is like a sporting culture to them, the influence of Sex and the City and the New York fifth avenue shopping fantasies  appeal to them on many levels. Their malls  are  meeting spaces, glossy, air-conditioned indoor parks – a place to ignore the air pollution, poverty, and heat of the real world. So yes, for you folks travelling to South East and East Asia for the first time, now you know.

photo-14-10-16-1-11-34-amSo how does Chaddy compare? In terms of variety and being able to cater to everyone, yes Chaddy is a massive win. From the top of my head here’s what Chadstone has to offer that the malls in Asia don’t have all under the one roof:

Kmart, Target, The Reject Shop and Daiso – perfect for anyone who wants to shop for everyday items. Art Riot, Stuff n Nonsense (costume shop), Kikki.K, Muji, Typo, and Lincraft shops – for the creatives. Bath and Body Works, Crabtree & Evelyn, The Body Shop, Kiehl’s and Aesop – for skincare and body products. Two leading Australian department stores  Myer and David Jones situated next to the luxury district, and of course the luxury district itself:  Fendi, Prada, Gucci, Valentino, Givenchy etc. A section of the lower level for kids; Armani Junior, Pumpkin Patch, Build a Bear, Bardot Junior, Toys R Us and a Legoland to be opened next year.

photo-13-10-16-2-18-43-pmColes, Aldi and Woolworths, seafood shops, premium butchers, an Asian grocer, a market for fresh food – all conveniently located near each other  for those who do grocery shopping (I’ve never seen more than one supermarket in a mall overseas!). Two major food courts as well as  private  eateries and cafes  scattered throughout the building – the favorites being  Ladurée (Parisian cafe), Royal Stacks (burgers), Fonda (Mexican restaurant),  Marae Izakaya (Sushi Train), Nene Chicken, Yokozuna (Ramen restaurant with green tea sweets) and of course, Hungry Jacks burgers (yum).

photo-13-10-16-6-11-08-pmThere’s already a Burberry across the road, this may be an extension?

Apple, Samsung and JB Hifi are there to accomodate the tech department and Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, Converse and Rebel Sport accomodate your sporting needs. A random Tesla showroom. Hoyts cinema complex. Watch repair, shoe polishing and key fitting services. A mini playground for kids. Sneakerboy, Platypus, Hype, Footlocker and Adidas Originals for you sneaker heads. And finally: Sephora, Uniqlo, H&M, Mecca Maxima, and Zara.

photo-13-10-16-5-32-29-pm

photo-13-10-16-2-09-28-pmphoto-13-10-16-5-42-04-pm

It is the Fashion Capital, but it’s more like the Variety Capital!

Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, Jakarta’s Plaza Indonesia, Philippine’s Mall of Asia, Macau’s Venetian hotel and mall, Chengdu’s New Century Global Center: every one of them has their own target market, with each shopping experience differing to one another including Chadstone. In the Philippines you have an indoor  ice skating rink and a theme park next door, Chengdu has an artificial indoor beach, Singapore and Jakarta houses more luxury brands and the Venetian in Macau has a huge mix of branded fashion and a casino/hotel complex. So in a way, you can’t compare any of them with Chadstone.

img_2076Venetian, Macau

20131213_175400 img_3602Taipei 101, Taipei
img_0134Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

I think Chaddy  is still a win. Yes the size draws similarities  with the mega malls in Asia but it depends on experiences shoppers want  that define the word “better”. Perhaps shopping with family is ideal for you and you’ll probably find Chengdu or Philippines the better spot. Or if you solely want to shop for everything luxury in one spot then Singapore and Macau is your pick (they have Vertu phones, Richard Mille watches and Hermes bags – the most expensive brands in their specialty).

Chaddy just caters to everyone’s shopping needs – and even eating needs!

Another week of fashion

Photo-27-08-2016,-12-59-28-PM

Melbourne is celebrating  another week of fashion this Spring! Following the success of  Virgin Australia’s Melbourne Fashion Festival  earlier this year, Creative Victoria is back at it again with the  Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. The Creative Collection exhibition at Town Hall is one of the first few showcases that contributed to the launch of this one-week event. Here, you’ll witness a body of work by rising Victorian designers and artists who bring in their own unique practices to create statement clothing, footwear, films, graphics and Avant Garde millinery.

Photo-27-08-2016,-12-59-52-PM Photo-27-08-2016,-1-04-14-PM Photo-27-08-2016,-1-04-20-PM Photo-27-08-2016,-1-01-59-PM Photo-27-08-2016,-1-01-04-PM Photo-27-08-2016,-1-00-55-PM Photo-27-08-2016,-1-00-07-PM

I advise people when attending any kind of fashion exhibition or runway to study   a specific part of the garment carefully. Usually in haute couture shows  the clothing worn by models down the runway are highly unpractical and there’s a reason for that. It’s obviously not intended to be worn in public but it’s made to inspire viewers with their   different techniques and how their techniques could be applied to improving the future of fashion. It’s always that one aspect on the garment that is inventive ie. the way zips are used, the placement of buttons, the way a fabric drapes etc. This is what the Creative Collection exhibition offers with a large mix of bold and minimalist designs.

There are plenty of events scheduled throughout the week including workshops, premium runways and seminars. This week’s the week for you to get a dose of inspiration even if you’re strolling by Swanston st. The big white tent known as the ‘Hub’ is home to a Mecca mini popup shop, free Messina ice creams, T2 samples, Vespas, Movish digital specialists, live entertainment and a lineup of designer runways.

Photo-27-08-2016,-1-19-31-PM Photo-27-08-2016,-2-35-16-PM

No I didn’t hashtag this on instagram but yep that’s me and my first time on a Vespa hah!

Zenith

13576414_10153532111755388_1915844020_n

In Melbourne, street fashion is growing faster than ever. Bomber and puffer jackets have dominated clothing racks in retailers and oversized sweaters paired with tights and sneakers have been the go-to winter outfit for many youngsters. Celebrities collaborating with designers such as Jeremy Scott and Raf Simons and of course the likes of my favorite girl band 2NE1 are endorsers of  this street style.

With this kind of influence, it’s no question why we’ve seen the birth of Giuseppe Zanotti in David Jones and Raf Simmons with Adidas in selected boutique sneaker shops. New retail stores like Sneakerboy   and  Republic Boutique  are the few street fashion hubs across  Melbourne and Sydney.

A store selling luxury street fashion does not yet exist in this city….until July 9th that is. Zenith is a new shop situated in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. It’s a condensed version of Collins St all under the one roof and I had the privilege of  getting  my first look at the opening.

Photo-9-07-2016,-12-57-09-PM Photo-9-07-2016,-12-57-23-PMPhoto-9-07-2016,-12-49-45-PM

It’s a small space and from what I’ve observed, most of the items they stock are sweaters, t-shirts, bags and bag charms. I also wouldn’t have been able to find this gem if it wasn’t for my dear friend, June Chen, who was working with the Zenith team to create a  series of hand sculptures for a wall installation. June is a fellow artist who I connected with from a uni friend and  although I love street clothing, I was mainly at the opening  to see her work. The street clothing is of course a bonus!

Photo-9-07-2016,-12-46-19-PM 13664850_10153547499535388_927147300_n 13652750_10153547503055388_168677456_n 13652691_10153547503235388_676202295_n 13616281_10153547503230388_383540665_o

I thought the hands looked very realistic and were executed perfectly. They are moulds taken from real hands! She told me her  models had to sit in a chair for half an hour, in order for the hands to set before they could get taken off. It goes to show you how much patience and energy any sculpture requires. The worst thing is knowing that there’s a high possibility of breaking them as they are incredibly  fragile especially after they’ve dried, they’re prone to cracking if not moistened enough. From my past  experiences creating sculptures in my art classes and external projects, every  sculpture I ever made had cracks and annoying fingerprints. Only with the right skills, tools and bucket loads of patience will you have the ability  to deliver at a high standard. 

Whether you’re into funky luxurious streetwear or an art or interior design enthusiast, Zenith is always open for you to see. Go have a look and don’t touch the hands! 

A right-brainer by day and occasional blogger by night, you've landed on a place where I live and breathe all things art, design, culture and fashion. You'll find me documenting my life in the creative field, endless travels with friends and family and a bit of food.

More about Mon