The Life List: 5 festive, socially distanced markets for Christmas shopping

The Atelier & Co.'s now annual Christmas market is back for its second edition, gathering some of Singapore's most-loved artisans. PHOTO: THE ATELIER & CO

SINGAPORE - Festive markets are trickling back just in time for Christmas.

There will be no big atrium fairs with thronging crowds this year. Instead, the markets will be smaller, cosier affairs curated and run by local vendors.

Or you can shop from the comfort of home - and responsibly - at The Virtual Green Christmas Market.

In line with safe distancing measures, many of the markets require registration for entry with limited slots available.

The Straits Times scopes out the best ones this festive period.

The Christmas Atelier

The Atelier & Co.'s now annual Christmas market is back for its second edition, gathering some of Singapore's most-loved artisans.

On offer are leather gifts by Bynd Artisan, homeware by Scene Shang, jewellery from Carrie K. and apparel by Stolen, as well as food and beverages from the likes of Bakery Brera, Windowsill Pies and Brass Lion Distillery. The Atelier & Co's florist arm, The Floral Atelier will also be retailing fresh flower bouquets and mini Christmas trees.

The event has been fully subscribed, but you can still shop from the same vendors at its virtual market.

WHERE: The Atelier & Co., 2 Alexandra Road, Delta House, Level 8

WHEN: Nov 27 and 28, 11am to 8pm; Nov 29, 11am to 6pm


The Virtual Green Christmas Market

The Virtual Green Christmas Market brings together a host of eco-friendly brands for conscious consumers. PHOTO: CRUST GROUP_FACEBOOK

A fully online affair, the Virtual Green Christmas Market brings together a host of eco-friendly brands for conscious consumers across five categories: fashion, food and beverage, home and gifts, beauty and skincare, and lifestyle.

Pick up vegetable-tanned leather accessories from Kmana, hand-woven homeware from GreenieGenie, and beer made from unsold bread by local brewery Crust Brewing.

Keep an eye on the event's hourly cashback schedule to collect cashback for your purchases. Organised by online events platform Delegate, the event requires payment to be made via its payment gateway Delegate Pay.

On Nov 27 and 29, attend back-to-back workshops and talks from industry professionals on living a conscious life.

Topics range from sustainability in fashion to excess use of packaging during the gifting season to a cooking demo on how to make plant-based Christmas British mince pies.

WHERE: The Virtual Green Christmas Market's website

WHEN: Nov 27, noon to 6pm; Nov 28 and 29, 10am to 6pm

ADMISSION: Free with registration

Dino fest

Organised by Invade, the ticketed event includes activities for kids. Each ticket permits entry for a two-hour slot. PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHANGI AIRPORT GROUP

Dinosaur fever continues to sweep Changi Airport, with a Jurassic-themed carnival market happening every weekend in December at Terminal 4.

Organised by Invade - the company behind the Shilin Singapore and Artbox Singapore markets - the ticketed event includes activities for kids. Each ticket permits entry for a two-hour slot.

At the Dino Score play area, little explorers can snap photos, check out dinosaur eggs and paint a dino sculpture or tote bag at craft workshops.

After that, fuel up at the 20 F&B stalls - including Bober Tea and Taste Asia - which will retail dinosaur-themed food. Each adult ticket comes with a $5 Dino Dine voucher for use at the stalls.

For shopping, there are retail booths like Barefoot Toys, and succulent plant and gift shop Silver Spade.

WHERE: Changi Airport Terminal 4, Departure Hall

WHEN: Dec 3 to 27, Thursday to Sunday, 3 to 11pm

ADMISSION: $5 for kids above six, $6 for adults (Thurs & Fri); $7 for kids above six, $9 for adults (Sat & Sun). Free admission for kids aged six and below.


The Time Capsule

The Time Capsule is housed in a showflat for luxury condominium The Iveria by Ove. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE TIME CAPSULE

Ever walked into someone's home and wished you could buy an exact piece of his or her decor? At the upcoming experiential pop-up The Time Capsule, you can.

Housed in a showflat for luxury condominium The Iveria by Ove, the journey begins at the front door.

Walking through, shoppers will find the flat's three bedrooms and study kitted out with lifestyle items from some 35 local brands, curated according to the rooms.

The Grand Living Room brings together pieces like vases, ceramic plates and cushions. You will find leather-bound notebooks from Bynd Artisan in the Power Study, and candles alongside sheets from Sunday Bedding in the bedrooms. A space called The Garden Room will feature artworks by local botanical artist Lucinda Law.

Registration is required, with a maximum of 15 people a slot.

Lifestyle property developer Joan Chang (left) and fashion designer Phuay Li Ying. PHOTO: THE TIME CAPSULE

Behind the experience is fashion designer Phuay Li Ying (of Ying The Label) and lifestyle property developer Joan Chang, 30, who runs boutique hotel Lloyd's Inn.

The entire concept is about stepping out of one's own home and into another, Ms Phuay, 31, says.

"We wanted to place the brands within spaces of the home, so people don't feel like they're just shopping at a booth or a mall. They are able to realise that some of these items can be a part of their life."

It was also the perfect opportunity for Ms Chang to officially debut her new brand of modern luxury condominiums in River Valley, under lifestyle brand Ove Collection.

And with the new work-from-home normal, curating products within a home makes for relatable visual merchandising, adds Ms Phuay.

Shoppers will be given a slip of paper to mark the items they wish to purchase, before they pick them up and make payment at the end of the walk-through - a concept Ms Phuay describes as "Ikea-style".

Housed in a showflat for luxury condominium The Iveria by Ove (above), The Time Capsule offers lifestyle items set in a home environment, so shoppers can visualise how these complement their interiors. PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE TIME CAPSULE

She had been toying with the idea for a few months, after exploring collaborations with hotels to feature the watercolour art her clothing is known for in their rooms.

While that fell through, it gave her the inspiration to incorporate art - and retail - into daily life.

"Customers tell me they wish there was more brand story when they enter a store, so I'm always thinking of how to give experience to people and convey brand stories as part of their lifestyle," says Ms Phuay.

"I still feel that touch points for customers are very important. We used to have the big boutique fairs where shoppers were always very excited to touch and feel. The human touch is an important element and we can't forego it."

WHERE: The Iveria by Ove, 58 Kim Yam Road

WHEN: Dec 4 and 5, 11am to 9pm; Dec 6, 11am to 5pm

ADMISSION: Free with registration at this website



The second edition of Whytespace in December will focus on Christmas gifting. PHOTO: WHYTESPACE

For a shopping experience within an art gallery, head to Whytespace, a curated market of boutique online retailers.

The initiative was born out of a love of pop-ups and boutique markets, and to offer local artists and creators a platform to peddle their works without having to fuss over the business aspect of things.

After its inaugural event in October, the second edition in December will focus on Christmas gifting.

More than 30 lifestyle and homeware labels will be featured, such as woodworking design studio MU/YU, jesmonite accessories label Chokmah and conscious clothing brand Our Barehands. F&B businesses Old Hen, GudSht and Elite Bar will provide beverages on-site.

Several creators will also be leading ticketed workshops (sign up here) on Dec 2 and 3, where participants can learn how to craft their own jesmonite coasters, leather pouches, gemstone soap and more.

WHERE: Visual Arts Centre, 10 Penang Road

WHEN: Dec 4 to 6, noon to 8.30pm



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