Singapore railway station gets new life as fashion runway

Saturday, 28 April 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: Singapore’s historic Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was bathed in revolving shades of orange, pink and purple lights on Wednesday evening.

Less than a year after it ended life as an active train station, models sashayed down a makeshift runway to show the latest clothing from Italian fashion house Valentino and show off one of Singapore’s architectural gems.

The art deco building at the edge of Singapore’s central business district, with its murals in the main hall and four marble statues on its portico entrance, closed in June last year as part of a deal that saw Malaysia move its rail operations to a new site nearer the border with Singapore.

Malaysia and Singapore were briefly joined in a union after independence, and the station and the area alongside the railway tracks were considered Malaysian territory under agreements forged by former British colonial rulers.

Malaysia handed the railway station over to Singapore last year, effectively giving up sovereignty over the land in return for sites in other parts of the city-state and Singapore’s help in developing an investment zone in southern Malaysia.

The station, which opened in 1932, has been named as a national monument.

“We try to do our fashion show in an interesting and different location every year. The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is historical, it’s interesting and it’s never been used for a fashion show before,” Grace Lee, editor of fashion magazine NuYou told Reuters.

Nuyou, which is Chinese for girlfriend, organized the show with sister magazine Female.

“We’re working with RED Valentino, the baby in the Valentino stable, as it expands into Asia,” added Female’s creative editor Jeanette Ejlersen.

Introduced in 2004, RED, which stands for Romantic Eccentric Dress, offers a more contemporary, casual spin to more traditional Valentino attire.

The Singapore Land Authority, which owns Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, closed the building to facilitate the removal of railway track, furniture and equipment.

It plans to redevelop the area while preserving the station facade and individuals and will allow it to be used for events and activities on application, a spokeswoman said.