wherejacwanders.com – Sometimes when wandering around a city, you stumble across a little treasure of a shop. That’s how we found Onlewo in Jalan Besar, Singapore. This interesting area is a hotspot for artists, writers, makers, architects, coffee baristas, crafters and designers, who operate from studios and shops to make their contributions to Singapore’s art, design and gastronomic landscape. The delightful retro looking Tiong Bahru print fabric caught my eye as I passed and I couldn’t resist popping in for a look. What a delight!
Onlewo translates from Chinese as ‘comfort zone’. Onlewo was founded by Mike Tay who was featured among the top 50 Most Influential Singapore Designers in Tatler Homes, 2016.
The shop contains fabric designs which really showcase Singapore’s unique culture. We were shown around by a really helpful man (whose name I can’t remember sorry!) who showed us some of the patterns in the designs and explained the meaning behind them and inspiration for them. We also met Mike in the shop. Fabric designs included Singaporean foods, vintage grilles, peranakan tiles and Little India and Chinatown motifs.
My favourite fabric was the Tiong Bahru design. One reason was the gorgeous little cat on the fabric. His name is Bob. Bob belongs to no one but is a local cat that lives in Tiong Bahru. He became a Facebook sensation after disappearing for a few days and returning with a big cut. Neighbours all rallied and put in money to pay for his vet bills. I looked back over some Facebook photos from a trip to Tiong Bahru earlier this year and found Bob’s unmistakeable face. I had photographed him without knowing his story but something attracted me to him. What a legend!
As well as fabrics Onlewo collaborates with Singapore designers to create a bespoke line of home and lifestyle products. Collaborations included local ceramic pieces, lamps, paintings and more.
Onlewo has been featured in Monocle, Louis Vuitton City Guide, Wallpaper* City Guide, The Forecast 2016, Singapore Tatler Homes, the Straits Times, Home & Decor, Business Times, A-List and The Peak Magazine.
When in Singapore check out the super cool Onlewo at: www.onlewo.com
The shop is located at 129 Jalan Besar S208847. Tel: (65) 61006010
Opening hours are from Tue to Sat – 10am to 6pm.