The artist Anicka Yi is already known for working with scent, but her latest project, Biography, is a trio of actual perfumes, each inspired by women who lived (or live) outside the bounds of traditional notions of femininity. Shigenobu Twilight, for instance, is a meditation on Fusako Shigenobu, the founder of the Japanese Red Army, with notes of cedar, shiso leaf and yuzu fruit. Yuzu was also present in the mezcal cocktail created by the mixologist Arley Marks and served at a recent dinner held to celebrate the perfume launch at New York’s Gladstone Gallery. Meanwhile, the chef Angela Dimayuga prepared chestnut and shallot soup, charred squash with mochi and ant-covered chevre logs — the latter a nod to the perfume bottles, in which ants, flies and ladybugs are suspended in plastic. “I wanted the night to be a total sensorial extravaganza,” said Yi, who formulated the scents with the perfumer Barnabé Fillion, finding the process to be a natural extension of her practice. “You start with conversations about ideas — agency, longing, exile — and then you punctuate those ideas with smells.” — Kate Guadagnino
Anicka Yi’s Biography perfumes are available at Dover Street Market, US$250.
Left: Candlenut’s bite-sized kueh bingkah dessert. Right: a tray of Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh’s Tenshi shrimps and vegetable tempura.
To dine at the COMO Club is to sample the best from the COMO Dempsey gastronomic portfolio. Officially opened just a few months ago, the bar, situated in between Peranakan restaurant Candlenut and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar under the same roof, offers a concise menu that rallies drinks and dishes from three COMO Dempsey restaurants: the aforementioned two that sandwich it, as well as Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh. Favourites from the trio come rendered on tapas-portioned plates, including Candlenut‘s signature pork and prawn-filled kueh pie tee, The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar’s cheeseburger slider, and Ippoh’s tray of Tenshi shrimps and vegetable tempura.
The bar itself, shared with The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar, hosts a tight edit of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, from cocktails and craft beers, to sakes and wines. (Its tongue-in-cheek crowdpleaser seems to be the salt-rimmed basil jalapeño margarita, of which spreads a pleasantly spicy warmth down the throat and to the gut). At the COMO Club, pre-dinner snacking and drinking with your friends for a blessed and blissful hour (or two, or three, as aperitivo time goes) ease the pressure-mounted collective act of picking a dinner jaunt to invest the rest of the evening at. But perhaps you can stay and not have to make a decision at all. — Bianca Husodo
COMO Club, Block 17 Dempsey Road.
Left: Esther Theaker. Right: Courtesy Ssōne
Left: a botanically dyed sweater by Ssōne (available in January). Right: the brand’s cotton Balance dress and dead-stock-leather Tina boots.
Since watching Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” last fall, I have been looking for a pair of tall heeled boots to wear with long A-line skirts, as the actress Mia Goth does in the film’s eerie but stylish reimagining of 1970s Berlin. And so it was a pair of patchwork leather boots that first drew me to the new London-based label Ssōne. Its founder, Caroline Smithson, spent over 20 years working in fashion before starting her own brand earlier this year. The boots, she told me, are stitched from scraps of dead-stock leather by a third-generation artisanal shoemaker in Italy, and Ssōne’s entire ethos is guided by sustainability and handicraft. Smithson will release only two small collections annually, comprising classic styles designed both to last and reduce manufacturing waste. Her latest offering includes a sculptural white balloon-sleeve dress made from hemp (which requires one-third of the water used to process cotton), a brocade suit woven from yarn derived from recycled plastic bottles — and the perfect white A-line skirt to go with the boots, in denim sourced from an environmentally conscious mill. — Alice Newell-Hanson
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