A Summer Affair

Photographs courtesy of Monocle

Only in London would a summer fair be threatened with looming clouds and overcast skies. We had just arrived at The Monocle Summer Fayre 2014, held on the grounds of the magazine’s London office at Midori House, ready and raring to champion Singapore design with a veritable smorgasbord of locally designed products—perhaps realising we might have brought everything including the sun along with us.

Our spirits were high and our energy levels peeked through the misty London rain. After a successful run of The Monocle Café at The U Factory in 2013, we’d been invited to be part of a well-curated lineup of stalls at its annual Summer Fayre, including publishing and print stalwarts Gestalten News and MagCulture, menswear Trunk Clothiers and planting professionals The Garden Edit.

The theme this year was “nautical”, with a wall mural entrance of “The Good Ship Monocle”, hand painted by Tyler Brule’s ever gracious mother (we witnessed her in action while setting up the day before) and chirpy staff decked out in striped blue St James’ Breton tops. Throw in live folk music, a farm petting zoo of sheep, ram and piglets, and multiple Mono-chan mascot sightings, and the stage was set for a weekend impossible to forget.

The Monocle Summer Fayre a summer affair

Overwhelmed by the never-ending stream of visitors to the Underscore booth, we would like to think it was due to the quality of our wares. Besides offering editorial insights into current and back issues of Underscore, The U Press and Creative Cultures: The Singapore Showcase, we spent the two days earnestly explaining the origins behind The Little Drom Store’s playground pins, the meaning of the designs on Supermama’s Singapore Icons plate series and Aspects glassware, promoting local fare via When I Was Four and The Farm Store’s food-themed accessories and, of course, the intricacies of Singlish through the Dictionary/Notebook. Consider it a crash course on all things Singaporean for the cosmopolitan Fayre-goers, who came from all over the world curious about what our small little city country from the sunny side of Asia had to offer.

The Monocle Summer Fayre a summer affair

All in, it was—as it always is when it comes to collaborations with Monocle—an experience we would be ready to repeat. In fact, we’re already picking out items for the Winter Fayre as we speak.

Read more in The U Press N˚7 (Singapore edition).