Katong Diner Special Projects

WOODS & WOODS Handmade Editions

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Ways Of Working:
Portraits Sonata

What was originally an idea to create a series of shirts for Katong Diner (KTDN) has since morphed into an assortment of clothing. It is rather peculiar to learn about the situation under which the project was operating in––to be producing clothes in such precarious moments that is previously unprecedented, has become the pretext for the beginning of the collection spanning the year long work-from-home term in Singapore. The team at Woods & Woods was curiously intrigued by the prospect of making clothes as how they would formerly do, albeit now in a slower pace and with a modest set up; they had to work from home. All manufacturing activities had been suspended. As a result, this mirrors our increasing need for critical engagement in the specialised field. Co-workers are engaged in a more meaningful way of exchange through direct group experimentations and dialogue in garment assembly and research. Work is no longer alienated from our own labour and this entails our concerns for the connections of place, time and people as a contextual framework to steer the project and approach creativity and meaning as something plural and emergent.

Therefore, Ways of Working: Portraits Sonata is an inquiry that explores the notion of exchange and reciprocity as a way to navigate and temporarily displace our hegemonic form of commodity exchange in our modern economy. Here, the clothing as material form, is a social portrait of people, events and places, that is, as social anthropologist, Alfred Gell has defined it, a distributed personhood; “we are present not just in our singular bodies, but in everything in our surroundings, which bears witness to our existence, our attributes, and our agency."

This continuity between people and things is a mediated exchange, as opposed to the unmediated exchange of commodities, which is based in a fundamental discontinuity between people and things in our consumerist practices. Therefore the clothes is an exemplar of our “distributed persons.” This is extremely poignant and symptomatic of our current times––the need to connect with one another is fundamental to our human existence. It is therefore part of our intention for KTDN to be an outlet for people to come together and express themselves again.

All images photographed by Ivanho Halim for Female Magazine


Woods & Woods is a clothing label founded in Singapore in 2000. The label had shown in Seoul, Berlin, Sydney and London before debuting in the Paris Fashion Week in 2004. Currently, the team focuses on contemporary fashion & design practices that aims to challenge and broaden our critical and visual lexicon through the collective experience of doing things. Setting aside the standard individual consumer paradigm, the team looks toward building new ecologies of exchange as an alternative to the parochial creative economy.


Helmed by chef Anand Pereira and architect Jasper Chia, Katong Diner is a private dining outfit, borne of a need to reconnect with friends and family, but also with our sense of curiosity. A combination of forced patience and introspection reminded us what our neighbourhood was about—community. It is about building relationships; sharing great conversations over great food, with a hark back to the family dinner table, where there was pause in the day to sit, eat and share.

Our diner will carry the soulful patina of our past experiences, our travels spent ducking into closet izakayas and lunching on the floor of a Bhutanese farmhouse. It will be a celebration of pure, unadulterated flavours that speak in the Katong vernacular, open to anybody and everybody.

Against Pereira’s hospitality is Chia’s understated modernist architecture finished in concrete and plywood. The duo who has evolved to engage with diverse practices in their endeavour has involved Woods & Woods to create clothing for their private dining in Katong. 

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