Owner Charmaine and her Standard poodle, Royce owned the petwalk as they strutted with flair and style at the Pets' Day Out 2014 event held at ION Orchard
Owner Charmaine and her Standard poodle, Royce owned the petwalk as they strutted with flair and style at the Pets’ Day Out 2014 event held at ION Orchard

It is rare that Wong Kah Fai’s motley crew of pets – a couple of parrots and a Persian cat – visits Orchard Road, so the animal-lover makes sure to pounce on the chance to take them there whenever he can.

On 20 April 2014, Wong was among more than 80 pet lovers and their 60 furry friends who met and mingled at ION Orchard ’s Pets’ Day Out, a pets’ gathering with a fashion slant.

“Pets’ Day Out is a great idea because there are very few of such pets’ gatherings in the city,” said Wong. It was the third annual Pets’ Day Out organised by ION Orchard and he has attended all three events. .

Organised by ION Orchard in partnership with Star World, Pets’ Day Out was part of the mall’s annual Garden Season festivities, where flora and fauna were featured to beckon the season of spring.

For this very special day, ION Orchard’s outdoor event space was transformed into a garden and featured stalls selling pet food and accessories. But the highlight was the Pets Fashion Show that gave pet owners an opportunity to show off their pet-grooming and styling skills.

Where Cute Meets Chic

The red-carpeted catwalk had been rolled out, the lights were set, the cameras were ready.

Everyone was waiting for the action: nine shortlisted competing fashionista pets would strut their stuff in the Pets Fashion Show highlight.

The seven dogs of various breeds and sizes and two rabbits in the running were selected from a photo competition held between 5 - 14 April 2014 by ION Orchard.

One of the rabbits, Jolie, is owned by the youngest participants in the competition, sisters Camille and Cecile Chong, aged 11 and 9 respectively.

Jolie is of the Holland Lop rabbit breed. Besides donning a country-floral neck cloth, Jolie also had a wicker basket decorated with ribbons as her costume”.

Tracy Wee, a designer who enjoys making her own clothes, decided that she would tailor an outfit for her four-year-old Bedlington terrier, specially for the competition.

“I was rummaging my wardrobe and came across a leather dress I bought some time back from overseas. As I don’t wear it anymore, I decided to turn it into a jacket for Quincy,” said Wee.

Quincy channelled biker-punk energy from the jacket. The jacket was studded with metallic star and diamond pins and featured an eagle decal. Wee was dressed in a similar style with Quincy and came in a black and white punk-inspired dress.

Quincy’s personality is “lovable and caring,”said Wee. “He is able to live with small animals and not see them as food. This is important because I also own rabbits and guinea pigs.”

During the petwalk segment, owners introduced their pets by age, breed and quirks.

Ollie, a Standard poodle dressed in military-inspired wear, demonstrated his willpower by staying absolutely still while his owner Lille Tien placed his favourite biscuits on his nose bridge.

After the nine pets made their rounds, it was time for the judges – Mr Lim Shien Yau, Assistant Vice President, Marketing Communications, Orchard Turn Developments and Ms Linda Tay, Manager, Advertising Sales & Partnerships, FOX International Channels – to deliberate on the top three furry friends with the highest style factor.

The Grand Prize

The grand prize went to Royce, a nine-year-old Standard poodle who was dressed in a gentleman’s vest accented with a red bow. His ears and the bottom of his legs at just above the paws had been dyed a sun-bright orange.

He is one of two Standard poodles owned by Charmaine Chong. Her other dog, Tommy, who was also present, sported a purple mohawk.

After the prize-giving, the limelight shifted to Royce as he patiently posed for photos while his beaming owner watched on.

Charmaine said this was her first time joining a pets’ competition and that the prize will encourage her in her journey of looking after and grooming dogs.

More than just fashion, Pets’ Day Out revealed the animal-lovers’ pride for their furry friends, and, in turn, the pets’ love for their owners.