On style, she rules

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 May, 2012, 12:00am


Ever since I saw that Jil Sander collared dress in a fashion magazine, I've been obsessed with finding the perfect one for me. Where can I find a crisp summer shirt dress? (The one from the picture is too long!)

Shirt Order, Mid-Levels East

The Dictator rules: Nothing is sacred any more, and I don't mean that as a criticism for once. I hate to break it to you, but that dress wasn't tailored for you by ex-Jil Sander designer Raf Simons. Every woman should already be altering everything she buys off the rack.

It only follows that if trousers are hemmed, then skirts can be, too.

In stores, the closest in design but at knee-length is Diane von Furstenberg's full-skirted Cynthia wrap dress in white cotton (HK$4,500; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2522 8782); which is also available in Shibori Giraffe print (HK$4,700). We love Paule Ka's take on it with a draped waist detail in beige, black or poppy pink stretch poplin (HK$5,795; Chater House, Central, tel: 2868 2099). The shirt dress is very Celine, so it's no wonder the label has a few cotton shirt dresses with short or long sleeves, as well as silk versions in forest green, burgundy or fuchsia (HK$14,000 to HK$27,000; The Landmark, tel: 2525 1281). Club Monaco does a great basic multipocket shirt dress in navy or khaki (HK$1,890; 16 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2118 2987). Or go for a less structured look in DKNY's short-sleeved dress with a cool step hem in cobalt blue or ivory (HK$3,990; Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, tel: 2890 2799). Mulberry's pocket shirt dress comes in a silk multicoloured 'Bonkers Beach' print (HK$8,250; Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506 1020). Don't forget to factor in post-purchase time at your alteration tailor.

I'm on a mission to make my life more eco-friendly. Since my hubby usually buys jewellery for my birthday, I thought I'd send him to a relevant website that does the fair-trade thing. Do you know of any?

Green Girl, Central

The Dictator: I'm no environmental expert, but wouldn't it be more appropriate to mini-mise your conspicuous consumption? Birthdays do deserve to be celebrated, but, hello? Websites? Think about your carbon footprint! Why have something flown across the world when you can buy it right here? Jeanine Hsu of Niin has an eco-friendly range, incorporating off-cuts from a furniture factory, driftwood collected by a fishing community, etc. It includes the gold-plated off-cut inlaid wood with crystal charms necklace (HK$1,980; 3/F, Yu Yuet Lai Building, 43 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2878 8811; www.niinstyle.com), and the drift-wood nude fabric chain and charms lariat (HK$2,700). Also, US$10 is donated directly to the WWF's environmental projects with every purchase of Niin's Gaia bracelet (HK$500) designed in collaboration with Marissa Fung Shaw. Vintage jewellery, such as the Rewind collection of retro Chanel pieces (HK$6,900 to HK$14,800; Harvey Nichols, The Landmark, tel: 3695 3388), can sometimes offer a green option. Keep in mind that 'fair trade' usually relates to items created by paying fair prices to producers in developing countries. Still want online sources? Fine. Start with Made (www.made.uk.com); Livia Firth Design (www.eco-age.com); Melissa Joy Manning (www.melissajoymanning.com); and Cred (www.credjewellery.com).