parallel lives

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 March, 1997, 12:00am

GETTING known faces to represent fashion and beauty products is becoming increasingly de rigeur on these shores. Probably the most significant 'face' to sign on with a local fashion house belongs to actress Gong Li, once described by David Tang as 'shimmeringly beautiful'. She currently lends herself to Shanghai Tang for an international advertising campaign.

Now Signature, the Causeway Bay emporium, has retained the temporary services of film and pop star Karen Mok who led a tour around the revamped store last weekend and who will serve as its occasional muse, wearing some of its hot young labels.

And in an Elizabeth Arden-Liz Hurley type situation - although with not quite the same glamour quotient - the Hong Kong operation of Max Factor has signed supermodel Qi Qi to star in a new TV commercial for its skincare product SK-II. Qi Qi, who was born perfect anyway, figures in a Leo Burnett-produced TV commercial as the SK-II 'image ambassador'.

jerry jets in THE fashion crowd's disappointment at Thierry Mugler's decision to opt out of a Hong Kong visit has been allayed.

Because Mugler - who was supposed to have officiated at the opening of his Ice House Street store on April 25 - is sending in his place his much-photographed muse, Jerry Hall.

The leggy Texan with the famous long blonde tresses - in the news last year after supposedly consulting divorce lawyers because of husband Mick Jagger's alleged infidelities - is jetting into the territory as Mugler's stand-in for the afternoon opening bash. She will also be attending the Lane Crawford Race Day and doing a couple of interviews.

For which Hall is apparently being paid a fair amount of dosh - somewhere in the region of 'a few hundred thousand dollars', said a source. And in the midst of her none too hectic schedule, she gets a day off.

It's a bit of a publicity coup for Lane Crawford, which represents Mugler here. Positively chartreuse with envy, one fashion PR for a rival retailer expressed her curiosity as to how 'Jerry Hall is going to get all that hair into the airline cabin'.

'Oh well,' she sniped, 'she can probably wrap it around herself and use it as a blanket.' flash the cash Moda Mia, the Italian designer label outlet in Lan Kwai Fong, closes down in May. Personable owner Carla Arra is slashing prices well below cost to clear her inventory; labels like Gianfranco Ferre, Dolce & Gabbana, Krizia, Moschino and Valentino are on offer. Prices for daywear start as low as $100 for flirty chiffon skirts, going up to $4,000 for an ostrich feather adorned Valentino cocktail dress. There are also a couple of authentic and utterly chic crocodile skin handbags which were originally priced at $12,000 and are now selling at less than half that.

As with any type of outlet or off-season shopping, pieces are limited and sizes can be inconsistent. Quality bargain buys can be found, but go with plenty of time, an open mind, low expectations - and high hopes.

PR needs facelift RENEWAL Day Spa soon to open in Central professes to be 'unique in catering' to the 'the delicate bodies of Oriental women.' Most Oriental women would be mortified to know that they are still regarded as 'delicate' by companies trying to flog products and services in Asia.

While that might be a dumb sales pitch, there are still a few things to recommend the spa which opens its doors in Duddell Street on April 24 - like the fact that it hopes to bring a South of France-style spa ambience to Hong Kong, complete with treatments using volcanic mud and fruit essences, biotherapeutic facelifts, reflexology and massage.

Relaxation-seekers can pay per visit or sign up for a $10,000 membership - discounted to $8,800 for the first 100 punters - which includes a range of goodies. The spa has its roots in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, where it has similar operations.

The marketing material gushes that the difference between this place and the workout pits that surround it is that the spa attends to its members' inner essence'. Sounds messy.

big draw THE Super Muddles might be on their way to the big time. The pilot of the unique animation show based on the lives of supermodels and their hangers-on airs on MTV next Monday. The show creators, who include Hans Ebert and Matt Hackett, are hoping to find sponsorship to turn the idea into an animation series.

The Super Muddles, a group of bitchy, anorexic cartoon characters who go by names like 'Krona' and 'Yen-Yen', associate with male models named 'Flavio' who have no chest hair.

So far, Polygram in Britain are considering taking the Super Muddles to the MIPCOM convention in Cannes, believing the concept has huge potential in the European market.

A copy of the pilot is also being sent to Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis and Butthead, and a further eight characters are being created by Ebert and Hackett at the behest of Polygram in Germany. Joining the dysfunctional lot are a gay black chroeographer called Roland Stradivarius, an illegal alien chauffeur, a shrink, a wannabe make-up artist and a motivational trainer.

While fashion houses might seem the most obvious sponsors, Ebert is more hopeful that a soft drinks giant might take it on, if only because fashion folk rarely have the sense of humour necessary for a series like this.

'But maybe it's time,' said Ebert.