HOW did fashion designer Vivienne Tam know she had 'arrived'? When she got a fax from leader-in-waiting Tung Chee-hwa asking her to be one of 100 of his personal guests at the handover ceremony.
'I'm thrilled,' Tam said in New York last week. 'Of course I'll be there.' Tam had just met with Shanghai Tang's David Tang, also in the Big Apple with merchandiser Gemma Choi and chief executive Jeremy Tromp to check out progress on the Madison Avenue store which opens in late November.
'Fantastic,' said Tang, peering into Tam's new SoHo store. 'But our ceilings are higher.' stan the man LAST night's Tatler Ball pulled out a couple of surprises. The society mag's '20 Years At The Top' award went to Stanley Ho for his 'long and dedicated service to the spirit of partying'.
The award for Most Eligible Bachelor went to Anson Chan - no, the other one - while the slinky Elizabeth Gouw, a financial analyst and owner of the Anya Hindmarch boutique in Hong Kong, was named Most Promising Debutante.
Socialite and avid shopper Fanny Ma was dubbed Most Stylish Woman - something the folks at favourite labels Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana would no doubt applaud.
Of course, the usual slew of socialite-types were in attendance: Andrew and Yvette Yuen, Kai-bong and Brenda Chau, and Kevin and Reina Chau.
alfred the late TODAY also marks the annual Alfred Dunhill Queen's Cup Polo in Windsor, a toffy-nosed event habitually frequented by royals - both bonafide and wannabes. The Queen is set to pop along for tea this afternoon, joined by a hefty Hong Kong contingent including Dr Henry Lee and his lingerie specialist wife Marguerite, Michael and Betty Kadoorie and Bond girl Michelle Yeoh.
The folks at Alfred Dunhill had hoped Madonna would show up, but her publicist sent a fax saying that Madame was 'currently working on a new album'. But at least Madonna wished 'Alfred a wonderful event', without quite realising he'd been dead for a great many years. The poor dear can't be expected to know everything, can she? hair glare bunch THE next time you're off getting your hair done, ask for Basic Toner, a cool new product in line with the current vogue for short-lived hair colour.
The wash-in, wash-out product, which should really be used in a salon to avoid domestic disasters, is said to be a hit among local pop stars, like Sammi Cheng who has coloured her hair both orange and pink with the product.
More mundane colours - like chestnut and burgundy - are available alongside wild shades of jade, kiwi and raspberry.
'It fades gradually over 15 washes,' said a Basic Toner spokesman. 'So at least you're not stuck with it.' vault face IF YOU'RE having a slow Sunday, pop along to Pacific Place to see what certain Hong Kong 'celebrities' regard as objects that define 1997.
Personalities like Sir Run Run Shaw, Siu Fong-gong and Cherie Chung were among 30 locals asked to donate an item they believed 'characterised this era' for the Hong Kong Time Capsule project. Their contributions are on show until July 2, after which they will be sealed in a vault for 25 years.
So what will our descendents have to look forward to in 2022? A video cassette from Sir Run Run Shaw, a photograph of a couture dress from Barney Cheng, a designer image from photographer Basil Pao. Nice, but hardly representative of the Zeitgeist.
No matter. The folks at Pacific Place are also hosting a big party on 29 June for 'all our shoppers', said a spokesperson. Get along and listen to the sounds of Brazilian street band Ruby Fruit Jungle among other entertainers.
loewe and behold NARCISSO Rodriguez, the designer who shot to fame for designing Carolyn Bessette's sleek satin wedding dress, has landed the top design job at spanish house Loewe.
Rodriguez, at the helm of Cerruti when asked to create Bessette's gown, will debut his first Loewe collection for the autumn 1998 season. Loewe is part of the LVMH group, which also includes Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy - all of which recently gained new 'hot' designers.
It is thought LVMH chairman, Bernard Arnault, wants to shape definite profiles for his stable of brands by bringing in known names.
Rodriguez' star is evidently in the ascendant: the Cuban-American couturier will receive the 'Designer of the Year' award from the Hispanic Society in Washington in September, an organisation chaired by Hillary Clinton which has in the past recognised the design talents of Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera.
model guests CATWALK queens Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell are tipped to be attending the July 1 Climax On The Peak party at Cafe Deco. Strong rumours claim the models are opening the Fashion Cafe in Manila before the handover and apparently flying in to Hong Kong for the bash.