weight to go

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 April, 1998, 12:00am

FOR THOSE of you who believe tai-tais are a self-indulgent lot who never lift a finger other than to try on a new diamond ring, well, you may not be far wrong. The latest tai-tai trend revolves around a little clinic in Quarry Bay which offers weight loss by acupuncture, with no dieting or exercise required. The women pay $10,000 up front, for 100 sessions. Three times a week, they have needles poked in various body parts - particularly the stomach - and are left to lie there for 30 minutes.

The acupuncturist schedules five women at a time, who lie on adjacent tables and compare notes (and squeals of discomfort) about how much weight they have lost. One woman claimed to have lost the nine kilos she had gained since childbirth over the course of a month. Another had shed five pounds in the first week.

The acupuncturist does recommend staying off bread, rice and sweets. Hardly revolutionary advice.

No new clients are being accepted as the acupuncturist is planning to close the clinic while she takes time off to have a baby. And she apparently has her hands full with women desperate to get their $10,000 worth before she shuts up shop. After that, tai-tais may just have to resort to aerobics.

Joyce's New world THE NEW Joyce boutique in New World Tower on Queen's Road Central has been given the thumbs up by tai-tais, with the beauty and fragrance section at the front proving particularly popular. Although some shoppers wish the homeware section was more comprehensive. One tai-tai complained her driver was not able to wait outside, the poor dear, and another said the store was easy to miss because the sign is so discreet.

And the elegant new store has been cleverly designed so that you have to go out the way you came in: in the old Galleria venue, you would hit the back entrance, spot Joyce Cafe, and forget about shopping.

Still on the retail front: specialist accessories boutique on pedder has halved its space and given the rest over to deluxe German ready-to-wear brand Rena Lange. Despite the change, the Lane Crawford-operated boutique is apparently still doing the same amount of business.

beauty spot AERIN Lauder, granddaughter of Estee Lauder, is coming to Hong Kong on a promotional visit from May 14, before jetting off to Taipei and Tokyo. The budding beauty diva, who is still in her late 20s, is director of creative product development for the Estee Lauder make-up collections. She will be presenting autumn fashion and beauty trends (another eyeshadow, another lipstick) to the media at the Grand Hyatt. That night, beauty firm Estee Lauder and Elle magazine will co-host a party at The Peninsula to introduce her to 'Hong Kong's young trendsetters and fashionable set', said Lauder spokesman Letitia Law. Lauder should feel right at home in that environment, having been born with beauty, brains and bucks. A modern-day 'It' girl, she is a trend-setting member of New York's hip, rich society. What's more, she never has to go out to buy mascara.

Also coming to town is the man behind Chanel's successful beauty line, Dominique Moncourtis (who is credited with creating the iconic Vamp nail polish, as worn by Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction).Montcourtois, who has been with Chanel since 1969, will be here on May 20 to meet the media and generally cast his eye over the local beauty business. A makeover with the man, while not being offered, would be priceless - especially if he could make us look like Thurman.

star billing ISSEY Miyake almost, but not quite, upstaged the Italian president and members of the Japanese royal family at a cocktail party in Tokyo the other week. The noted Japanese designer dropped in at an exhibition-cum-party organised by Salvatore Ferragamo to open a retrospective of its vintage shoes at Tokyo's Sogetsu-kai Foundation. The paparazzi encircled Miyake as he chatted amiably with family matriarch Wanda Ferragamo. But he left before the family was ushered outside to greet Italy's President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and a couple of Japanese royals. Afterwards, the Ferragamos hosted a six-course dinner. But by then, of course, the president, the royals and Miyake had moved on to the next set of bright lights.

The smoke ring CIGAR smokers take note: a new shop selling stogies, La Casa Del Habano, is set to open on Tuesday at the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers in Tsim Sha Tsui. The Pacific Cigar Company, which exclusively distributes Havanas in the Asia Pacific region, is behind the venture. Officiating at Tuesday's opening will be Hong Kong's best-known cigar aficionado David Tang. Opening next door is a smokers' lounge where fans can congregate for 'a serious smoke'. It will be decorated with paintings of personalities with cigars, including Winston Churchill, Che Guevara, Orson Welles, and even Demi Moore. Cuban cocktails and tapas add to the coronary-inducing hedonism. And those who want to store their stash on the premises can hire private lockers at $4,888 a year.