A user's guide to fashion

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 June, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 June, 2001, 12:00am

Tom Tom club

Local style guru Sharon Dampsey-Tom is living proof that you can take the girl out of fashion but you can't take fashion out of the girl. Two years ago the former makeup artist, merchandiser and freelance stylist (she has worked with Bjork, Suede and, er, Tom Jones) gave up a life of glamour to become a pre-school teacher. 'It was something I always wanted to do when I was 40 or 50 years old, but it felt like the right time for a change,' she says. 'I was getting really tired of fashion.' Now she's back with Tom Tom, a new line of accessories featuring that millennial must-have - a psychedelic, snakeskin Palm V case ($940 from Style Trek, The Landmark and Harbour City; the leather version is $750). 'I hated the case [my PalmV] came with so I made one for myself,' she explains. Her friends flipped for them, placed orders and a business was born. What's next? A line of passport covers, wallets and tampon cases before she goes back to school next September.

Daddy, I want a pony

What looks great and is totally guilt-free? A pink pony purchase from Polo shops. The limited-edition collection of T-shirts and traditional polos, available in black and white with pink pony logos, was designed by Ralph Lauren to raise awareness and enhance prevention, screening and treatment of cancer in medically under-served communites. Sported by Penelope Cruz (below) and available from Ralph Lauren shops in the Prince's Building, Ocean Terminal and The Peninsula, they cost $520 each, with $118 from each sale going to charity.

Castaway treasures

Want to dress like a tai-tai? Then get yourself down to the Celebrities' New & 2nd Hand Clothing Sale. Featuring the cast-offs of social butterflies such as Cecilia Yip, Caroline Roberts, Denise Lau and Flora Cheong-Leen, the biennial bazaar draws bargain hunters and tai-tais eager to rifle each others' closets. What will they find? A $5,200 Prada dress reduced to $680; an evening gown by Valentino for $1,080; lots of Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and piles of pashmina. Check it out from June 12-17 in rooms 404-406 of the Low Block, China Resources Building, 26 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Opening hours are 10am-6.30pm.

Get an education

Ever-growing retailer I.T has opened its latest showpiece at 8 Queen's Road Central. The sleek, 4,800-square-foot space, across the road from its old shop in The Galleria, will be more than a store, I.T says. The 'concept' is to include exhibitions and installations intended to educate customers about the chain's sometimes-obscure selection of designers. The first of these sees enormous placards outlining different design philosophies, biographies, advertising campaigns and, of course, their clothes. Talk about a hard sell.

Healthy hair

Combine brings together Western technology and traditional Chinese medicine in a haircare line formulated for Asian hair. Its secret weapons are herbal ingredients such as bai qi, he shou and an mo le, which give shine and softness to dry, dark and coarse hair. Available from Watson's stores, the range includes shampoos ($39.90), conditioners ($39.90) and styling products ($29.90).