PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 12:00am

Prim and proper

Pret-a-porter propriety appeared on a number of runways for autumn. At Chanel (pictured), buttoned-up blouses, boxy jackets, tweed skirts and good-girl details - think ribbons, pom-poms and pearls - were gorgeous and grown-up. How do you fend off frumpiness with this look? Wear a pair of slingbacks and a sexy librarian stare.

On show at: Marc Jacobs (Joyce), Anna Sui (Joyce), Moschino and Louis Vuitton.

Chiffon ruffle shirt ($1,980) and tweed skirt ($1,500) by Cacharel from Marie, Paterson Street, Causeway Bay. Sling backs ($550) from Mango, Pacific Place, Admiralty.

Back to the boudoir

It isn't the easiest thing to wear, and you'll need some help getting it on, but the corset is back in a big way this season. Renegade designer Rei Kawakubo deconstructed traditional corsets and bustiers, placing them over jackets or around the waist as belts for Comme des Garcons. Dolce & Gabbana (pictured) had a traditional take on lacing up, sending out an ultra-fitted corset and a tight black skirt. This season's must-have? Smelling salts, unless you opt for Morgan's tongue-in-chic, trompe-l'oeil T-shirt.

On show at: John Galliano (Joyce), Chloe, Antonio Berardi (Joyce) and Gianni Versace.

Corset T-shirt ($328) from Morgan, Times Square. Leather skirt ($1,340) from Mango.

Girl meets boy

Boys will be boys and so, this season, will girls. Masculine dressing, made comical at Christian Dior (pictured) makes a comeback with structured suits, heavy-duty fabrics and buckles galore. For no-nonsense attitude, team a slim-fitting shirt and a quirky tie with tailored trousers and another seasonal must-have, a pair of stiletto ankle boots.

On show at: Gucci, Moschino and Miguel Adrover.

Wide cuff trouser ($410) and cotton shirt ($175) from Mango. Tie ($550) by Vivienne Westwood from Seibu, Pacific Place, Admiralty. Ankle boots ($590) from b+ab,

New Face by Sogo, Causeway Bay.

period dressing

Victoriana reigns supreme this season with designers such as Anna Molinari (pictured), Martine Sitbon and Miuccia Prada pillaging the past for pin-tucks, pretty peplums, romantic ruching and ruffled collars. The season's essential footwear? High, tightly-laced granny boots.

On show at: Viktor & Rolf (D-Mop and Joyce), Anteprima, Sportmax and Dries Van Noten.

Cotton and lace blouse ($1,290) by Isabel Marant from I.T, Sino Plaza, Causeway Bay. Cotton skirt with lace trim ($440) from b+ab. Lace-up boots ($2,190) from Indivi, The Landmark, Central.


Romantic, sexy and ultra-feminine, lace is big news whether you're dressing up or just hanging out. Go the whole way with barely-there lace dresses and diaphanous tops, on show at Celine, or get your wardrobe in trim with lace detailing on hemlines, necklines, pockets and cuffs.

On show at: Emporio Armani, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and

Yves Saint Laurent.

Lace top ($550) from La Vie, 7a Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay. Jeans with lace detail ($1,190) from Morgan, Times Square. Ankle boots ($760) from Mango, Pacific Place, Admiralty.

Casual chic

Even die-hard city dwellers should join the country club this season and add a touch of relaxed rusticity to their lives. Mix distressed leather - gorgeous as a coat or dress chez Miu Miu - with easy-to-wear tweed skirts, lumberjack checks and corduroys, and make sure you cover up with a back-by-popular-demand pea-coat.

On show at: Celine, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Dolce & Gabbana.

Distressed leather jacket ($1,990) from b+ab, New Face by Sogo, Causeway Bay. Sleeveless turtleneck ($225) from Giordano Ladies, Excelsior Shopping Arcade, Causeway Bay. Prince of Wales check skirt with ruffle edge ($650) by FCUK from Seibu, Pacific Place, Admiralty. Herring-bone clutch bag with flower ($480) by FCUK from Seibu.Hbu.erring-bone clutch bag with flower ($480) and herring-bone ankle boots ($850) by FCUK from Seibu.

No jacket required

Yves Saint Laurent stunned the fashion world when he introduced his signature le smoking in the 1970s. It instantly acquired classic status and designers are doing their own versions of the evening look this season. For a flattering, feminine silhouette, dress down with a simple shirt, tuxedo trousers and cummerbund, as seen at Jil Sander (pictured).

On show at: Jean Paul Gaultier, Balenciaga (Joyce), Moschino and Ralph Lauren.

Tuxedo pants ($395) from Giordano Ladies. Cotton cummerbund ($1,190) and chiffon top ($1,790) by Tsumori Chisato, Paterson Street, Causeway Bay. Sandals ($645) by Nine West, Pacific Place, Admiralty.

In the jeans

Worn, torn, stonewashed and shredded, denim is de rigueur on autumn runways. Jeans are lean and mean, left long (with serious stilettos) or rolled up above the ankles at Bottega Veneta. Alternatively, opt for a jean jacket or coat as interpreted by Marc (pictured). What to wear with it? This season's saddlebag with an extra-long strap.

On show at: Chanel, MaxMara, Celine and Miu Miu.

Denim trench coat ($990) from Morgan. Saddle bag ($445) from Nine West.

Black as night

Some say it's the economic crisis, some say it never went away - whatever the explanation, black is all over runways, both for day and evening. That's the beauty of fashion's favourite non-colour: worn with denim, a black dress gives downtown cred to day wear. Toss on a pair of strappy sandals and a tough-chic handbag, however, and you're cruising through cocktails to clubbing.

On show at: Miu Miu, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

Chiffon dress ($1,490) by Isabel Marant from I.T, Sino Plaza, Causeway Bay. Studded bag ($550) from Nine West, Pacific Place, Admiralty.

In the mod

Sixties style swings back this season, with Courreges, Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne references showing up at design houses as diverse as Prada, Fendi (pictured) and Chanel. Capes are back, as are micro minis and patent kinky boots. But instead of going all-out Andy Warhol or retro-futuristic, get the look in easy-to-wear silhouette such as a soft cape, miniskirt and trompe-l'oeil T-shirt.

On show at: Christian Lacroix, Bottega Veneta and Junya Watanabe (Joyce).

Cashmere wool blend cape ($2,490) from Tsumori Chisato, Paterson Street, Causeway Bay. Trompe l'oeil necklace T-shirt ($398) from Morgan, Times Square, Causeway Bay. Beige mini ($450) and boots ($850) by FCUK from Seibu, Pacific Place, Admiralty.