On style, she rules
I am going to a wedding at London's Hampton Court Palace next month and am looking for a hat to co-ordinate with my outfit. As I may bump into royalty, such as the ghost of Henry VIII, I would like a suitable hat by a well-known designer. Isn't it Philip Treacy who designs for royalty? I won't have time to look for one in Britain, does anywhere here sell them?
Hatless but not to be Headless, Sai Kung
The Dictator rules: OK, OK. Stop showing off. Let the hat leave an impression, not your pretentiousness. For years, designer wedding hats were few and far between in Hong Kong. Since April, though, the answer has been pretty simple: visit new headwear specialist Hatwoman (Man Yee Arcade, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2167 8337; www.hatwoman.hk). It has about 55 pieces by Philip Treacy, including the formal Occasion line (HK$3,890 to HK$22,020) and the more casual Street line (HK$2,220 to HK$4,260). If you're on a budget, consider Judy Bentinck (HK$2,500 to HK$8,200) and Parisian milliner Marie Mercie (HK$2,780 to HK$4,380). You'll find countless other labels such as Stephen Jones, Karen Henriksen, Noel Stewart, Rizvi and Victoria Grant from London, Helen Kaminski from Sydney, Anthony Peto from Paris and Hong Kong's own Jaycow. We shouldn't complicate such a beautifully simple solution but Hatwoman can help you order in special items and even commis- sion a one-of-a-kind hat from a specific designer.
I'm looking for a white trouser suit for summer. Actually, I need it pretty quickly for a 1970s party and then I plan to wear it during the summer. Can you suggest a classic style (but not Chanel-looking or pricing), please, so it will last for more than one season?
Great White, Tsim Sha Tsui
The Dictator: We'd like to see you try. Do you honestly think your white suit will survive a party, let alone an entire summer unscathed? Good luck with that. One of the best options is Joan + David (Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2314 8879), where you'll find simple, slim-cut white trousers (HK$1,800) to go with either a blazer or round neck, collarless jacket (HK$3,000 each) all in a crepey cotton-viscose mix. You might like Escada's more casual white cotton suit, which features feminine rickrack piping (HK$3,600 for the trousers and HK$5,500 for the jacket; The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2366 6508). Or get a little shine on at Hugo Boss, where the white suits are made from a cotton-ramie blend (trousers, HK$2,800; jacket, HK$5,450; Harbour City, tel: 2735 1962). Since white suits aren't exactly at the top of the trend agenda this season, few fast- fashion labels carry them but Zara (Harbour City, tel: 2629 1858) pulled through with a one-button blazer (HK$899) and tapered, jodhpur-style trousers (HK$559) in cotton with just enough stretch to be flattering.
I have terribly callused heels. I want one of those skin-shaving things, not the foot file everyone tries to sell me.
Rough around the Edges, Central
The Dictator: Well, if your heels are as rough as you are, then you shouldn't mess around with home remedies. Get thee to a Shanghainese pedicurist immediately. Given that this involves trusting a person to use sharp blades around your feet (unanaesthetised), choose an established expert. The Mandarin, for example, is well known for offering this service at both its Beauty Salon and Barber Shop (HK$660 for 75 minutes, the Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road, Central, tel: 2825 4800; www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong). Fine, if you're the type who makes home-made facial masques out of the fridge, then you can find the right tools at most pharmacists (just be sure to ask the pharmacist rather than the normal staff, who will look befud- dled by even your best charades performance). Mannings sells its own brand of callus razor with four extra blades for only HK$13 (IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2523 8326). Prices for generic brands are similar at Sasa, where you'll find a fancier and sturdier-looking version by JA Henckels (HK$59; and HK$39 for 10 extra blades; tel: 2505 5023, www.sasa.com).