On style, she rules
I have trouble finding comfortable clothes to wear in the cooler weather as my whole family shares an embarrassing ailment - we get bumpy rashes on our bottoms if we wear stockings, regardless of the quality. What to do?
Cold Feet, Central
The Dictator rules: Woah! Too much information. We can't help but think you're pulling our leg, so we'll save space for better questions, Bumpy Buns. There's no better excuse to wear suspenders and silk stockings. We suggest forking out for the best quality lingerie at shops such as La Perla (IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2234 7325), Agent Provocateur at Lane Crawford (IFC Mall, tel: 2118 7777), Fogal (The Landmark, Central, tel: 2526 1751), or the laser-cut seamless versions at Wolford (Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2526 8078). Expect to spend more than HK$1,000 for the suspenders and HK$200 and up for the stockings. Most of those retailers will have updated versions of stay-up thigh-high stockings, which work a treat if you're the 1 per cent of the population with good enough thighs for them. Before you go for gold, test our theory on a cheap pair (HK$28 to HK$50) from one of the stocking sellers in Jardine's Bazaar, Causeway Bay; Tai Yuen Street, Wan Chai; or Li Yuen Streets East and West in Central. Or, here's an idea: see a dermatologist.
My American friend's daughter is getting married in July and she is here for only two days to do her shopping. She is looking for a pre-wedding reception cheongsam, something modern with a traditional twist. The first place that comes to my mind is Shanghai Tang but I don't think it has that many off the peg. Do you know any other places that do nice cheongsams?
Marriage Proposals, Mid-Levels
The Dictator: You might want to actually step into a Shanghai Tang store. If you did, you'd notice it has a multitude of cheongsams, many of which have modern twists and innovative prints (HK$2,580 and up; 12 Pedder Street, Central, tel: 2525 7333). Or, you can see them online at www.shanghaitang.com without even stepping away from your computer. Were you confused because the brand uses the Putonghua term, qipao, instead of the Cantonese? Hong Kong has several other contemporary Chinese designers doing interesting things with the cheongsam, including Shiatzy Chen (HK$5,000 to HK$13,000; The Lee Gardens, Causeway Bay, tel: 2907 2288; www.shiatzychen.com). We also adore Blanc de Chine (The Landmark, tel: 2104 7934) but the sophisticated designs are definitely more for the mother-of-the-bride or groom rather than the bride herself. Vivienne Tam has some gorgeous cheongsam-inspired pieces (HK$3,000 and up; Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506 0098). Our only concern is they might be too short for a conservative crowd. One of Hong Kong's oldest and better known cheongsam tailors, Linva, has a few racks of trendy dresses: ready-made (about HK$3,200; 38 Cochrane Street, Central, tel: 2544 2456) or made-to-order (prices vary). A keen eye will also spot fabulous designs amid the usual stock at Chinese Arts and Crafts (HK$1,800 to HK$7,500; 59 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2901 0338).
I'm bored of the dark, cold winter and am really looking forward to wearing happy summer clothes. I love those fruit patterns I keep seeing but who makes them?
Fruit Batty, Hung Hom
The Dictator: Who says you can't wear bright colours and prints in winter, too? And if you call this cold, never try skiing. Yellow fruits seem to be popular this season, with citrus prints topping the list. Moschino's lemon print appears on silk scarves (HK$1,650; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2735 9799), chiffon blouses (HK$4,900) and dresses in silk or cotton (HK$13,000 and up). Stella McCartney offers up a citrus fruit salad of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits for her spring-summer collection, featured on tops and dresses (HK$6,000 and up; The Landmark, tel: 2801 6793). But our favourite piece has to be Prada's sketched banana print on a knee-length frill skirt (HK$7,950; Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, tel: 2368 9662). The print is also available on tops and mini skirts (HK$6,000 each) in yellow and black or green and black. Also check out the cherry pieces at Sonia Rykiel, from graphic-print tees (HK$1,795; The Landmark, tel: 2525 6048), to an all-over cherry pattern on linen tops, trousers and dresses (HK$4,295 to HK$8,995).