On style, she rules

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 May, 2011, 12:00am


I spotted a brilliant print that looked like it was painted by an Impressionist. Ring any bells? I'd love to track it down. (I don't have a big budget though.)

Big Impression, Wan Chai

The Dictator rules: Gee, I wonder where you could have seen that since every magazine for the past few months has featured something that could fit that description. Zara has reissued its tulip-skirt dress, which came in red and flew off the racks around Christmas time. Now, you can get it in a multicoloured floral print that recalls some of the greats of the Impressionist movement (HK$799; Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 1099). If you like dresses that nip in at the waist, you might like the interesting Paul Smith Black Label shift we saw in a painterly pattern, with a wide grosgrain ribbon tie (HK$3,290; Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2895 1102). The usually frilly Moiselle has gone more modern recently, with paint-like and photographic print pieces (HK$3,999; Queensway Plaza, Admiralty, tel: 2866 2061). If you like blues and purples, check out the options at Max & Co (HK$2,880; Pacific Place, tel: 2918 0386) and even Bossini (HK$600 and up; 27A Des Voeux Road, Central, tel: 2524 9313). Then, when you're ready to luxe, check out the dreamy designs by artists in their own right: Dries Van Noten, Peter Pilotto and Nina Ricci.

Someone gave me an awesome eyebrow pencil with a brush attached but when I went to buy a replacement, it cost more than HK$300! Is that really how much they cost?

Brushing Up, Kowloon

The Dictator: Of course not. You can find them for much less. A word of warning though: although I love to harp on about how marketing and branding distort prices, I do think you need to be careful when choosing cosmetics or anything you put on your face, especially near your eyes. Random super cheap cosmetics may contain questionable dyes and other ingredients. Just stick to well-known brands. The cheapest we found was by Cyber Colors (HK$48; Sasa, customer service hotline: 2505 5023) and, what's more, that brand has one of the widest selections of browns to blacks we've seen. L'Oreal's Superliner line includes a brow pencil with a brush (HK$79; Sasa). It doesn't take much more money, though, to get one by a high-end brand such as Dior, which has both the crayon (the kind you need a sharpener for; HK$180; Lane Crawford, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2118 3428) and the retractable 'precision' types (HK$200). Clinique offers the two options, too (HK$115 to HK$180; Faces, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, tel: 3101 9317). Always quirky and fun, Benefit Cosmetics has a variety of brow products and services, including the Instant Brow Pencil with brush (HK$200; Faces) and the fab Brows A-Go-Go kit (HK$370).

I saw a beautiful dress with a ballet-like long skirt and a striped tank top, but it was like HK$5,000 and I don't want to pay that. Any ideas?

Prima Donna, Central

The Dictator: Right. So I don't suppose you'll want to shell out HK$13,980 for the gorgeous ankle-length silk tulle skirt by Chlo? which comes in black or beige (Pacific Place, tel: 2918 1686)? Probably not. How about the Alice + Olivia 'Laken' maxi tank dress made up of a black and white striped jersey tank and layered black silk chiffon skirt (HK$4,700; Lane Crawford, Pacific Place, tel: 2118 3668)? Just teasing. We're 99 per cent sure that's the one you're talking about, and we like this longer version of the persistent ballet skirt trend, too. Now, we love a bargain as much as the next person, but we also need to point out that lower prices often mean lower quality. For a super cheap but very similar style dress in black and white or army green and white, check out In Fashion (only HK$79.90; 40 Des Voeux Road, tel: 2572 1368). Stroll along Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui or the side streets around Times Square and you'll find more dresses with long chiffon or net- ting skirts. Which brings us to a crucial side note: carefully consider what you wear underneath your new purchase because those 'skirts' are more like semi-transparent veils. Chlo? sent its down the runway, for example, with short-shorts. Given the balletic nature of the look, you could throw on a pair of leggings or opaque tights. Whatever you choose, be sure to do a slow-motion pirouette in front of the mirror before you leave the house, OK?