I'm about to go on holiday and really want one of those pretty bags in geometric prints that I can use as a carry-on but also at the beach. Sorry, I don't know the brand name. I've seen other women carrying them, but I haven't actually seen any in the shops. (Ideally with red in it to match my favourite bikini.)
Sky to Sea, Stanley


The Dictator rules: I'm guessing you mean the iconic chevron print of Goyard, the Parisian trunkmaking maison founded back in 1853 (www.goyard.com). Its St Louis tote is available in limited quantities of black, red or tan, and what it labels "special" colours, orange, yellow, green, sky blue, navy blue, burgundy and white. It comes in two sizes, and costs from HK$8,700 to HK$12,600. Why haven't you seen them in shops? Well, there is only one Goyard boutique in Hong Kong (The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2722 0398). Its personalisation service includes one to six initials (HK$1,320) and one to three coloured stripes (HK$1,320), available for pick up from the shop about two months after order. You might have seen locally based Mischa's stylish travel bags around town (tel: 2523 9777; www.mischadesigns.com). They come in a hexagonal print inspired by vintage Japanese textiles. Styles include the Jet Set tote (HK$1,180), Bucket tote (HK$1,850) and Overnighter (HK$1,650), with matching accessories (HK$360 to HK$890). Also, there are colourful prints by brands such as Vera Bradley, Vineyard Vines, Trina Turk, Lilly Pulitzer and Anna Griffin at Homey (HK$128 to HK$898; 248 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2156 1816). You brought up an important packing note: keep to a specific palette to save time and space.



I've done the coloured jeans thing to death and now I'm a bit bored of that look. I want something new to love right through to autumn. I'm toying with the idea of metallic. Thoughts?
Working Denims, Sai Kung


The Dictator: My thoughts run immediately to oligarch molls, and yet it seems designers are on the same wavelength as you. Even Kate Spade has gone for gold this season with the Joie de Vivre Broome Street metallic jeans (HK$2,400; Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2110 3555). The selection at DKNY includes normal blue jeans with a gold tint finish (HK$1,790; Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, tel: 2110 9874). Or take a look at 7 For All Mankind for a one-stop shop of metallics (HK$1,800 and up; Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, tel: 2722 9670). They come in skintight cuts such as The Skinny or Gwenevere, which you'll need if you're going to try to pull off reflective surfaces without looking a few pounds pudgier. Also, you may want to consider the season's printed jeans trend, such as glossy snakeskins, autumnal florals or allover stars. Helmut Lang has funked up white jeans with a black "grain" print (HK$2,200; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 7777). While there, try on J Brand's Vera jeans in black or indigo blue with a slightly shiny, waxed finish (HK$2,100); or invest in a pair of Acne leather jeans in light blue splatter print (HK$14,000). Other brands you might like include Acquaverde, CK and Versus. And if you're not sure how it's going to end up looking on you? When experimenting with a new style, it sometimes makes sense to go cheap first, with brands such as Maple (HK$79.90 and up; 26A Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2368 5759).



Got a question for The Dictator? E-mail her with your name, or alias, and address at: dictator@scmp.com