I loved everything Michelle Obama was wearing at the Democratic National Convention. But I really loved her nail varnish! I asked my manicurist but she didn't know what I was talking about. Do you?

Nailed It, Repulse Bay


The Dictator rules: What's not to get? Practically every other woman who follows United States news has admired Michelle Obama's style since she first hit the campaign trail. That's not new. Neither is grey nail polish. It's been trendy for years. What is novel, though, is seeing a mom, OK, and first lady, rocking the look. It matched her US$450 Tracy Reese dress, which looked better and cost less than Ann Romney's US$1,990 Oscar de la Renta, but that's another matter. The blogosphere went wild over which polish coloured Obama's gesticulating digits. OPI rushed out a press release saying it might be the I Don't Give A Rotterdam (HK$132; Mannings, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2523 8326). But, no. Was it Sparitual's Living in the Moment (HK$160; Harvey Nichols, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 3968 2668)? OrLancôme's Gris Angora (HK$140; Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, tel: 2196 8321)? Give up? It was Artistic Nail Design's Colour Gloss Soak-Off Gel Colour in Vogue, a grey lilac (www.artisticnaildesign.com), but we haven't found a Hong Kong-based or online source yet. Autumn-winter is all about darker shades, anyway. Try Deborah Lippmann's Stormy Weather (HK$170; Joyce Beauty, 16 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2869 5816) and Dior's range (HK$190; Harvey Nichols). Or focus on what people say, not what they wear. It takes longer to remove a president than it does nail lacquer.



I noticed fashion made with old-fashioned needlepoint cushions is in. But where can I buy something that doesn't look like I repurposed Grandma's sitting room?
To the Point, Tsim Sha Tsui


The Dictator: Step away from the throw cushion. The looks on the season's runways had nothing to do with arts and crafts. The pieces you should be looking for are a luxe mix of the ornate, extravagant works of the baroque period cut by today's fashion masters. It's going to cost you a pretty penny to get it right. Start with Dolce & Gabbana's tapestry coats (HK$20,400; Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2956 0833), embroidered, printed silk and lace dresses (HK$14,000 and up), tops (HK$7,000 and up) and needlepoint handbags (about HK$22,000). You'll love Balmain's take on the trend (HK$17,000 and up: Harbour City, tel: 3102 9184). Valentino's in on it, too, with a show-stopping gown (HK$226,500; Harbour City, tel: 2302 0248). Even budget shoppers can buy into baroque. The ubiquitous slipper loafer comes in tapestry at Pedder Red (HK$855; Harbour City, tel: 2118 0130). Asos.com has floral tapestry tops, skirts and accessories (from HK$615 to HK$890). Or did you just want to pick up the family hobby? Head to Tailor & Alteration for supplies, courses and fellowship of the needlepoint ring (1/F, 451 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2836 5103).


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