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The Dictator: on style, she rules

 

 

I desire an aran jumper - fairly slim fitting and modern with some lycra/stretch so it won't get too baggy. Can't find one in Hong Kong for love or money …
Looking Aran, Clear Water Bay

The Dictator rules: Do you hear that? It's the people from Ireland's Aran Islands. I can't tell if it's fishermen guffawing at your fashion makeover of their rough, bulky jumpers, or if it's Irish marketing geniuses laughing all the way to the bank. That's because it's impossible to separate the myths from the true origins of the aran jumper. Let's go with the generic definition: complex, all-over cable knits. The majority on the market are either traditionally baggy or follow autumn's oversized trend, but a fabulous exception is the Alexander McQueen aran knit polo-neck, with bell sleeves and peplum-like knit panels over the hips, in ivory wool (HK$11,000; Lane Crawford, 3 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2118 3428). As is Burberry's slim, white wool/cashmere cable-knit jumper with a flattering, extended, high-waisted ribbed hem (HK$7,500; Silvercord, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2957 8036). Tse has a few simple styles to choose from (HK$5,400 to HK$7,400; Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, tel: 2724 6303). For basics, we're still loving the late summer heat, so a lighter cotton mix would be perfect, such as Guess' cream slim-fit version (HK$899; Silvercord, tel: 2110 0370). EQ:IQ has an updated hybrid with a black wool panel at the top which graduates into a beige cable knit (HK$3,600; Elements, tel: 2196 8238).

 

I saw a photo of Gwen Stefani in polka-dot jeans a while ago and I can't get them out of my head. Do you know where they came from?
Seeing Spots, Pok Fu Lam

The Dictator: Do you want to emulate or avoid the adventurous singer's style? The tone and depth of our response could be very different depending on which way you're leaning. Suffice to say that patterned skinny jeans could accentuate your least favourite, um, assets. So much so that an online search for "polka dot jeans" led us to Self.com's exercise regime for women who aspire to adopt the look. Gwen Stefani was wearing the Verdugo Ultra Skinny Polka Dot jeans by Paige Denim. You could buy them directly from the brand via www.paigeusa.com in black, white or red with contrasting black or white dots, but I'd go to shopbop.com (HK$1,530) or revolveclothing.com (HK$1,470) where shipping is free. While at Revolve Clothing, we also saw Current/Elliott's fab Stiletto jeans in Indigo Polka Dot wash (HK$1,500), a worthy contender. In Hong Kong, you'll find Paige jeans at Indigo (32A Staunton Street, Central, tel: 2147 3000) and, although it doesn't have those exact jeans at the moment, it's stocked with a fantastic array of denim. Then, of course, this city's beloved cheap and trendy fashion shops, such as Maple (9 Li Yuen Street East, Central, tel: 2167 8286), have racks full of coloured, dotted and printed jeggings (HK$79.90 and up) for those on a budget. If you're really strapped for cash, hey, there's always correction fluid.

 

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

 

 

 

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