I’ve noticed celebs have been wearing cute tea dresses recently. Are they mothball vintage (yuck) or is there a brand that’s revived the look? I’d love to get one even though fashion’s all about 1960s monochrome at the moment.
Tea Lady, South Side

The Dictator rules: Well, shows what you know. Hipsters have been de-mothballing their fabulous second-hand finds for years, and paying well below designer prices. But anyway, some of the most admired dresses of the season have been Bottega Veneta’s floral print silk tea numbers. Tomas Maier, the label’s independently minded designer, is known for straying from the fashion pack. He included perfect tea dresses in subdued browns and peaches in his collection for the season past. Evoking the late 30s and early 40s, they’re cut with flattering, nipped-in waists, reach below the knee and come with elbow-length sleeves and lightly padded shoulders (HK$20,280 to HK$22,080; The Landmark, Central, tel: 2973 0882). Fine, so not everyone can splash that sort of cash on fashion. Marc Jacobs has put his mark on the look with quirky mixes and pretty designs (HK$9,390; The Landmark, tel: 2868 9782); Hugo Boss sells a silk dress with the right silhouette in a large floral print (HK$8,850; IFC Mall, Central, tel: 3188 1171); and for only HK$2,490 you can get the look with Juicy Couture’s sweet, ruffle-necked dresses in cute floral or heart patterned viscose (Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2118 2980).


I passed a woman the other day in a sort of jumper with sheer parts on it that looked so cool. She noticed me staring and I was scared she’d call me a weirdo!
Sheer Luck, Stubbs Road

The Dictator: So why didn’t you ask her where she got it, you weirdo? This season has seen a lot of playing with sheer fabrics and Alexander Wang has some of the best examples, including his silk and viscose cardigans with sheer sleeves (HK$4,710; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, tel: 2118 7777) and the amazing stretchknit jumpers with sheer panels that create a geometric pattern (HK$10,800). Don’t be confused by the peek-a-boo effects: to get this right, you need to keep private bits private and only hint at revealing more. Valentino has the idea, with ladylike, round-neck pullovers with sheer sleeves (HK$9,500; Lee Gardens One, Causeway Bay, tel: 2907 2332). Elizabeth & James does a fab plain white buttondown with an overlay of transparent navy (HK$3,800; Lane Crawford), as well as a sheer and solid bustier top (HK$2,350). You may not always look to Reiss for cutting-edge fashion, but it’s one of the few labels that does the look right, such as with its cardigan in chunky knit balanced by sheer panels (HK$1,180; IFC Mall, tel: 3101 0719). And while you’re at it, check out American Retro’s latest collection, with its sheer elements on rough and ready classics, such as a biker jacket redesigned in a black knit with sheer sleeves (HK$2,900; LAB Concept, Queensway Plaza, Admiralty, tel: 2118 6008).



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