Much as I love my collection of rubber thongs, I think it's time to graduate to coloured leather ones that are still simple and plain, but maybe a little less casual?
Flipping Out, Mid-Levels

The Dictator rules: For all those scandalised readers out there, let me begin with a translation. In some cultures, flip-flops are called "thongs". At least, I hope that's what you're asking about, as G-strings in rubber or leather both sound terribly uncomfortable. Now, with that out of the way, I'd like to stress that this type of sandal - even if studded with Swarovski crystals - will never be anything other than casualwear. The brand for you might be Tkees, whose slogan is "cosmetics for your feet". Its flip-flops come in tonnes of colours categorised under "Foundations", "Creams", "Liners", "Glosses", "Glitters" and so on (HK$450 per pair; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 7777). If the French Riviera is more your style, then you'll love the finely crafted, Italian-made sandals by Joie A La Plage (so what if it's based in Los Angeles?). You'll love its Antibes thong sandal with straps in various solid colours on a leather sole (HK$1,190; Harvey Nichols, The Landmark, Central, tel: 3695 3388). For the cheap version, take a look at the faux-leather replicas in all sorts of colours at Forever 21 (HK$74.90; Capital Centre, 5 Jardine's Bazaar, Causeway Bay, tel: 2890 4791). While you're in the neighbourhood, stroll over to the new Ugg store (2 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2893 1338) and check out its leather-strapped Ally II flip-flops in black, pink or beige (HK$550) and the Allaria with leopard-print calf-hair straps (HK$890).


Where are the Chinese designers in Hong Kong?! I can't believe I found one in Browns, London, even though I live here! The name was Huishan Zhang. Are his clothes sold here at all?
China Watcher, The Peak

The Dictator: If you knew anything about this designer, from Qingdao, Shandong province, then the London connection wouldn't seem at all incongruous. Huishan Zhang was educated at London's famous Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design no less, and he is still based in the British capital. But since we agree that Asian designers should have a stronger presence in Hong Kong, I'll just tell you: yes, you can find a few choice pieces from Zhang's eponymous label at Joyce (16 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2522 7402). On a recent visit, I found a handful of unique, delicate dresses in a mix of lace and other fine materials (HK$12,500 to HK$17,700). From the same palette of ivory, black, beige and mint green, you might pick a flared, pleated skirt (HK$9,800), a blouse with a beaded collar necklace (HK$11,500), a cropped embellished jacket (HK$14,400) or a round-necked coat with lace cape detail (HK$14,700). In the same store, you might also like the work of Yiqing Yin. There's lots of other regional talent around town now, too. Start with: and



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