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The Dictator: on style, she rules

 

I need summer shorts. Everywhere I go, I see those short shorts, nicely tailored but just too slim-fitting and with not nearly enough fabric for my ageing thighs! Where can I get some of those wider ones that I think are called culottes?
Culottes A Day, Sha Tin

The Dictator rules: Sounds like you’re looking with ageing eyes. The word “culotte” holds connotations of those frumpy, belowthe- knee, super-baggy trousers developed around the late 1800s for women who’d taken up cycling. This season, fashion editors (the ones who think black and white equals monochromatic) have used the term for anything that hangs like a skirt but has legs, from shape-obscuring sacks to cute pleated, wide, above-the-knee shorts. For the latter, Lanvin offers beautiful, high-waisted, pleated shorts at a ladylike length in hot pink stretch crepe (HK$9,300; Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2175 3282). The zip-front ones by 3.1 Phillip Lim also sit high on the waist, but a little higher on the thigh, too, in standard black or bolder lime green cotton-blend jersey (HK$3,490; Gateway Arcade, tel: 2113 0311). See by Chloé has them in classic beige linen (HK$2,800; Lane Crawford, 3 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2118 3428) and a looser white viscose (HK$2,210). For a bolder statement, check out Kenzo’s fabulous, short shorts with zip-off side pockets in various riotous prints (HK$6,350; Gateway Arcade, tel: 2175 4118). For the past few summers, there have been at least a few leather shorts to choose from, and this spring-summer, the “culottes” version comes from Theory (HK$9,450; Lane Crawford).
 

I’m going to my best friend’s wedding and want a “something blue” garter for her. Where can I find one?
Maid of Honour, Pok Fu Lam

The Dictator: Stockings in the summer heat? How very proper, if not comfortable. I know the garter tradition, which has nothing to do with holding up hosiery, has been in place since the Middle Ages; but still, I’ve never understood why a modern bride, at a refined reception, would allow her husband to hitch up her skirt for all to see, then throw her underwear around. Anyway, to answer your question, there are a few lingerie shops selling garters. At Sheer (4/F, W Place, 52 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2147 3887), you’ll find the Rosalyn garter by Hanky Panky in ivory ruffled lace with a light blue ribbon (HK$180). When you think of lingerie inspired by stripping off, which brand comes to mind? Agent Provocateur has a Bridal Collection, which includes the Cynthia garter in cream lace with a blue ribbon (HK$310; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 7658). If you want racy, then look at Leg Avenue’s garters at Showtime (HK$125 each; 2/F, Shama Place, 30 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2530 3309), including one in white marabou feathers and blue ribbon. There’s more online to make you laugh, cry, or maybe click “buy”, such as silkgarters.com or wedding-garter.com.au.

 


 

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

 

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