I promise I was not on drugs when I saw these: ballerina flats in leather but with a division separating the big toe from the other toes. Do you have any idea where I might find such unique shoes or do you think they were custom-made?
Hoofin’ It, Sheung Wan

The Dictator rules: Ooh, I’d love to see the look on the face of a Hong Kong shoemaker when you attempt to place that order! How am I supposed to know what you saw? If they looked like the love child of a pair of Japanese tabi socks and normal ballet flats finished with a classic little bow, then there can only be one answer: Maison Martin Margiela. I never thought I’d ever put Bjork and Sarah Jessica Parker in the same sentence, but those two were early adopters of the look. And, of course, the coy, cerebral people at MMM don’t even refer to the split toe in their product description, which only goes so far as to say the shoe is made from leather and has a “round toeline”. Your choices from the autumn-winter collection include burgundy or dark teal (HK$4,999 per pair; 10 Ice House Street, Central, tel: 2869 7707). But wait a minute. Is this a fetish thing? I don’t even want to go there, but I did find you a source, without too much trauma, via Etsy. Search for the shop’s owner, Oonacat, and you’ll find examples of her custom-made Heellless Hooves (HK$2,550 to HK$7,165; www.etsy.com). Just note that there’s a waiting list at the moment and, oh, the horn headdresses aren’t included.


I’ve never bought white jeans because I always thought they’d make my thighs look bigger, but I’ve seen some other real women in them and they looked fabulous.
What’s the trick to buying the right pair of white jeans?

The White Way, Kowloon

The Dictator: Face it. Big thighs enrobed in white anything look bigger. However, the right cut does help. The white jeans rules bandied about are similar to those for blue jeans. Look primarily at cut, then rise, back pockets, finishes and embellishments. The key is to try on every pair you find. If taking photos on your phone gives you perspective, then snap away. Great tight white jeans abound, including Calvin Klein’s (HK$1,290; Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, tel: 2196 8696). But “skinny” refers to the cut, not how you’ll look. Details only serve to draw the eye to an area, such as the Armani Jeans skinnies with lace cutouts on the outer thighs (HK$1,390; Elements, tel: 2196 8272). Accentuate the positive. They say cropped jeans make you look shorter while more fabric elongates the leg. See for yourself. Slip on ankle-length skinny jeans by Club Monaco (HK$1,290; Gateway Arcade, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2118 5647), then compare with Burberry’s boot-cut stretch jeans (HK$2,000; Ocean Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2377 3831). If the PC term “curvy” applies to you, go slim but never skinny. Create balance with a bit of stretch and a straight rather than tapered leg. And always wear nude undies. Those white thongs aren’t fooling anyone.



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