Mika – or should that be Michael Holbrook Penniman Jnr? – was to have performed at The Vine Centre, in Wan Chai, last week but cancelled his show due to illness. Born to an American father and a Lebanese mother, the 31-year-old did, however, perform in Tokyo, where he likely added to his collection of To-Fu dolls. The singer, whose debut album is called Life in Cartoon Motion, once told British newspaper Daily Record, “I collect toys. I’m obsessed with plastic”. He has even collaborated with Japanese designers Devilrobots to create a collectors’ Mika To-Fu doll. His biggest hit to date was named after the late princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly …

Born in 1929, the American actress had appeared in several Hollywood films – including Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder – before retiring from acting at the age of 26 to marry Prince Rainier III, who had extended her an invitation to his Monaco palace at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival. Legend has it the prince was looking to wed a Hollywood star to bring more tourism to Monaco. When asked that year what type of wife he wanted, Rainier replied, “I don’t know – the best.” Famed for her beauty, Kelly has been depicted by many artists, including Andy Warhol …

Originally called Andrew Warhola Jnr, the flamboyant American became a leading figure of the 1950s pop-art movement. Often sick as a child, Warhol was frequently confined to his bed, where drawing pictures of movie stars kept him occupied. Later in life, Warhol declared, “I love Hollywood. They’re so beautiful. Everything’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” Friends of the fiery artist nicknamed him Drella: a mix of Dracula and Cinderella, to convey the two sides of his personality. Although celebrities were Warhol’s favourite subject, he also produced works depicting cars, brand products and even Mao Zedong …

As founder of the People’s Republic of China, Mao became one of the most controversial figures in modern history. While in power little was known about his personal life but, after his death, his physician, Li Zhisui, spilled the beans in a tell-all book, The Private Life of Chairman Mao, which revealed his patient’s chain-smoking, poor personal hygiene, addiction to sleeping pills and large number of sexual partners. During Mao’s leadership, from 1949 until his death, in 1976, 40 million to 70 million Chinese died, succumbing to starvation, forced labour and execution. Due to his ruthlessness, Mao has been likened to Qin Shi Huang …

Born in 260BC, Qin Shi Huang (which literally means “the first emperor of the Qin dynasty”) rose to power after unifying China in 221BC. His death, in 210BC, was caused by the consumption of mercury pills: prepared by his alchemists and physicians, they had been intended to make him immortal. His perhaps most famous legacy is the Great Wall of China, built at his behest. In 2006, one British fashion designer boasted to The Guardian newspaper that he’d taken a day trip to the landmark. The dotty dandy in question? Paul Smith …

Growing up in Nottingham, England, during the 50s, Smith dreamed of being a professional racing cyclist. However, an accident, which hospitalised him for six months, when he was 17, ended such aspirations. In 1970, he opened his first boutique and, in 1976, showed his first collection, in Paris, under the Paul Smith label. For his spring-summer 2007 ad campaign, Smith’s model was French-speaking mop-top Mika.