I have noticed more and more street-fashion photos of models carrying little (leather?) backpacks instead of handbags. Where can I get one that won't look like a school bag?
Getting Schooled, Mid-Levels

The Dictator rules: Actually, an old school bag might be just the thing. Cara Delevingne, for instance, has been spotted sporting a generic blue rucksack on several occasions. In fact, Mulberry has dedicated its version of the bag to the model. The Cara Delevingne Bag comes in various permutations, including midnight blue denim and leather (HK$15,200) and a mini size in steel blue quilted nappa leather (HK$12,600). Chanel may not be the first place you'd go for such a casual item, but it should be. It's got chic backpacks in its signature quilted design with chain and leather straps, which will look timelessly chic no matter what you wear (well, almost). They're available in a metallic leather of dark khaki or grey, and in small (HK$22,200) or medium (HK$27,700) sizes. MCM's Stark backpack comes in coated canvas with leather trim and 24-carat gold-plated studs. Choose from various colour options in either mini (HK$4,900) or small (HK$5,300) sizes. Valentino's Rockstud collection offers a teeny leather and canvas studded backpack (HK$18,300). If I had to choose, I'd go with the black leather and clean lines of The Row's drawstring bucket backpack (HK$20,900; Lane Crawford) or Proenza Schouler's PS Courier (HK$18,500).

 

I keep hearing about the "new tweed" of the season, but I don't understand what that means. What's new about tweed?
Tweed Me, Wan Chai

The Dictator: Look, I could waste a lot of words trying to explain it to you, or I could just show you. Actually, I already have. Remember the Dior carwash skirt (HK$10,000) I recommended a few months ago? A fashion makeover of the heritage fabric, from the old, scratchy texture and doughy silhouette to something luxurious, flattering and new. Get it? Well, let's move on to Louis Vuitton, then, where the classic, mumsy tweed suit has been replaced by a short jacket in light blue knotted tweed with leather used on both a tie at the neck and on the shoulders (HK$31,500). Pair this with the A-line mini in the same fabric, which has a prominent zip running down the front (HK$10,300). The retro-modern look is also on show at Bottega Veneta, which has an A-line skirt that riffs off more of a pied de poule than a tweed, with front patch pockets in rusty orange or bright blue and cream (HK$8,150) and a similarly patterned round-neck, cashmere mix jumper (HK$15,950). For a wacky head-to-toe ensemble, there's also a little skirt (HK$11,900) that's been given the same psychedelic treatment. Or play it safe with Zara's grey herringbone maxi coat (HK$999), which captures both the tweed and the long-coat trends of the season in one versatile piece.

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