I saw these headlines about what a scandal Jennifer Lawrence's dress was at some premiere. Apparently, she was wearing a jacket with nothing underneath. I thought they made dresses like that?
Blazing Trails, The Peak

The Dictator rules: Anything for a catchy headline. The press was full of them, all inferring Jennifer Lawrence had daringly worn a blazer as a dress. Wrong! Blazers, tuxedos and other menswear items have long inspired women's fashion. Double- or single-breasted, with or without sleeves, the look is incredibly chic, especially for evening. Lawrence wore a lovely sleeveless dress with leather and metal details to an event promoting the latest Hunger Games movie in Madrid, Spain. Made by Mugler, it was shown on the spring-summer 2016 runway, except Lawrence chose to omit the belt. The collection will land in Hong Kong early next year. And, yes, you will find the dress at Joyce, but in white instead of red, for about HK$18,000. DKNY's 2016 resort collection has a classic dress in that "daring" style, too, this time in black with long sleeves and a tuxedo-like satin lapel (HK$4,690). In the affordable range, missguided.co.uk offers versions such as the white, long-sleeved D-Ring blazer dress (HK$448) and sleeveless, grey Plunge D-Ring detail wrap dress (HK$330), both belted. So, forget the naysayers and wear one with confidence because, in the immortal words of Taylor Swift, or whoever said it first, the haters gonna hate.

I need a 1940s-style cheongsam à la Lust, Caution for a fundraiser next week. I would like something better than The Lanes and expect everyone will be in Shanghai Tang! What can you recommend that's more original?
Cheongsam for Charity, South Side

The Dictator: Wait a minute. Unless you're a C-list, last-minute invitee, you should have known about this event months in advance. You could have gone to a renowned cheongsam maker, such as Mei Hwa Clothing (76 Queen's Road West, Sheung Wan, tel: 2543 6889). For HK$5,500, the master will give you a choice of styles, fabrics and hem lengths to be completed in three months. Speaking of lengths, stick to a few inches below the knee, or an elegant full length. Linva does sometimes have one-of-a-kind dresses sold off the racks for HK$3,500 and up (38 Cochrane Street, Central, tel: 2544 2456). There are retro and vintage dresses on etsy.com (about HK$800 and up), too. You could have made a clever reference to the latest James Bond film with the dress worn by Lea Seydoux's character, by Australian label Lover (www.loverthelabel.com). The Venus dress she wore is sold out but the similar Warrior Lace midi dress is available (HK$4,500 on sale; www.fwrd.com). In the past, we've had great luck at Mee & Gee (55 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2388 0004) with second-hand cheongsams for only a few hundred Hong Kong dollars, but don't be disappointed if it's as picked through as my brain.

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