Pretty maids all in a row
I am getting married in October and would like to know where I can go to have pretty bridesmaids' dresses made up.
Fussy Bride To Be, Lamma
The Dictator rules: My dear Bride To Be, let's hope you really are fussy because you hold the fate of your bridesmaids in your hands. Use this power wisely by making an appointment at Brides & Gowns (Rooms 501 to 503, Hollywood Commercial House, 3-5 Old Bailey Street, Central; tel: 2873-5558). This charming bridal salon offers exactly what the Kimberley Road shops of old never did: a wide selection of sophisticated designs and good service. Choose from seasonal off-the-rack bridesmaid dresses (from $1,500) or have one custom made at least two months in advance (from $2,500).
With friends abroad in mind, Brides & Gowns even conducts fittings via post, e-mail or fax! In addition to its prize-winning signature brand, Augustia Jones, it represents bridal couturiers David Fielden of Britain and Melbourne-based Mariana Hardwick. If you feel the need to shop around, visit Brides To Be (3B, Tak House, 5-11 Wellington Street, Central; tel: 2530-2345) or Cocoon (2/F, Cochrane Commercial House, 13-17 Cochrane Street, Central; tel: 2851-1156).
I'm about to go through the annual torture of swimsuit shopping, but I've only ever found bikinis for young chicks. What can I do?
Ageing Beach Babe, Mid-Levels
The Dictator: Buying a swimsuit can be a ghastly ordeal. Our solution? The internet! But bear in mind that although the web is full of delectable swimwear, many companies do not deliver to Hong Kong. MaliaMills. com is one that does. Its well-made tops and bottoms are sold separately in all the basic styles and colours, with prices ranging from US$80 (HK$622) to $98 a piece. With a variety of shipping options, the cost of delivery is up to you. See also NeimanMarcus.com, Delia.com, LandsEnd.com and New Zealand's Blue Dude Beachwear at www.summer.co.nz .
For a local shopping trip, we suggest the newly relocated Attitudes (5/F, 73 Wyndham Street, Central; tel: 2525-9296), which sells a range of swimwear, including BCBG Max Azria's flattering bikinis, and Running Bare (G/F, 32 Wyndham Street, Central; tel: 2526-0620), which carries a selection of swimsuits and bikini separates sold individually from $250 to $790. They will even let you try them on at home. Now you'll just have to do something about that pasty glow.
I used to stock up on a blue firming clay mask by St Ives, which was available in Watson's. It still carries all the other products, but the Mask has been unavailable for about a year. Where can I buy it?
Sagging Cheeks, Wan Chai
The Dictator: Even if you do find it in a cosmetics outlet, I wouldn't recommend using the St Ives Mask because the company stopped making it three years ago. Skin-tightening products are a temporary fix. The only way to regain a youthful look is to go under the knife ... which is not recommended. To age gracefully, keep your skin hydrated and exfoliated. If you're a fan of St Ives, try its Peel Off Hydroxy Masque ($43.90 from Watson's). New at Healing Plants (G/F 17 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central; tel: 2815 5005), the Dr Hauschka Firming Mask, $380, is made with natural, hydrating ingredients. Clarins Extra Firming Face Mask (available at many locations, or call the Customer Service Hotline at 2994-6238) promises results for $297. If you yearn for whiter skin too, try Abra Cellular Firming Mask ($278 from Ophelia Herbal Bliss, Room 305, Winning House, 10-16 Cochrane Street, Central; tel: 2676-2885).
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