I've never been able to get my hair into a proper chignon, but I heard there's a new, easy-to-use spiral pin in the United States? Can you buy it here?
Spin Class, Pok Fu Lam
The Dictator rules: Well, I can. You obviously can't. Let me enlighten you. The Spin Pin from Goody is pretty ingenious. It looks like a big metal bobby pin that's been twisted into a spiral. (Check it out at www.goody.com .) The Spin Pin may appear complicated, but it's actually idiot-proof. All you have to do is put your hair into a bun, then twist one or two of these innovative pins into it. They disappear into the chignon so no need for elastics or extra pins. And they come in two colours: one for blondes, one for women with dark hair. Pretty cool, huh? Too bad I haven't found Goody Spin Pins in Hong Kong. But don't dismay; the clever little instruments are obviously a worldwide hit because I did buy a generic version at Professional Hair Products (HK$25 for two; G/F, 49A Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2536 0603). A few seconds later, I found cheaper ones around the corner at the Pottinger Street stalls, where they were going for HK$15 for two. Sorry to any Goldilocks readers, though; they only come in black so far. If you decide to buy the original online (about HK$49 for a two-pack; www.amazon.com ), be sure you search for the Goody brand. Conair also has a product by the same name, but it's a set of bedazzled mini-gem-clips that I'd only recommend for beauty pageants or school discos. Now, as brilliant as Spin Pins are, they are not the only ones out there. City'super's Life Division has all sorts of interesting products, including inventive hair tools from Japan and South Korea (about HK$65).
I'd love a fur vest or one of those short jackets that are around now, but my friends have the fashion ones already (and more cash on hand), like those at Gucci. How can I keep up and still look different?
Fur Real, Repulse Bay
The Dictator: Here's one way: don't wear one at all. Another way: choose a more affordable type of pelt. Skin a rabbit, for example, instead of a mink. Are you starting to see the bigger picture here? The point is, you have countless style options out there in the big wide world of retail, and you shouldn't limit yourself to the most high-profile brands or what your friends are wearing. Right here in Hong Kong, we have the Siberian Fur Store (G/F, 29 Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2522 1380). The renowned furriers still do all their workmanship in the SAR. That means you can custom order your dream fur, or choose from their wide selection of vests, boleros and chubbies in rabbit (HK$2,800, now at the special price of HK$999), black fox (HK$12,000), sheared weasel (HK$18,800), blue fox (HK$35,000) and chinchilla and sheared mink (HK$65,000), to name a few. Contemporary designers from the US and Europe have put out some fab furs this season, too, including Haute Hippie (HK$8,500 and up), Elizabeth and James (HK$13,000 and up) and fur brand Flamingo (HK$9,800; all at Lane Crawford, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2118 3668). How about Mongolian goat? Zadig & Voltaire has used the shaggy fur for its mixed colour vests (HK$10,800; Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 9522). By the way, among those in the know, the short jacket you mentioned is referred to as a 'chubby'. Please note, that is exactly how it will make you look unless you're slim.