WE are not sure what the exact dress code was for the Publishers' Ball held at the Grand Hyatt. But Ian Perkin (left), chief economist of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (though in that fetching outfit one would hardly guess) and Alistair Blount, marketing manager at Cathay Pacific, who looked as if he'd dipped into Liberace's wardrobe, turned quite a few heads with their impeccable sense of dress. The theme of the night was Les Liaisons Dangereuses (and congratulations to Grand Hyatt GM Peter Jentes and his imaginative team for bringing 17th century France so delightfully to life in the ballroom), and if Messrs Perkin and Blount fancied a dangerous liaison with their respective reputations they were going about it in heroic style. Suffice to say that they stood out in the black-tied and ball-gowned gathering - and Blount even won a prize for his bold and ornate effort. ''I thought everyone had to come dressed,'' explained Blount gamely. While Perkin was hopelessly trying to explain to Keeping Posted that the black handbag he was carrying was not part of his costume and that he was merely minding it for his wife. Nice try, Perkin!