I've seen lots of lovely retro gold and metallic fabrics in magazines. I was planning to wait until Christmas party season to make a purchase, but I just can't! Where should I go for my bit of sparkle? And is it lame or lurex?
Lame Questions, Kennedy Road

The Dictator rules: Lame. As in the fabric pronounced lah-may, which is woven with metallic fibres. The two words are used interchangeably by people who don't know better. Lurex is a brand name for the metallic yarns used to produce lame, as well as other fabrics such as brocade. Metallic threads have been used across the world for centuries but this season, it's all about wearing it in different contexts. See Loewe's knee-length, high-neck, long-sleeve dress in gold silk/triacetate (HK$26,600), Alice + Olivia's gold silk/polyester maxi (HK$5,190) or Lela Rose's gunmetal grey cotton-blend midi (HK$10,875; net-a-porter.com Going shorter would be risky. If you're low on funds, you'll find cheap alternatives at local trendy shops In & Out, Update Fashion and Isai for as little as HK$69.90. Prefer to draw attention to your top half? Try MSGM's fantastical sleeveless top adorned with long strands of multicoloured, metallic yarn (HK$3,400). We're in love with Simona Tagliaferri's gold-tone, distressed leather short vest and long cape (HK$5,400 and HK$8,800, respectively; Joyce, Pacific Place, Admiralty). Isabel Marant has infused metallic threads into paisley silver-tone tops and jackets (HK$5,500 and up). And Topshop does a perfectly 1980s metallic knit top for only HK$559.

 

Are brooches really "hot" right now? I've always associated them with frumpy old women. The only big "embellishments" I have are sewn on, but this seems more versatile. But I'm not sure I'd know how to wear one.
Brooching the Topic, Central

The Dictator: Ooh, you might have to think for yourself. Can you manage it? Get over it and repeat after me: it's not that hard. When in doubt, follow how the designers styled them, but beware the more outlandish theatrics saved for the runway. Prada chose the right lapel or collar to diagonally place its giant floral pins made from plexiglass and crystals (HK$5,000). Others are going for an even bolder look. Givenchy's silver-tone brass filigree brooch with faux pearls and diamantes (HK$10,500), at a gigantic 10cm by 17cm, has to be the star of the outfit. Since it captures the Victoriana mood of autumn-winter 2015, wear it either centred, over the top button of a high-neck blouse, or to one side, high on the chest. Of course, Chanel has endorsed a brooch for decades, and goes beyond the classic double C pin this season. Our favourite is a confection of little stars surrounding the classic double C logo in diamond-like crystals set in silver tone (HK$7,000). Dare to be different? Pin one above the hip on an LBD. Warning: do a home test to ensure sitting is possible without impaling oneself.

Got a question for The Dictator? E-mail her with your name, or alias, and address at: [email protected]