Where can I get a retro metallic dress for a disco party I’ve been invited to? I’d like to find something better made than the plastic ones you get in fancy-dress shops.
Night Fever, Central

The Dictator: Yeah, you’re all class. Saint Laurent has some fabulous gold lamé mini­dresses, including a sleeve­less number with a knot at the waist and a long-sleeved mini with gathered shoulders and waist (HK$15,900 to HK$21,900). Please, ladies, note that hemlines were not as short as you think, a mistake you also make when imitating flappers from the Roaring Twenties. And contrary to popular belief, fancy dress does not give you licence to look like a harlot. If you want to get it right, find inspiration in photo­graphs of the beautiful people at Studio 54, especially those dressed by the late designer Halston. Halston Heritage keeps the aesthetic alive with more gorgeous metallic dresses, gowns and jumpsuits than you can shake your booty at (HK$2,300 and up; see halston.com and theoutnet.com).

A lot of people confuse fashion of the disco era with 1970s hippies. Don’t. They are distinct in music, culture and fashion even if they overlap­ped in dates. River Island has a few disco-rific dresses, including a ruched, spaghetti-strap wrap dress in silvery jersey lamé (HK$312; riverisland.com) and a gold slip dress (HK$500). For those who don’t want to pay designer prices for a party outfit, there may be some plastic involved. Provocative dressers, to put it politely, should look no further than boohoo.com and missguided.com for all manner of suggestive get-ups costing as impossibly little as HK$78.


I love the new Gucci black fringe pumps but they are very expensive. Where can I find a similar version that won’t break the bank?
Luxury Lust, Clear Water Bay

The Dictator rules: Cry me a river. It’s a fact that products designed and made by luxury brands are expensive. Get over it.

The Italian-made Gucci loafer-style pump you desire comes in black leather but is also avail­able in suede in various colours, with the brand’s Double G logo in gold-tone hard­ware on the fold-over fringe, and a four-inch heel (HK$6,200/US$794 and up). Could you find a knock-off across the border? Probably. Should you? Absolutely, if you condone infrac­tions of intellectual prop­erty rights, possibly unethical manufacturing methods and generally nefarious practices. Instead, it is relatively easy to toe the “inspired-by” line with markedly cheaper shoes. After all, no single luxury brand can claim to have invented high-heeled loafers.

Italian label F.Lli Bruglia has a selection of fringed loafers in leather or suede with various decorative elements, such as buckles or horsebits, and block heels (HK$930 to HK$2,609; yoox.com). Also at yoox.com, you’ll find more eccentric interpretations by Paloma Barceló, Formentini, Guardiani Sport and Griff Italia (HK$734 to HK$1,945). The Franco Sarto Ainsley pump in black suede also has a fringe, but with a silver buckle and a 3¼-inch heel (HK$547; dsw.com).

Justfab.com makes a fringed Tovah pump in faux black suede with a double circular ring buckle and a 3¾-inch heel for only HK$468. It also makes it in faux red suede or gold pleather. Or mix it up a little by replacing the kiltie fringe with fur, as on Donald J Pliner’s Faune pump with rabbit fur in beige or white leather, or black suede (HK$2,605; donaldjpliner.com).

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