Ready to wear: Maid in China

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Chinesey Stuff is big chopsticks this summer. On the one hand, I shudder at the thought of people taking this too literally and decking themselves out from head to toe in dragon-patterned satin. But, on the other hand, a cheong-sam - that Chinese-style dress with the mandarin collar which traditionally buttons up at the side of the bust - is one of the sexiest dress shapes around. Maybe because it's so 'done up' looking, or maybe because it's tight and yet reveals nothing. (Not for nothing did Robert Redford get Demi Moore to wear a black cheong-sam in Indecent Proposal. He knew what he was doing, classy bloke). However you bow your head to this influence, please be subtle. Wear a Chinese-style top or skirt with a simple other half - not together. Don't put chopsticks or flowers in your hair. Do have a look at Warehouse for some great, cheap pieces, especially in their gold colourway.

Chiffon jacquard top, pounds 150, Lisa Johnson, from Jones, Floral Street, London WC2, and Strand, 27 Victoria Street, Leeds. Enquiries: 0171 935 4722. Beige gaberdine trousers, pounds 84, Jigsaw, 126-127 New Bond Street, London W1, and 39-43 King Street, Manchester. Enquiries: 0171 491 4484

Photographs by

VALERIE PHILLIPS

assisted by

JIM MORRISON

Styled by

ZOE BROWN

assisted by

SARAH JANE

WHITFIELD

Hair and make-up by

HELENE DEAN

at DETAIL

Model

SARA LI

at MODELS ONE

Cream sleeveless top, pounds 83, John Rocha, from Liberty, Regent Street, London W1, and Autograph, 15 Ethel Street, Birmingham. Enquiries: 0171 734 0123. Violet satin split skirt, pounds 160, black and gold bag, pounds 70, both Audrey Ang. Mail order and enquiries: 0171 727 1515

Black and gold

Chinese dress, pounds 70, Warehouse, 96 King's Road, London SW3, and 92-96 Argyle Street, Glasgow. Enquiries: 0171 278 3491

Brown Nehru-collar jacket, pounds 89.99, matching trousers, pounds 44.99, Oasis, branches nationwide. Enquiries: 01865 881986. Black velvet two-strap mules, pounds 145, Gina, 189 Sloane Street, London SW1, 0171 235 2932

Grey wrap blouse, pounds 147, Strenesse Group, 6 Sloane Street, London SW1, and Room 7, 64 Street Lane, Leeds. Enquiries: 0171 259 5001. Blue jacquard trousers, pounds 65, Clements Ribeiro for Dorothy Perkins, from selected branches of Dorothy Perkins. Enquiries: 0171 291 2604. Pale-blue suede clogs, pounds 89.50, Russell & Bromley, 24-25 New Bond Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 629 6903

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