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Fashion tips: where to find Meryl Streep’s ‘American flag’ dress

I usually read the political items in the newspaper and rarely flip to the fashion pages, but Meryl Streep’s dress at the Democratic National Convention made me smile. I was wondering if you knew where to get one.

Showing My Stripes, Tai Tam

The Dictator rules: Ooh, aren’t you the intellectual! Thank you for deigning to join us on our lowly page. Meryl Streep sup­ported Hillary Clinton and ethical fashion in a silk chiffon, American-flag print shirt dress by French designer Catherine Malandrino. A handful of celeb­rities have taken a turn in the dress, including Katy Perry in 2013 and Halle Berry in 2001. Good luck finding that long-gone frock for yourself. Even the listings we found on eBay.com have sold out. For a more casual look, you could try Malandrino’s sleeveless, stretch jersey dress in the same print (HK$984;www.lordandtaylor.com). But don’t go sewing up a real flag. On Amazon.com, stars and stripes dresses come in every permuta­tion that jersey will allow as well as outlandish pieces in sequins (HK$140 and up). Anyway, do you have to be so literal? Designers are regu­larly inspired by Old Glory. We love Mary Katrantzou’s Star Flames shirt dress (HK$12,430; www.luisaviaroma.com). On sale at Net-A-Porter is Ronald van der Kemp’s mesh top covered in patches of the flag (HK$5,781) and a denim miniskirt by Marc Jacobs (HK$2,640). Ultimately, though, do follow Streep’s styling and keep your accessories to a minimum.

Years ago, I had a beloved bikini with scallops along the edges. Actually I still have it but the elastic has given out too much to wear it any more. Would you be able to find a replacement for me? I would need to try it on before I buy as I find swimsuit sizing tricky.

Learning Curve, Discovery Bay

The Dictator: Go ahead. Grovel as much as you like. You still won’t ingratiate yourself to me, especially when you mix up sea clams with hems edged in repeating semi-circles. Take your own advice first, and always try on your swimwear before heading out in it. Not only can chlorine, sun exposure and harsh detergents make it too loose or see-through, but your body may not look the same in it as the last time you wore it. Back to the scallops. If there is an “it” brand for scalloped-edge bikinis this summer, it’s Marysia. You can find and try on a few of its fabulous halter neck, string and bandeau bikinis at Sheer (on sale for HK$1,832 to HK$2,550; 13 Gough Street, Central). Or, since sizing seems to be a problem for you, buy separates at Lane Crawford (HK$1,200 and up). Its gorgeous one-piece suits (HK$2,700 to HK$3,300) warrant a look, too. HM has more afford­able versions, namely a bandeau bikini top in black or light pink with laser-cut scalloped edges and light, removable padding (HK$179) and matching bottoms (HK$129). Of course, unused online orders can be returned so check out brands such as Seafolly, J Crew and Vanilla Beach.

Got a question for the Dictator? Email her with your name, or alias, and address at: dictator@scmp.com

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