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Carina Lau serving up fashion fierceness in spades, hubby Tony Leung Chiu Wai (far left) and a photo-wall plastered with faux £50 bills in her likeness. All photos: Apple Daily/Straits Times

All hail Carina Lau, empress of unabashed self-love.

Want proof of her good-humoured knack for hype? Get this: The decor for her recent 49th birthday banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong included a wall festooned with fake £50 bills – only with Good Queen Bess etched out and replaced with Carina’s likeness.

Oh, and the “bank” that issued the Carina currency? Hong Kong gossip rag Sing Tao Daily notes with some glee that the “illegal” tender was stamped with the emblem of the uh, “Bank of Ka Ling” – Ka Ling being Carina’s Mandarin monicker, naturally.

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Spotted: Niki Chow and her model sis Kathy Chow looking fabulous and relatively restrained at the same time   

The woman’s #OOTD? A stunning ebony-and-ivory gown (first worn at the Golden Horse Awards in 1995, in a clever #throwback designed, perhaps, to remind us all of her many Best Actress wins) paired with enormous pearls and the most perfect accessory ever – her handsome hubby Tony Leung Chiu Wai.

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A bug-eyed Faye Wong, looking typically ill at ease in front of the camera

As for the guests, here’s a sampling of the VVIPs who showed up to pay homage to the silver screen icon: Faye Wong, Rosamund Kwan, Miriam Yeung, Vicki Zhao, Cecilia Yip, Alex To, Liu Xiaoqing, Chingmy Yau, Ray Lui, Chen Kaige, Eric Tsang … In other words, celeb catnip for the hordes of hungry Hong Kong paparazzi.  

Conspicuously absent at the swanky soiree? Faye Wong’s beau Nicholas Tse, who was said to have turned down the invite to keep the spotlight squarely on the birthday “girl”. Such a gentleman, no?

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This right here is Tony Leung’s Mum. Digging the embellished outerwear!

Nic’s no-show aside, Carina’s birthday speech was every bit as grandiose as you would expect from the diva. Apple Daily reports that thanks were given to her friends and, quite pointedly, select “wise” journalists who had earned her favour.

Referring to herself as a flower (!), Carina said her famous friends were her soil and sun: “Although there has been sunlight, there have also been storms. Thank you for getting me through them, and [for] making me stronger.” Cheers, Carina, and may your petals bloom in perpetuity!

You can follow Carina Lau on Weibo.