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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Villa Baboushka: Cairo Chic Boutique
If the massive fuchsia doors aren’t enough to indicate that you’re entering an every-women’s paradise; perhaps the fact that every item you see in the store is for sale will spark the pleasure centre of your purse! Along with the myriad of clothes and accessories, furniture, including pieces by Nihal Zaki and artwork from France, Brazil and Argentina are on offer. A dramatically long opaque white chandelier (14970LE) imported from Spain captures the mood of Villa Baboushka perfectly: feminine, a bit quirky and expensive.
Villa Baboushka stocks designers from the well-known and long-coveted to the up-and-coming.You’ll find British labels such as Vivienne Westwood and Maggy London as well as American names like Poleci, Mara Hoffman and Robert Rodriguez. A few local designers are on hand, including Baheya, while Lebanese labels Shorouk, Vanina and Rim Mikdashi’s accessory collections are on display.
The on-trend fashions at Villa Baboushka are great for dressing ladies of any age for any occasion. The twenty-something fashionista can easily slip from daywear to night with one of Baheya’s flirty sundresses (1100LE), slimming Space jeans (1290LE) or a funky G-Lish t-shirt with lace embellishment (1990LE). Mature ladies will find style and grace in Maggy London’s monotone jacquered sheaths (1590LE) – perfect for a formal lunch – and Whatever Whatever’s flowy black dress (1750LE) for an evening out.
An entire room is devoted to shimmery formal wear, which ranges from classy to killer.Think full-length Theia Couture gowns for 5490LE and a barely-there one-shoulder mini dress by Treuse for 2190LE.
Eye-catching accessories are displayed around Villa Baboushka in cubbies and cases, including a black and white snake skin clutch by Tango that is covered with beading (2390LE), and a necklace (1190LE) decked out with vintage charms of ballerinas, ribbons and lockets.
Villa Baboushka’s designs are sure to turn heads; but it’s quite pricey, so watch out that you don’t go overboard.You could find yourself all dressed up with no place to go.
Despite the never-ending shopping scene in Cairo, finding tasteful, quality undergarments and nightwear has often presented a challenge. Started only recently in 2001, Spanish clothing brand Oysho is now an incredibly successful, world-wide franchise, with over 500 stores across the globe.
As well as being stocked on the hugely popular Asos.com, Oysho has opened up a number of branches in several of Egypt’s colossal malls; most recently, on the second floor of New Cairo’s Cairo Festival City. Throughout our visit, the female shop assistants were both helpful and friendly, without being pushy or over-bearing.
With an all glass front, the brightly-lit interior shows off well-ordered, tidy collections of both underwear sets and pyjamas. The window display immediately sets off a tasteful, girly feel, with pastel colours and pretty floral prints. The front end of the shop is organised with butter-cup yellow, powder blue, lilac and cream bra (150LE+) and knicker sets, lined with cute lacy trims.
Equally feminine camisoles (169LE) and nightdresses are also available, as well as comfortable shorts, or full length pyjama bottoms (229LE) and strap top combos. We particularly liked a pair of paisley print, soft pyjama trousers (229LE), a navy and white striped cami (199LE) with matching knickers, as well as a number of items adorned with a subtle butterfly print. A range of slip-on slippers is also available.
We also spotted a range of novelty sets, with the usual cartoon faces splashed across the front; whilst these don’t suit everyone’s taste, the quality appears better, and the designs less garish than the usual types found around town.
Towards the back of the shop were a number of sexier undergarments, including black lace and satin Basques (399LE), chemises in a similar design, body suits and lacy knickers (99LE). Despite one of the Basques having detachable suspender fasteners, surprisingly the shop doesn’t stock stockings to match.
Also in this section was a practical, quality range of plain black, white and beige underwear sets, including essential t-shirt and strapless push-up bras (169LE), ‘invisible’ thongs (69LE), g-strings, briefs and body-shaping. Although a decent range of sizes were available, as with many underwear shops, some sizes may be difficult to find.
There is also a nicely-sized range of beach and summer-wear, with jolly bikinis and floaty beach dresses, kimonos (299LE) and sandals. We particularly liked an aztec print bikini with deep purple accents and turquoise beading; the top was retailing at 199LE, whilst the bottoms were 149LE.
A small but adequate sportswear range is available, boasting basics such as sports bras in black and bright pink, lycra trousers (259LE-299LE), tank tops (199LE) and lightweight jumpers (349LE). Using black and charcoal as the base colours for the tops and trousers, the majority of the pieces also fashioned bright, neon trimmings.
We also found packs of colourful socks (69LE), pop-socks especially for pumps (49LE) and box sets of briefs.
Oysho brings a sophisticated range of women’s loungewear, sportswear and beachwear to Cairo, complete with quality, tasteful and practical underwear at reasonable prices, making it a one-stop shop for those wardrobe essentials.