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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.
Parties and party dresses go hand in hand, and in the city that never sleeps, every party girl needs a colourful wardrobe; something that, sometimes, comes at an inexplicably high price. International chain, Quiz, may be the answer; its branch in Heliopolis’ Sun City offers a wide variety of colourful party clothes to the capital’s divas.
The glass-fronted shop on the third floor attracts attention with its bright pink signage and plethora of dresses, largely adorned with plastic-looking, sparkling gems. Unfortunately, the immediate impression is one that encourages avoidance, although as the shop is so girly, there’s a feeling of hope that, amongst the tacky, there might actually be something worth trying.
The sections are not particularly organised, meaning you really have to wade your way through to find what you’re looking for. A flowing white maxi dress with chunky diamante detailing was overpriced at 1099LE and also comes in in cream and black. Short party dresses with sweetheart neck lines, puffy skirts and glitzy diamantes start at 849LE and come in an array of colours; namely powder pink, cream and coral. Fitted dresses were also aplenty; a glittering black velvet mini dress was 499LE, while a cream, sequin patterned dress with long, sheer sleeves was priced a little higher at 599LE. More unusual dresses came in light, zigzag patterned material, zebra print and striped midis (399LE).
Amongst the dresses, you may find more casual items including the odd pair of lycra-infused black leggings (129LE), white jeggings (399LE) or straight leg jeans (349LE). A pair of comicstrip leggings enveloped with the word ‘geek’ were 199LE, whilst a black midi skirt complete with leather effect panelling was 199LE.
T-shirt styles range from girly to tomboy, from pastel butterfly print cotton (399LE) to loose crops with words such as ‘raver’ emblazoned across them (249LE). Thick, elastic striped crops were 199LE, whilst a tight black lycra crop with net sleeves was priced at 199LE. Flimsy string overtops and cardigans were shimmering with small, shiny beads and started at 199LE and a sporty fit jumper with ‘love’ in glitter across the front was retailing at 229LE.
The accessory range was almost non-existent, offering just a couple of pairs of fussy peep toe shoes (650LE), a few glittery clutch bags (169LE-499LE) and two or three pairs of costume jewellery earrings.
The dress range at Quiz sports more glitz than glamour; the costs are high and rarely match the quality of the items. Some of the dresses are likely to turn heads, but not necessarily for the right reasons. However, with such diversity and constantly changing stock, it could be worth a quick look.