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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.
Let’s face it; finding good, quality, fashionable clothes for veiled women on the Cairo shopping scene isn’t as easy as one might think. On the one hand, there is a lack of the go-to outlets fashioning clothes for veiled women, then there’s juggling the vicious triangle of size, taste and affordability, on the other hand.
Prude & Style Girl is possibly one of the very few shops trying to break that vicious triangle; as a shop specialising in ‘hijab fashion’ and answering to veiled women’s challenge of finding decent, hip and affordable fashion wear, Prude & Style Girl is a rather unique venue.
As the brainchild of two female entrepreneurs in their early twenties, Prude & Style Girl also offer online shopping via its Facebook page, but our visit to the store in Heliopolis threw up more surprises.
At the time of our visit, the shop was overcrowded - this is a place that has quickly gathered a loyal fan-base - but that didn’t detract from the wide variety of clothes and accessories on offer.
Prude & Style Girl’s summer collection caters for all tastes; there are plain simple sleeveless dresses (200LE) that can be paired with cardigans, long-sleeve dresses with different Indian-inspired and paisley patterns (250 LE) – of which we liked a beige dress with shades of blue, red and green. The shop also boasts a large variety of summer dresses available in vibrant summer colours (200LE); one white dress with blue sleeves (200LE) perfect attire on the beach for veiled ladies, caught our eye.
The shop also has a selection of evening dresses and skirts suitable for many occasions; black and white polka dot dresses (210LE), a light pink V-neck lace dress also (250LE) as well as satin and lace skirts available in different colours (150LE) stood out in particular.
But it’s the cardigans and kimonos that impressed in Prude & Style Girl’s summer collection; the versatile pieces add a hip and trendy dimension to putting an outfit together.
Overall, what impressed us most about Prude & Style Girl is the versatility of its pieces and the sheer options available. Veiled Cairenes often find themselves in despair when it comes to shopping for modern, demure clothing but this is one shop that proves you can have the best of both worlds.