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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Invotis: Quirky Dutch Home Accessories in Citystars
Neatly arranged displays are packed with an array of weird and wonderful home accessories – from novelty lipstick shaped pens (45LE) to whacky alarm clocks constructed from mechanical gears (995LE) – you’re never far from something unique.
For the princesses – or princes – of the kitchen, we spotted a pair of oven mits with a huge gem on the ring finger (110LE) and some ‘2 carat cups’ (85LE-145LE); standard or espresso sized mugs with a diamond ring to slip your finger through, rather than a plain, ordinary handle. We also spotted some cute heart-shaped moulds for frying eggs or pancakes for 55LE and some sushi shaped fridge magnets (65LE/pack of 5). Speaking of sushi, they also sell chopsticks that are attached together with a spring at the top to eradicate any fiddly mess (26LE each).
For the more macho types, there are mugs with pistol handles (190LE+), along with shot glasses of a similar design (155LE/box of 4). A gun shaped candle holder is 195LE and power-plant shaped ashtrays, complete with a chimney to release any smoke costs 160LE.
For the ladies, we spotted some charming doughnut-shaped lip glosses and cool makeup bags adorned with images of cosmetics on the front (65LE). Miniature hot water bottles with cable knit covers were priced at 115LE and little, stuffed, scented dungarees, hung on mini hangers, are made to hang in wardrobes (65LE/pack of 2).
Chocolate bar shaped calculators cost 75LE and fruit jackets – literally zip-up jackets to prevent fruit from bruising – are 110LE each. Flip-flop shaped fly squatters were priced at 95LE.
Large clocks appearing to be made from brown cardboard were priced from 195LE to 230LE, depending on the size. White vases realistically impersonating crumbled paper bags cost from 270LE to 480LE.
Although some of the products may be thought of as a little tacky, we prefer to regard them as fun and unique – though they do come at a price.
Wobbling under the weight of ridiculous price tags, many of Cairo’s fashion addicts are now left to choose their battles; either opt for a cheaper version of their favourite, or merely lessen the damage of bankruptcy by disregarding unnecessary items that add up figures to the cheque.
But come what may, one thing a real fashion addict can never dispose of is the final touch of a piece of jewelry, which can do wonders to an outfit. One of the places that saves the hassle of finding what’s both affordable and trendy is I AM – an accessories shop in Mall of Arabia.
Located next to Paul, the little shop has a minimal setting of black and white, letting all the shiny little items do the magic. Displayed next to the entrance is a collection of trendy earrings, including a floral ear cuff (105LE) made of leaf-shaped plastic stones of mint-green and powder-pink. While the first needs nothing but a pierced ear lobe, those who have their ear frame pierced will find a collection of sets to choose from, starting from 90LE.
Though the previous collection offers trend, I AM has other accessories that offer both trend and value through a collection of gold and silver–plated jewellery. From the 925 silver-plated accessories, we liked a pair of hollow triangle earrings (225LE) and a gold-plated necklace, to which a charm in the shape of 3 dots is attached. Bearing in mind that the brand is trying to maintain a certain price range, the pieces of this collection are microscopic, if compared to other collections.
But I AM boasts a decent collection of bags, from which we liked a velvet-embellished tote bag (425LE). Other than that, there’s a limited range of items like scarves and hats, including a tribal-patterned pink and beige scarf (299LE) and a burgundy head turban made of wool (120LE), which can come in handy in the winter.
With such a colourful spectrum of trendy-yet-affordable accessories, I AM is the silver lining to many a fashion addict’s financial woes – when diamonds are unaffordable, I AM’s accessories are a girl’s next best friend.