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THE BEAUTY OF THE SMALL BOUTIQUE

2004-06-18

THE BEAUTY OF THE SMALL BOUTIQUE

from The Times, 2004 June 18

...Maureen's way of operating is to discover a new designer and nurture them. ''I see Egg as a seedbox'', is how she puts it. ''I like to find them and help them to grow''. The latest of seedlings is a wonderful Italian designer called Daniela Gregis, who does exactly the sort of layered clothing that is ideal for the English summer. At the moment there are brilliantly cut loose dresses that nevertheless have shape and can be worn with a selection of of loose linen-weave knitwear. The variety of shapes is vast. There are skirts that can be longer of shorter, depending on how they are buttoned up inside. The skirts can also - with all the inner buttons undone - be worn as a sleeveless dress. You can combine colors and patterns; taking, for instance, a sweet floral print or gingham skirt and put plain toning knits (in navy or deep raspberry) over the top. They are perfect slightly quirky, pretty, easy-to-wear holiday clothes. They are not formal, Ascot-type clothes. When you know that fans include such people as Bridget Riley, Gemma Radice (wife of Vittorio) and Andie MacDowell, you get the picture. These are woman who have a strong artistic bent and tend to wear more ''conceptual'' clothes than haute couture. Daniela's clothes take a bit of time to understand and try on and the girls in the shop are great at showing customers how to wear them in myriad ways. Skirts start ad £270, dresses at £300, knits at £270. For the winter there are some terrific clothes on order - a deliciously light-as-air frothy woollen nay coat enlivened with just two contrasting color buttons. There is some great eveningwear in navy and black silk taffeta with rather dramatic layers. But for now, if you want some layered clothes, that can cope with everything from tepid to very hot, Daniela Gregis is worth checking out. Those who are used to going to Egg for the crafts - Maureen Doherty nurtured, among others, Edmund de Waal, Rupert Spira and Annie Fourmanoir, and always has a way of finding new people - will find a new, as yet the other secret, gallery being opened at 69 Kinnerton Street, SW1. The shop is at number 36. 

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