Talking Shopby Niamh McCooey
There are some small temples to shopping that have weathered high street trends, fickle fashion and inclement retailing forecasts. egg, on the tucked-back pretty mews Kinnerton Street in London, is one of the few.
Maureen Doherty is the doyenne of egg. Ahead of her time with her lifestyle shop selling clothing and homewares that opened in 1994, she has continued to trade quietly ever since. Most importantly, her clothing vision has endured. egg have customers that have been with them since the beginning: they still design and manufacture shapes they sold originally, but that have gradually evolved in terms of new fabrics and colourways. A new collection at egg will be as much about subtle colour and fabric changes or new button details, as new shapes and collaborations.
Shopping at egg is the opposite of high street rush and disposability – where you buy it, wear it and throw it away. At egg, the space itself is white and textured and they have left, if not enhanced, the original features of the building. It is an especially nice place to visit in the winter as smells and sounds stroke your senses. Knitwear in great colours stacked just so; socks and mittens and bobble hats and tactile woven and knitted scarves; and a real fire upstairs to warm your cockles.
As you go around the shop and touch the merchandise you realise all of their fabrics have a subtle feel and sound to them as well. The rasp of silk taffeta, the uneven stroke of quilting, the hiss of glazed and waxed cottons and the murmur of moleskine. The moleskine, by the way, is in the form of a capacious off-white skirt with a real crinoline underneath...
You can read this article in full in the new Craft issue of Selvedge, out now.