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shopperholic

News that Press and Bastyan have opened two retail outlets with the financial backing of Karen Millen will delight purveyors of fashion - this is as safe as bets get. Madeleine Press and Tonia Bastyan have been designing their own label collection since 1994. They met at Ravensbourne college where they both studied fashion and textiles. As a designer label they were stocked at Liberty and Space NK, celebrity buyers include Dannii Minogue and Michelle Collins. Since their own label was established, they have taken on lots of consultancy work, most noticeably designing a range for the affluent Japanese market for Onward Kashiyami (also the company behind Jean Paul Gaultier in Japan).

Their stand-alone shops are a mark of the rise of their continual success. Signature pieces include glitter print chiffon shift dresses and slinky knitwear. The style is pretty and casual with an emphasis on creating clothes that can be worn for more than just a season. It's the sort of compact wardrobe you can rely on to see you through all sorts of formal and informal occasions.

For the most effective look go for contrast, mix sweet embroidered vest tops with sharp sensible suiting or layer bias cut dresses with loose pyjama style trousers. Prices are competitive with Jigsaw and Whistles, knitwear starts at around pounds 40, tailored jackets, pounds 140 and trousers, pounds 80. Press and Bastyan are now open at 22 South Molton Street, London; 22 Princes Square, Buchanan Street, Glasgow, enquiries 01622-763 211. Another two stores are planned for London within the next six months.

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