Born: On December 10, 1951
He is dead. November 18, 2022
Kinnerton Street in Belgravia, central London, was built as a mews to serve large houses, with poky rooms for horses and servants. Despite the conversion of the lower rows into desirable dwellings, the street retains some original facades with wooden doors wide enough for carriages.
In the year In 1994, Maureen Doherty, who died suddenly at the age of 70, chose one of these, number 36, a former dairy warehouse, the walls were covered with blue tiles, for her shop Egg – for design and commercial purposes without a capital letter. It looked like an art gallery – Doherty later opened a proper art gallery down the road – and the clothes were expensive, long and generous, unremarkable on the body.
Doherty says she started designing and selling eggs because she had fashion shows that “smelled accountants with perfume and special offers.” Her label-free collections used natural fabrics and were cut into layered garments with only minor changes between the decades.
She also sold genuine workwear—a Smithfield butcher’s smock, a French gardener’s jacket—long before that became a fashion genre, and by unknown, often young, designers.
The people who wore it were creative: Tilda Swinton, Emma Thompson, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Donna Karan, or she had other powers – Theresa May showed US Vogue wearing an egg coat. Doherty dressed her friend Maggie Smith in her role in Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van (2015).
The stock for sale was never crowded in eggs, only a few sets were hung and finished
A rebel by nature, Doherty had little interest in mass production, advertising (before the Internet, she personally mailed seasonal photographs to customers) or selling her creations beyond eggs. She accepted invitations to be a guest for eggs at Dover Street Market in London and the Comme des Garçons Trading Museum in Tokyo, but founder Rei Kawakubo had to pick up flowers and beg her to attend.
Doherty’s influence on the shops has been considerable for decades. Stock for sale was never crammed into an egg, with only a few sets hanging, shoes on the floor below, and left to show Doherty her love of books and especially ceramics. Edmond de Waal had his first big show in 1998, and Keiko Hasegawa took a year to make 1,000 pots.
With heritage decor, real fire and natural light, worn furniture and personally selected small items like soap or kilt pins, it might not have looked impressive in Tokyo or Paris, but the sense of realism was surprising for London-New York retail. the world. Egg-led ideas seep through to the Oliver Bonas chain, placing pans, books and chairs on UK high streets.
Doherty was born in London, the youngest of three daughters to Elizabeth and James Doherty, and says she never owned a piece of clothing that wasn’t handmade or homemade before her 18th birthday. Her father, a structural engineer, made her a hard hat and boots before taking her out to see the tunnels and bridges; He also loved archaeology, and gave her two vases from Ur for her 21st birthday.
As a teenager, she studied pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion and challenged herself to become a costume designer as a runner for film director David Lean.
In the year In 1970, she worked with the Swedish designer Hans Metzen, which led to a job at Elle on Sloane Street, an independent boutique that selected stock from small ready-to-wear labels, as purchasing director and store manager. And over the next decade she helped create other stores in London, including Fiorucci and Valentino. When she saw the first Japanese designers in Paris, she immediately became friends and bought from Issey Miyake.
By the late 1970s, Doherty was tired of the air-kissing and accounting that increasingly dominated the business. In the year She fled to India a year later to take her own life in 1982.
In the year In 1992, she became head of Jigsaw Design before finding a place for eggs
Miyake convinced her, despite the initial refusal, to work in Europe with total functional freedom, project by project: she worked on exhibitions, and his radical perfume LAU DEC started and the architect David Chipperfield presented the first. Shop Commission, a Miyake shop in London.
Doherty introduced Miyake to her mentor, the potter Lucy Ree, who decided to move to Paris to study ceramics with Annie Formanoir. In the year In 1985, she left Miyake and opened a small, unsatisfying and heavily looted shop.
In the year She returned to London in 1992 and became Head of Design at Jigsaw before finding a place for Eggs. Doherty’s houses were as instinctive as her retailers yet thought – in the early years of the egg she lived in a flat on the shop with her daughter Jessica in a minute and in the draft hours she re-dressed the windows, a passing policeman. In the year Architect Jonathan Tukey, who moved back to Kinnerton Street in 2017, redesigned the spaces around the Egg, particularly the former stable next door at number 34, to suit her distinctive minimalist style, a result of letting. A lot of things go on.
She is survived by daughter Jessie, the divorced fashion mogul Brian Walker, and her grandchildren Noah and Matteo.