Despite a somewhat shaky fiscal start – 2009 is set to go down in history as the year of the ‘pop-up’. In a time when more one-off cafes, temporary boutiques and fleeting bars have flown by than we’ve managed to keep a count of - it seemed fitting to take a look back at the rise of the pop-up, and round-up our current favourites descending on the undisputed centre of the trend - London.
Kicking off some five years ago with Rei Kawakubo’s Comme Des Garcons guerrilla stores, the pop-up caught on quickly in the capital – with a Burlington Gardens-based FLASH cafe from the boys at Bistrotheque and several temporary residencies in the front room of the St Martins Lane Hotel setting an early standard.
Prada and Carsten Holler’s Congolese-themed joint venture, the Double Club – which opened a year ago and closed six months later - sent the craze careering to a new level, and since, we’ve seen every brand worth its salt have a go, with bars and boutiques aplenty springing up wherever there’s room.
It would be frivolous to suggest that the years’ crunch-addled economy hadn’t enforced the pop-up appeal. Mini-stores, temporary bars and one-off boutiques provide perfect points of sale from which to draw in exclusivity seekers about town.
So, as this rather tumultuous year draws to a close and the pop-up spring shows no signs of slowing, we thought we’d cherry pick a few of the top pop-up projects setting up shop across the capital this Christmas.
Sketch Cafe at The Royal Academy

Proud Cabaret

Le Fumoir, a pop-up Snug at Home House

Barbican Art Gallery pop-up shops

Dover Street Market XS at the St Martins Lane Hotel

The Lacoste Tennis Experience