Opening Ceremony

No, not the Olympic one - America's most fashionable and eclectic boutique has touched down in London

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Could there be a more aptly named shop to pop-up in London in time for the Olympics than Opening Ceremony? The American import arrived in Covent Garden days ago, setting up a temporary home for its eclectic selection of wares before it moves two doors down to open its first European store proper in October.

Humberto Leon, who founded the concept boutique with business partner Carol Lim in 2002, said at the opening: "The idea of a pop-up feels really celebratory; it's special to enter London with a really curated point of view – it's about the merchandise, not the space itself."

And there's plenty to get excited about, with hard-to-find stock from across the pond, as well as exciting, limited-edition British pieces. "Through the 10 years that we've had Opening Ceremony we've really been able to support younger designers – Alexander Wang, Rodarte, Gareth Pugh and Richard Nicoll – that are now becoming household names."

Now it is the turn of a new wave of emerging designers, including London menswear names Christopher Shannon, Shaun Samson and Lou Dalton, as well as Fashion East's Marques Almeida and Maarten van der Horst among the hot tickets in Opening Ceremony's womenswear department. "The exciting thing will be that people will first encounter a lot of the brands here," enthuses Leon. "There's actually a lot here that people won't have seen before."

The debuts are diverse and plentiful, ranging between archival Eighties pineapple prints from Reyn Spooner (the original Hawaiian shirt company, which has made womenswear for the first time at the behest of OC's founders, Leon and Lim), and collaborations with Adidas Originals, House of Holland and Norma Kamali. Downstairs there's a bookshop curated by Claire de Rouen, and the characterful Faye Toogood furniture that fills the shop is available to buy too.

"We want the store to be welcoming and democratic," says Leon. "So you'll see things from £2 to £2,000. There's a lot of stuff.The more you look around the more you'll see."

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