Rhiannon Harries: Built-in flimsiness not the greatest idea

Urban Notebook

Share
Related Topics

The average five-year-old might still be filled with excitement by the words "pop-up", but for grown-ups it's a prefix that has become less synonymous with 3D books than with desperate attempts at upping the hype surrounding any temporary retail or entertainment enterprise.

In the past five years, there is little which hasn't "popped up" in London at some point, from designer clothing boutiques to restaurants, nightclubs, hairdressers and art galleries. Occasionally the results are impressive, bringing slick outfits into unusual spaces. More often, they seem to be a nifty way for businesses to increase their presence for a couple of weeks without having to invest in proper shop fittings.

At the packed launch of a pop-up fashion store at a chi-chi West End hotel, I spent the best part of the evening wrestling with a Gareth Pugh dress dangling impractically in the centre of the postage stamp-sized room. At an eye-wateringly cool pop-up bar, I found myself drinking my £8-a-glass wine (the cheapest on the menu) at a plastic table.

So I was heartened to receive what may be a portent of the pop-up's demise in the paradoxical form of an invitation to today's opening of some temporary boutiques at west London shopping centre Whiteleys. The concept is the same, but they have rather pointedly eschewed the "pop-up" label and dubbed the whole thing "pop stores", perhaps mindful that vaunting one's flash-in-the-pan flimsiness is not quite the right pose to strike these days. Let's hope it's a permanent fixture.

Spring in my step

I shall resist the temptation to declare that spring has sprung, but the improvement in the weather has nudged my thoughts towards some lighter-duty apparel. Thinking I might start by trading in my crampons, I was disappointed to realise that fashionable options are limited to genteel kitten heels, pictured, (shades of Theresa May) and high-heeled clogs that – when noisily combined with escalators or hard floors – might as well come with an Asbo. Most frightening is the latest pretender to the FitFlop/MBT workout-while-you-walk throne, the Beech sandal. If the price of not having to wear a furry zebra-print flip-flop is bunions, I'll cough up now.

Self-inflicted punishment

With the lengthening days comes the pleasure of spending more daylight hours in my house and the great displeasure of being able to see just how filthy it is. I can't get my head around the idea of having a cleaner, but was intrigued to learn that a friend once had a sideline as a "dominator" that involved bossing his clients around while they scrubbed his kitchen floor with a toothbrush. Inquiring as to whether he thought anybody would pay to spring-clean my place, his response was dispiriting – even masochists "have limits", apparently. Ouch.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron has reiterated his pre-election promise to radically improve the NHS  

How can we save the NHS? Rediscover the stiff upper lip

Jeremy Laurance
 

Thanks to Harriet Harman, Labour is holding its own against the Tory legislative assault

Isabel Hardman
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada