The planets aligned for last night's launch of Opening Ceremony's pop-up shop in Covent Garden. It wasn't simply that it didn't rain. (Believe me, that is such a rare and precious moment in London this "summer" that it can't be overestimated). Nor was it the fact that this opening ceremony was exactly one week ahead of that other opening ceremony, which a global audience of one billion viewers will allegedly be transfixed by. No, the feeling of sheer at-oneness-with-the-world was all about the long-standing lovefest between Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, and London. It may be Paris—and Kenzo—that have their attention these days, but OC was promoting Britfash long before it reached its current boiling point, and a small army of local talent—Erdem, J.W. Anderson, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Jensen, Louise Gray, Henry Holland, Husam El Odeh, plus honorary Londoner Delfina Delettrez—turned out to pay its respects at the pop-up, the celebratory dinner in Chinatown, and the after-party at Madame JoJo's.
For designers James Long, Christopher Shannon, and Lou Dalton, Leon and Lim were their original ambassadors in the U.S., so they're like family. But the whole evening felt like a family affair, with Humberto's mom Wendy making sure everyone was seated and eating at the Golden Dragon, and his sister, nieces, and nephews taking in the mariachi band, and the hula-hoop goddess Marawa's eye-watering performance. London nightlife legend Jeanette m.c.-ed dinner in a rainbow of Meadham Kirchhoff sequins. Later, at Madame JoJo's, Manhattan's drag star and rapper Mykki Blanco performed. Exactly the kind of cultural exchange that makes Opening Ceremony so unique.
The pop-up lasts three months till the permanent OC outlet is ready a little further down King Street. Seventy-five percent of the stock is exclusive to this one store (there's one very fetching group of bandana-inspired Adidas sportswear), and 25 percent is Olympic-inspired.
Speaking of the other opening ceremony next Friday, Leon and Lim will be attending as guests of Adidas. But first it's back to Paris, where they've done seven collections for Kenzo in their first year. Is that all? No wonder they had the spare time to open their own store in London.