~ Opening Ceremony, Covent Garden// Faye Toogood furniture

Opening Ceremony co-founders, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, who have stores in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo, are bringing their sense of urban cool to a 3,000-square-foot retail pop-up at 31-32 King Street which will be open for the next three months, just in time for the Olympics, and just until they open their permanent store a few doors down at 35 King Street in autumn.

To launch Opening Ceremony's first pop-up shop in London, Studio Toogood created a series of mechanical- looking constructions. To coincide with the event, Faye Toogood, London-based furniture and interiors designer, also produced a number of bespoke pieces from her furniture collection.
Reflecting the immediacy and the temporary nature of the 'pop-up', the rubberised pieces marry the handmade with the industrial. Each constellation plays with the ideas of construction, transparency, texture and abstraction that are characteristic of Studio Toogood's aesthetic.
Faye Toogood has filled a pop-up fashion boutique in London with rubber-coated furniture and glass tabletops mounted on piles of industrial fabrics.
The Opening Ceremony shop in Covent Garden features tables and chairs based on recurring shapes first seen in her Assemblage collection from 2010.
One table has sheets of foam, carpet and other textured fabrics sandwiched between its glass tabletop and supporting trestles.
Another glass tabletop appears to balance delicately on a foam-stuffed tube, a black sphere and a stack of fabric. An earlier version of this table used stone, brass and sycamore as supports.
Upstairs, a similar table rests on an empty white tube, a skeletal sphere and cube with threaded sides. A white display cabinet also uses thread to create a subtle screen door.
The Spade chair, with its distinctive handle-shaped backrest, has been reproduced in ash wood, and one of the chairs is also coated in rubber.
Rubberised geometric constructions by Studio Toogood provide an abstract window display.

How did you come into the Opening Ceremony fold?

I met Carol Lim and Humberto Leon last year when they became the creative directors of Kenzo. At the time I was helping with their spring/summer 2012 fashion show. They invited me to work on the windows and create some furniture for their London store, and basically gave me total freedom to build what I want. I hope I provide them with a good canvas and backdrop for their clothes.

What kind of creations will you bring to the the Opening Ceremony pop-up?
Several. Because there is sort of a duality to my work. I run two businesses: Studio Toogood, which is more about interior design and installation; and also Faye Toogood, my furniture design business. Both businesses are working on the O.C. project. I am building the window installations, which are a series of white rubberized totems marked with geometric shapes, each one connected to the other with wire. We’re sort of channeling the energy of the Olympic Games in our own playful way.

What other materials did you use?  
The nature of a pop-up is temporal, and I wanted to use materials that spoke to that character. For Opening Ceremony’s upstairs and downstairs spaces, we built a dressing table, spade-shaped chairs and several element tables through a process of sort of stacking materials like rubber, wood, horsehair, the underlays of carpet, string and mirror.

That’s quite a combination.
Well, I am obsessed with the physicality of materials. I love rough textures next to polished materials. A lot of what I build, I build again and again, each time experimenting with a new fabric or new metals or woods. The way we cut and layered materials for our latest tables and chairs was, in a way, an homage to the pattern cutting and construction of clothes in Opening Ceremony’s collections.

Tell me about some of the challenges you came up against with this project.  
Well, they weren’t challenges as such. The main thing we tackled at this shop was how to work with the space we were given. It’s huge. So we had to scale up all of our designs. The original retail fit out upstairs and downstairs was so elaborate. It didn’t really make sense having it all in a temporary boutique. We had to rip everything out and paint the entire space white.

You must have been under a huge time constraint.
We were. But that was sort of the beautiful thing about it. We only had six weeks to design and build everything so we made all the pieces in house. And it was nice not having to rely on big manufacturers. One of the other qualities usually inherent in a pop-up is a fixed budget. So we didn’t really buy any of the materials either. They were all salvaged, found or left over from other projects.

Do the summer Olympics have any influence on your pop-up designs for O.C.?
Not especially. In fact, Carol and Humberto didn’t really put anything about the Olympics in their brief for this project. I was very free to do what I wanted, which of course I liked. And in many ways I think the freedom that they offer people collaborating with them is one of their biggest strengths. I think it allows Opening Ceremony to continue pushing the boundaries with their collections.

 Q&A via tmagazine
Working with Opening Ceremony, Faye Toogood has created a number of pieces to complement the architecturally deconstructed pop-up shop. Toogood’s pieces are featured throughout the space, and include stacked industrial forms in the basement, and translucent, light pieces on the ground floor.

Opening Ceremony, 31-32 King Street. Convent Garden WC2. July – October, 2012

Via Dezeen
Photography Leon Chew