Pop-Up Down There

PopUp Shop

I don’t quite get the fancy name. But then Siam Paragon is always fond of giving their events and fairs descriptions that baffle. BFS Pop-Up_Shop. Don’t ask me why the underscore. I am as intrigued as you are.

Pop-up, as in a pop-up book, often conveys a sense of surprise or the unexpected. That’s why books that open to reveal three-dimensional illustrations are a joy to kids.

In modern retail, a pop-up shop is a temporary outlet that seemingly appears out of no where, with the intention of surprising and delighting. A good example of a pop-up shop is the Comme des Garcons Black space erected in the multi-label store I.T. in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay. I.T. does not normally house a shop-within-their-store, so CdG’s monochromatic unit is both unexpected and alluring.

But why temporary? Well, the reasoning is, if trends can come and go, why not shops? So, you work the space into a frenzy, and before everyone tires of it, you close it. Pop-up shops do not only apply to fashion retail, there are pop-up eateries too, such as London’s three-months-only restaurant Flash by the daring F&B duo Pablo Flack and David Waddington. Unfortunately, by the time you read this, it is closed. If, however, you want to know of an operating pop-up nosh, consider Nomiya in Paris. It’s a tiny restaurant atop the contemporary art museum Palais de Tokyo that seats only 12! It will serve its amazing food and view of the Eiffel Tower till 1 Jul next year.

Restaurant Nomiya in Paris

Restaurant Nomiya in Paris

BFS Pop-Up_Shop maybe impermanent, but surprising? What’s so surprising of a retail space that takes up exactly an area designated as a retail space? In this part of the second floor of Paragon (the mall, not the department store), selling has always been its main activity, from houses to handbags and shoes to plants. In fact, this area below the largest video screen in the complex is known to many shoppers as an event hall of sorts, where clearance sales are usually conducted.

If pop-up is meant to suggest an appliance that ejects such as a pop-up toaster, then you will be disappointed because everything within the ‘shop’ is grounded. Unless you count the sales people ejecting from their seat each time the occasional customer saunters in.

And what’s in there? This is a three-day event co-organised by BFS or Bangkok Fashion Society. Drawing a blank? Me too, until I remember a corner shop of the same name at Gaysorn. But it wouldn’t make you sweat to guess what is in there and even a passing speculation will throw up  Stretsis, Playhound, and Issue. The current collection is available for inspection, but when the ‘shop’ is set up to look uncannily like a sale, bargain hunters who walk in will only be let down. Is that why it is as still as a cemetery even on a Friday night?

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