Pure London: from exotic to continental athleisure
Traffic was moderate but the mood ebullient at Pure London, the UK fashion trade show which this season focused on interplanetary travel, exotic ethnic designs and high tech sportswear.
The three-day show, staged in Olympia, the giant exhibition space in Hammersmith first opened in 1886, ended Monday night.
Some 800 brands took space in the giant show-space, across whose storied history everyone from Général de Gaulle - who used it as assembly point in 1940 for the Free French army – to Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd, with concerts in the 60s, have made their home.
Underneath the giant white wrought iron and glass ceiling, Pure London featured a series of runways, speeches, interviews and seminars from such celebrated designers as Scottish punk creator Pam Hogg, who gave a keynote address - and North of England lad made good, Henry Holland, who spoke on balancing being both a designer and entrepreneur. Along with seminars featuring industry experts, including the author of this report.
A key thread to the salon was ethnicity. The central runway stage had the word Kinship on its backdrop and labels like Jessica Russell Flint Design showed tropical-fish-meets-Hippie-Chic prints; while one brand was even called Zen Ethnic.
Fittingly in a weekend where Britain’s Chris Froome won his fourth Tour de France, one of the busiest stands was Eurosport, billed as the home of cycling. This brand’s broken zig-zag graphics used in racing shorts, techy tops and fingerless gloves looked very in synch with the moment. As did Fusionwear by Arys, a Berlin-based brand that presented very active athleisure running pants and leggings – ideal for a jog around Tiergarten or to go clubbing dancing to Deep House in rooftop club Weekend. Also impressing were Eivy, with its tag line Unbored Unboard – a cool Swedish label featuring sleek fleece-lined neck warmers, hoodies and pineapple print leggings. Indeed, even if the weather was wet most of the weekend, scores of stands boasted surfer, boarder ad beachwear looks.
Elsewhere the idea of revolutionary fabrics was strong, especially of a natural variety. Notably at Montado, a unique Portuguese resource that uses cork as its key raw material. Satchels, totes, sneakers, loafer, wallets, notebooks and even panama hats were made in this unlikely material.
Pure London is regarded as the leading UK trade fashion buying event with collections across womenswear, footwear, accessories and young fashion. Key sections varied from Pure Man, dedicated to menswear, which trumpeted a ‘Concept’ pop up theme; a whole Turkish area and a special area for Premium Emerging Designers. Pure London’s nest show will be back in Olympia next year from 11 to 13 February 2018.
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