Cat print dress, Sugarhill Boutique
Cat print dress, Sugarhill Boutique
 

14 Feb. 2014

Show Report: Pure London

Pure London’s AW14 edition (9-11 Feb.) came to a close on Wednesday night. Taking place at Olympia in West Kensington as per previous seasons, the fair filled its two vast floors with collections spanning womenswear, accessories and footwear. Spirit, the show’s young fashion section, presented AW14 and short-order SS14 ranges of some 100 brands. Very few denim brands took part; Lee was the only purebred contender present and it appeared somewhat lost among the avalanche of overt femininity offered up by the likes of Sugarhill Boutique, Glamour and Forever Unique. There were exceptions to the dress focused crop, however; DKNY debuted this season with its loungewear and nightwear lines, while QCumber Clothing charmed visitors with its fruit and veg-inspired tees, sweats and knitted hats. “Fruit and veg are beautiful but they are rarely seen on clothing – we set up QCumber Clothing to change that,” deadpanned brand co-owner David Van Reyk. British newcomer De Mouilpied, meanwhile, presented shorts for girls fashioned from African textiles, as well as leggings, tees and jackets in colorful abstract prints.

A few seasons ago, Spirit broadened its appeal by bringing in a good range of street and denim labels, and it even ran a men’s showcase that attracted names such as Monkee Genes and Lee Cooper. The section has since reverted back to its original dress based identity, which is a niche market in itself though it leaves room for a London show targeting women’s casualwear and denim brands akin to those exhibiting at men’s fair Jacket Required.

Pure London: observations and highlights

The most anticipated show debut: the arrival of Dutch label Humanoid, which exhibited as part of the so-called Agenda section.

Most noticeable trend: animal motif all-over prints. Sugarhill Boutique included anything from tiger faces to swans and pandas, while Scottish label Gibson & Birkbeck paid tribute to UK wildlife – hedgehogs, frogs and mice all adorned the labels crisp cotton shirts.

Most repeated statement among exhibitors: “When will the rain stop”?

Best rain garment on show: Petit Bateau’s stripy raincoat with hood and drawstring detail.
Emma Holmqvist Deacon

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