Pure London unveils big-picture trends and key developments for next show
Pure London managed to overcome major challenges this week as tough economic conditions, the coronavirus impacting travel and — on its opening day — a giant storm that disrupted UK transport, all worked against it.
But it remained busy and saw buyers from Selfridges, Debenhams, Next, Galeries Lafayette, Pamela Shiffer, Sunday Best, Asos and New Look, among others. Meanwhile sourcing show Pure Origin attracted sourcing managers from big names including Prada, Burberry, Next, Karen Millen, Long Tall Sally, Radley, Amazon and TK Maxx.
Organiser Hyve doesn’t issue attendance figures but said “the show maintained a high level of visitors throughout the three days, with exhibitors commenting on the quality of the buyers and a continued interest in buying ahead for the new season”.
And in a reflection of how important sustainability is becoming to the industry as a whole, Hyve also announced a number of changes for the July 2020 show. Pure Conscious will move from the National Hall to the front of the Main Hall, making it the first stop for visitors. That follows a move downstairs from the upper gallery this time. Other changes will include the launch of Pure Jewels, providing an area for fine jewellery and watches, as well as jewellery components and gems. And Pure Origin has outgrown its current space. Next time sees it taking over the entire National Hall and introducing manufacturing machinery.
That’s all happening in the future, of course, but the show itself was very future-focused too. Jane Kellock of the event’s trend partner Unique Style Platform gave us a briefing on trends not just for next season, but into next year.
She said the big themes the industry needs to take note of include the snappily named The Only Way Is Ethics. “People talk to us about sustainability as a ‘trend’, but we really don't think it's a trend and we feel the fashion industry has to take this on board,” she said. “The consumer is torn between the allure of fast fashion and all the talk around sustainability. As an industry we have to make it easier for them”.
She also feels that ‘fashion’ is becoming less of a focus and individual style is taking over. “This will become ever more important than actual fashion. It will be less about trends and more about individual style, about longevity and consumers thinking long term”.
So does that mean we’re falling out of love with 'fashion'? In a way, yes, Kellock said. “Desire for new experiences and aspirational lifestyles continue to transcend our need for new products as there are so many other things to spend your money on”. She thinks that because of this, “the discovery economy is taking over from retail, but retailers can tap into it if they're clever”.
And while there’s clearly an "increasing polarisation between the Greta Thunberg generation and the Love Island generation” (with the latter still fast-fashion-fixated), she feels that in terms of sustainability, fast fashion and consumerism, all consumers will be influenced by new moods and a desire to do things differently.
One example of this can be seen in developments in social media and the rise of 'fashion gamification'. Saying it’s all about “laughter not likes,” she said “Tik Tok has taken over because of its unique escapist humour. It captures that cultural zeitgeist and escape from those images of perfection that consumers constantly see on platforms such as Instagram. It's about having fun, falling over, being silly. It’s refreshing to see something like that taking over from something so narcissistic as Instagram”.
And she can see the influence spreading to even high-end fashion with names such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Gucci all getting into fashion gaming as a key part of their marketing. She seemed to be saying that clever companies will build their marketing around enjoyment rather than old-style posing in the future!
Meanwhile, on the colour front, USP sees copper, gold and a wider range of metallics as a key direction. But beyond that, it has come up with a quartet of focused colour stories for SS21.
Story one, Thrive, is all about the natural in which vegetal tones sit alongside others that also have a natural influence. These include pale almond, deep indigo, aubergine, golden honey, dusted tobacco, pear and glacier blue -- note the food influence there.
Memento, meanwhile, is about weathered surfaces, fossils and the antique, with soft tones such as lilac mist, pink clay, oatmeal and halcyon gold. It's minimalist but romantic with the gold adding "touches of drama and luxury".
New-stalgia is a more vibrant palette inspired by the digitally native generation. It’s pastel but not as we know it with more intensity in sweet candy shades of sea turtle green, Malibu blue, blanched lemon and there’s even room for ‘fuchsia shock’ pink.
And Tender is "inspired by the increasingly influential beauty market" with "cosmetic" colours that are "gentle yet alluring". That means bubblegum pink pops against a paler oyster pink, with blonde, soft mango, chestnut and sunkissed salmon adding warmth.
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