By Cristina Boydell
Photography by Cristina Boydell and Four Seasons Recruitment
In February, the autumn/winter fashion trade shows are exhibited across the city. Brands of all kinds, ranging from high-end and boutique to sportswear and alternative, have an opportunity to showcase their latest menswear, womenswear, accessories and footwear collections for fall and winter 2012/2013.
It’s an interactive environment – press and industry insiders (from Drapers to World Global Style Network) check out the stands that feature the latest trends, while buyers can make purchasing decisions for the upcoming season at wholesale costs.
From Feb.5 to Feb.7, London Olympia hosted LondonEdge, LondonCentral and The Ledge trade shows.
LondonCentral is also known as “a fashion revolution”, LondonEdge – as “fashion with an edge” and The Ledge – as “the U.K.’s only sports and lifestyle trade show”.
Some of the looks found at LondonCentral and LondonEdge included streetwear, vintage and alternative pieces, with punk and rock’n’roll influences from Crime City Clothing, 50s and sailor dresses at Hell Bunny and Emmy, and edgy leather detailing at L.A. Roxx.
The Ledge, on the other hand, brought together sports and lifestyle brands all under one roof, including surfing, skating and snowboarding brands, such as Element, Santa Cruz Clothing, Fourstar and Polar Skate Co., and even had an indoor mini-ramp competition for skaters!
I then checked out U.K.’s largest menswear only trade show. In its fourth year, Stitch Menswear was held at London’s Business Design Centre on Feb.12 and Feb.13. Layering is a strong autumn/winter trend for the guys: think graphic T-shirts with denim or khakis, layered with cozy knits and heritage outerwear.
Onto the next stop – the boutique tradeshow Scoop, held from Feb.12 to Feb.14, showcased over 150 influential brands and attracted over 1,000 visitors. The tradeshow featured established directional fashion designers and emerging labels in London’s stylish Saatchi Gallery. The iconic venue, which had a purple carpet entrance, made for a visually stunning tradeshow, with crisp white walls and modern art surrounding womenswear clothes, accessories and footwear.
Scoop featured collections from womenswear labels Ayo and Goldhawk, luxury designers Givenchy and Pucci, plus accessories from Kenzo and Vivienne Westwood, and vintage Chanel and Hermès jewelry. On Monday, Feb.13, I also made sure I attended their cocktail party, featuring a live band and drinks from 5 p.m. onwards – I loved their delicious “exclusive” lychee cocktails!
Lastly was Pure London in London Olympia that ran on the same days as Scoop, and had over 1,000 womenswear, footwear and accessories brands, from directional, premium, boutique, studio and young spirit. I was able to draw inspiration from pieces featured in the fashion shows, as well as trend forecasting talks from stylists and industry experts. Just a few trends to list were: graphic abstracts and prints, texture and contrasting fabrics, boxy silhouettes and muted hues, such as rich teals and aubergines for autumn.
I loved being able to see the trends for next season ahead of the crowds (alongside buyers), and witnessing such a wide range of tradeshows that cater to different consumer bases and sectors.
I predict great things for autumn/winter 2012!