Wednesday, 23 April 2014

#ESPspotlight Review: PURE LONDON 35 AW14 (FASHION TRADE SHOW - PART ONE)


The 35th Pure London took place at Kensington Olympia in early February, signalling the official start of the first fashion season of the year...Well for Yours Truly anyway.


Heading straight for the Womenswear Catwalk, it was no surprise to find the Staging Area packed to overbrimming, with prospective buyers, and those far too young to own a credit card - if not actually learn the art of shopping. A far more dramatic production than I recalled for the Spring Summer previews, my second Pure experience, and first event of the AW14 season began with lights, cameras, and lots of action, courtesy of one of the biggest (and my favourite) draws of the 3-day tradeshow.

Model Rozi
The 'BOOM Girls' were back, and in full effect, with some eyecatching updates to their looks, in keeping with the change of season. The addition of some new faces added an ethnic variety, and cohesion to the group look, that was definitely lacking before; giving the 20-minute show a levelled power surge, with every girl equally capable of bringing an equal amount of fiery heat and energy.


Yet to see Lorna Hall’s WGSN Trend Forecast seminar, the scene themes provided ample opportunity to test my rusty eyes with a rousing game of ‘Guess the Trend’. Immediate points of note that I just about managed to stop myself jumping up and pointing out, included:
Mostly short leather gloves, worthy of wardrobes owned by the formidable Olivia Pope, and a Scandal-loving Mariah Carey;
Chiffon panelsparticularly of the billowing, ankle-length, skirted variety.
Deep, wintery jewel tonesRubies, Emeralds, and Sapphires.
Simplistic, masculine hats – think casual fedoras and flatcaps;
Check patterns and embroidery,
Silhouettes and tailored lines, broken up by colour blocks,
Fabulous faux furs and stole-n attention!

Eager beaver that I am, I could barely contain my Monica Geller-like anxiety over how many trends that I had correctly guessed. Distracting myself with the awesome designs instead, I pushed my self-entertainment (newfound obsession) to the back of my mind with 'ease', as I fought to survive the first day Spectator’s MeatMarket. Returning brands Urbancode, Forever Unique, The Style London, Neon Rose, Bariano, and Glamorous were immediately recognisable, even without the branded screens beside the catwalk. Each stunner (clothing and model-wise) had been teamed with devastatingly gorgeous hair and makeup styling by Magda Natucholska, and Lauretta Power respectively (lookout for my upcoming Spotlight Special with Lauretta talking about her Pure London experience, inspirations, pre-show preparation, and techniques).

Over as quickly as it began, the next stop on my interest list was the 'Brands with Bands' segment. Always a sucker for a snappy title; the name intrigued me too much to miss it. Making my way to the smaller stage, I wondered all the while if the reason for enshrouding the talent, was to negate a repeat of like last season’s abysmal response to Javine Hylton’s sponsored set. The only performer booked throughout the last 3-day event, it was hardly surprising that the organisers would want to take pre-emptive action by going for the exact opposite approach. Finding ways to occupy myself in the 40+ minute delay, gave me ample recon time. The word on the street (aka half full rows of pews next to the catwalk), was that at least one of the three acts slated to perform was a new band, comprised of five former X Factor contestants. That demonstration of original thinking at its finest (don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise; after all, their opinions are just Hear’Say), carried with it a Titanic-like foreboding, but more about that later…

Mila Falls
When something finally did start to happen, we were treated to a 4-track performance from up and coming Dance artist, Mila Falls. Though only swayed by her forthcoming singleVoices in my Head’; it was more her JoJo Levesque-type tone and quality of sound, that kept me rooted. Representing clothing brand Kuccia, the most polite thing that I can say, is that try as they might (and they did…I think), the ladies chosen for the catwalk really did nothing to enhance the brand, or the singer’s performance. On the plus side (no pun intended from this plus-sized lady), it was wonderful to finally see a catwalk with some real, fuller-figured women. It’s just a shame that none of those particular women selected were 'suited' to the task

Actually breathing a sigh of relief when the ordeal was over, I not only got the chance to finish a great chat with a fellow photog; but finally concurred with a statement he made when last we met, about the Pure34 models really not being up to par. Imparting one final pearl of wisdom on me before we parted ways, my kind friend informed me of the reason for the show’s delayed start. Two of the three acts booked to appear – including the X-Factor rejects – must have gotten a better offer, because they were no shows to the event, meaning the day had come to an abrupt end, and we could all go home!

Regular readers will know that this is the part where I tell you two crucial nuggets of information (it's tradition): the first is that if you were at the show, here is where I ask you to get involved by sharing your experiences of the day in the Comments Box below. If not, that’s ok, simply share your thoughts on my experience below – friendly feedback is always the goal! The second thing, is that if you head on over to the ESP Facebook Page, so  that you can enjoy my experience visually, through my photo journal of the day but since I want to keep you newbies keen, I'm going to save it for next week's final instalment (my deepest apologies, Vets!). Don’t forget to let me know if you like those too – comment boxes are everywhere!

Stay Tuned for Part 2
ES ;)