The most buzzed about happening during the recent s/s 2008 trade-show circuit in London was the shaking up of the womenswear show Pure (purewomenswear.co.uk).

The fair, which ran August 5 to 7, extended its Spirit section to include more than 50 labels such as Golddigga (golddigga.co.uk), Blood & Glitter (bloodandglitter.com), Hooch, Lipsy and Criminal Clothing. The well-designed, roomy space complete with air conditioning proved a hit with buyers and press. Pure’s visitor numbers were up 9% compared to its August 2006 edition.

Although some menswear is starting to creep into its mix, this womenswear fair offered many girly looks, especially in the Spirit section: the “new boho” style, awash with floral prints and embellishment, was the aesthetic du jour for many labels including Looking Glass, Yumi and Olga de Polga.

In contrast to the girly influences of the season, the slouchy boyfriend look prevailed as a parallel force. This expression was perfectly summed up by Kuyichi (kuyichi.com), which served up some great slouchy tees in flattering cuts, and straight, wide jeans beautified with front pleats. Blood & Glitter, a label that showed both at Pure and TBC, opted for an ultra feminine, Marilynesque look — think high-waisted denim hot pants and denim pencil skirts designed to be teamed with fitted, scoop necked tees featuring buttons and subtle mini frills.

Over at TBC, which ran August 5 to 6 at the Truman Brewery in East London, three new labels stood out. Harkness-Man (harkness-man.co.uk) showed handmade, multicolored knits for men that were quirky and fashion-forward but not try-hard; men’s and women’s tops-based line Save the Ferret offered compelling prints on shirts designed in collaboration with underground artists; and Manhood served up a quietly quirky collection of terry cloth tees, jersey waistcoats, light blouson jackets and tees with inventive prints.

At Margin (margin.tv), which ran August 5 to 7, a new initiative, Accessories Gild, presented a consistent slew of labels encompassing handbags, jewelry, socks, scarves and even the odd tie. A collection of abstractly printed clutches and scarves by Stateek (stateek.com), was one highlight and Punky Pins (punkypins.co.uk) charmed visitors with its clubby, quirky jewelry range.

On the apparel side, Oak Jeans (oakjeans.com) showcased its collection in the section dedicated to new names, 101. Although the label is still in its infancy and offers a limited number of styles, it is reaping the awards after being featured to great acclaim on the prime time TV UK reality show, “WAGs Boutique.”

The fluoro color fad, which was absent elsewhere, made an appearance at Margin where it manifested itself in the collections of White Trash for Cash and Chateau Roux, among others. (Evidently, the New Rave trend is not yet ready to put its dancing shoes on the shelf, at least in London, the club mecca of the world.)

Margin’s producers reported that attendance at the latest edition matched that of the February 2007 show, which saw a 40% increase from the prior one.

In terms of denim, s/s 2008 is a season where anything goes for men and women: at TBC and Pure ultra-wide jeans sat next to skinnies and cropped styles. Colors were primarily dark with subtle washes, although a few zingy hues such as canary and fondant pink found their way in, too. In addition, shiny, hard-metal zips on pockets were everywhere at the London shows and were offered by Garbstone, Dunderdon, Kuyichi and Blood & Glitter, among others.

— Emma Holmqvist, London Correspondent