The biannual fashion pilgrimage to Las Vegas wrapped last Friday as the latest editions of three major U.S. trade shows owned by Advanstar Communications – the MAGIC Marketplace, Project Las Vegas and Pool – came to a close.

MAGIC (magiconline.com), the largest and most sweeping of the three shows, ran February 13 to 16 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Las Vegas Hilton. Encompassing multiple sector categories that include everything from accessories and fabric and trim to womenswear, menswear, streetwear and kidswear, the event was again massive in scope. Sportswear-wise, the most pertinent sections were the Women’s section in the North Hall, the Designer and Contemporary sections in the Central Hall and the jumping, busy Streetwear section on the upper level of the South Hall.

A highlight of the Women’s section this season included innovative jersey styles, jewel-tones, shorts and embroidered detail on smocks at Interlud (interlud.com). Alternative Apparel (alternativeapparel.com)is also a brand that is emerging as a leader in the basics category, with its candy stripe, rainbow and houndstooth tees for women. Hot Kiss (hotkiss.com)continued its reign at the show with a historic glamour story and snappy, nightlife-inspired pieces and Dollhouse (dollhouse.com)offered innovative bibs in dark denim and smart plaid jackets for the season.

Other strong performing booths in Womenswear included Kenzie and Kersh out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Emerging collections showed in the special Platform section in Designer and Contemporary. In Streetwear, another special section, the High 5 Campground, again served as a showcase for cool up-and-coming or underground brands, such as first-time exhibitor Absurd (absurdnewyork.com), a New York-based line of tees by Angelo Baque and Wil Whitney, that features designs such as the now ubiquitous Billionaire Boys Club diamond image and the words “Don’t Believe The Hype.” Also attention-getting were the on-site fashion shows at the Phat Farm (phatfarm.com)and Baby Phat (babyphat.com) booths.

Key trends in the Streetwear section included lots of allover printed hoodies and a wide array of fluorescent ’80s-inspired colors.

According to a MAGIC spokesperson, attendance numbers for the show are not yet available and will be released sometime next week.

Project (projectshow.com), which covered three halls at Sands Expo and Convention Center from February 14 to 16, stood out from prior editions due to its enormity this season: the show featured more than 1,000 brands and a completely separate hall for womenswear.

Although it was a busy, crowded show, some exhibitors and attendees complained that this edition of Project was hard to navigate and were disappointed that the once very select and small show had swelled to such mammoth proportions. “The size is way too big. It’s missing the intimacy that we like to work with our customers with – the environment doesn’t fit,” said Byron Peart of Montreal- and New York-based Want Agency. “If there was a smaller alternative show, but that was still high level, we would go with that in a heartbeat.”

“The biggest problem is that this used to be an exclusive thing which was good because it sifted out the weeds. Now it’s overgrown, an overgrown garden,” Daniel Casarella, co-founder the New York-based brand Barking Irons (barkingirons.com). “You don’t know where everything is, you can really get lost in here. I’m sure buyers get lost all the time,” he added.

However, others, such as first-time exhibitor Chloe Lonsdale, who heads the revived British denim brand Made in Heaven (madeinheaven.co.uk), were thrilled with the show and said several key U.S. and international retailers wrote orders there. Likewise, Robin Chretien, the designer of LA-based Robin’s Jeans, said, “It has been a very good show for me.”

Key fashion trends at Project included a sea of dark and often skinny premium denim offerings and gothic/hippie or tattoo-inspired looks from LA-based brands such as Ed Hardy (edhardy.com), whose large booth was a constant hive of activity. Also big at Project were cape-style jackets, motorcycle- and Alpine-inspired outerwear and cardigans and chunky knitwear.

Pool (pooltradeshow.com), a showcase of about 250 cool men’s and women’s apparel, shoes, accessories and home products, was held at a new venue: a large tent in a parking lot across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center. It featured many T-shirt collections, including new exhibitors such as Squidfire (squidfire.com), a Baltimore-based line with naïve graphics of animals, and Plaster (plastersilkscreen.com), a New York City-based collection of silkscreened images (including a theme that merged religious figures and the entertainment industry: think a rabbi posing like Michael Jackson, etc.) by twentysomething designer Jason Laurits. Also on hand were established brands such as Gama-Go (gama-go.com) and Andrew Christian (andrewchristian.com).

The week also saw the debut of a new, independent streetwear show called United (unitedtradeshowusa.com) that featured 125 brands and the first public showing of FoShoFoShow (foshofoshow.com), a tiny show of eight influential streetwear brands, including Lemar & Dauley, 10 Deep and DC Shoes, who, in past seasons, had shown together in a private hotel suite. Both shows took place in ballrooms at the Alexis Park Resort Hotel.