Coming to a close on Tuesday, the SS11 edition of London’s trade show weekend proved to be quite a success. This season, Pure London (August 1 through 3) increased its line-up of exhibitors by 17%, a move that seemed to pay off, as the show reported a 24% increase in visitors compared to last year’s attendance figure. Apart from growing in volume, a slew of new initiatives were put into place, such as the Premium section—an area dedicated to brands at the higher end of the spectrum. Patrizia Pepe, Antik Batik and Betty Jackson 2 were three of the twenty names sharing space in the so-called Pillar Hall, a section arguably a little too tucked away within Olympia’s vast exhibition grounds for its own good.

Upping the fashion flavour further, live interviews with industry luminary Zandra Rhodes and shoe maestro Terry de Havilland unfolded live on stage. In the meantime, to nurture freshly hatched talent Pure invited a crop of Graduate Fashion Week standouts to show off their wares on the catwalk. The featured graduates whose collections hit the runway were Gold Winner Rebecca Thomson, Womenswear Winner Rhea Fields, and Womenswear Finalist Naomi New.

Further changes were afoot on Pure’s young fashion arena. To make life easier for buyers, Pure Spirit—the show’s section for young womenswear—and Label—the new streetwear showcase with a focus on menswear—were combined for presentation under the same roof. It made perfect sense to link up the two sub-categories, the only downside being that Label appeared to fade into the background, with little indication that it was indeed a showcase in its own right. Still, the two categories co-existed nicely fused into a single part of the tradeshow space.

To indulge further in streetwear and young fashion, Margin (August 1 through 2) offered the usual mix of worthy start-ups and more established players with an indie edge. Among the crop of youngsters—Margin’s very raison d’etre—Saint Martins graduate Am Golhar’s directional collection of knitwear for men stood out. The designer’s cable knit joggers might well become future classics. Another strong contender was arty tee label Conquer, which pushed a formula best described as poetic and quietly sinister. Tees featuring whimsical illustrations of vintage toys and dancing bears were among the collection’s highlights.

Sharing space with the freshmen mentioned above—plus the likes of Trikki, Found, AnyForty, KNK and Emilythepemily­—was cult name Silas, who marked its return to Europe after a few years away from the scene. Other brands that formed part of the Margin mix this season included Obey, St Vacant, WeSC, Makia, Gravis, Duffs, and Dephect.