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Pure London

The UK’s biggest gathering of fashion industry buyers, Pure London, once again returned to the capital’s Olympia London in February, presenting the hottest emerging brands, designers and trends, making it one of the most anticipated events in the London trade calendar.

Held twice a year, Pure London, together with Pure Origin, is the only UK fashion show to offer ready-to-wear collections and fashion sourcing all under one roof. Leading full-service creative solution provider, Congo Blue, part of SFL Group, has been supporting the event for eight years, with its excursion at this year’s Pure AW20/21 seeing the company designing, delivering, and operating the Runway Catwalk, Nomad Seminar Theatre, and Origin Stage.

The focus of this year’s show was clearly on sustainability-friendly stories, including choosing manufacturing that is closer to home and following styles that are as far removed from disposable fast-fashion as can be. Bravery and boldness were also highlighted during the three-day event as independent designers and established businesses are now seen taking the plunge into wholesale, coming up with bold and creative ideas and presenting them on the Catwalk.

“Every season, the Runway for Pure London becomes the highlight of the show, with this year being no exception,” says Congo Blue project manager Matt Edwards. “This season, the team rolled out a 19m long white gloss catwalk, 14m wide printed set with custom-made graphics, as well as custom CNC-cut freestanding tree silhouettes cut in Congo Blue’s in-house scenic facility. Finally, the team deployed 23m flown truss sporting a large number of lighting fixtures and speakers for perfect lighting and sound coverage.”

For the Nomad Seminar Theatre, the team raised an angled stage with enough room to accommodate a six-person panel plus compère. The area featured a custom-slatted timber rear wall with a view through to the interior lit printed graphic. To complement the setting, a large flown video wall, six-channel radio microphone system, and d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker system were installed to offer thousands of visitors an impressive visual and audio experience.

The Origin Stage was another brilliant installation by the team, presenting custom-built black aluminium frames with fabric strips, colour matched to Pure brand guidelines. Unobtrusively arranged without any cabling visible, the area also accommodated a 75-inch 4k screen showing high-definition pictures and videos throughout the event. As with the Nomad Seminar Theatre, the team ensured high-quality audio at the Origin Stage by using a d&b system as well as radio microphones. To give the stage its premium finish, the lighting was attached to the truss goalpost structure and dressed in custom white stretch fabric.

“We take great care to ensure our exciting designs are realised effectively and, most importantly, safely as evidenced by our Safe Contractor Accredited status,” says Edwards.

The organiser and event owner, Hyve Group, was extremely satisfied with this year’s show outcome and gave high praise to the Congo Blue team.

“It all went really well for us and I am being told by everyone that it was one of the smoothest build-ups by far for Pure,” says Jenna Laskowski, Operations Manager at Hyve Group.

“We are in our eighth year of supporting the show, with the organisers throwing new challenges at the team each season, and we absolutely love it,” concludes Edwards. “This February’s event was special for us as the topic of sustainability is very close to our hearts. We utilise energy-efficient technology as a norm, deploying LED lighting and, where possible, using existing elements in the client’s stock when setting up and designing the stage.”