Pure London Blog

09 Oct 2019

Newsletter #12 | Exploring gender fluid fashion

Emma Wilder

I couldn’t start off October’s edition of the newsletter without at least a little nod to Fashion Month. September saw fashion take its world tour, stopping at New York, London, Milan and Paris, bringing the latest SS20 looks with it. As always, we’ve been paying close attention to the catwalk collections and sartorial street style and you can read my round up over on the Pure London blog (once you’ve finished the newsletter, of course!)

But as we all know, fashion is about so much more than just the clothes. It’s a space for self-expression and creating an identity. And with so much conversation about representation, mental health, gender and sexuality and more, now seems like the right time to explore some of these issues in a bit more detail.

The fashion industry has long come under fire for a lack of representation, in size, race, age and more. And whilst attitudes towards diversity on the catwalk and in the industry is ever-fluctuating, we seem to be entering an era of greater differentiation for fashion as we know it.

And these issues aren’t the only ones being explored in today’s conversation surrounding the industry. The LGBTQ conversation is one that’s being expressed more vocally every day, and fashion is creeping back to an era of gender fluidity and neutrality.

Finally, as you might have seen, Pure’s got a new look for a new decade. And hand-in-hand with our makeover, we’re excited to be bringing the Key Buyer Programme to Pure London, ensuring that we draw the cream of the buying crop through the doors of Olympia London each season. I spoke to our very own Key Buyer Manager Timi Ajayi to find out what he’s excited for in the upcoming edition.

As always, happy reading!

Emma Wilder

Content Editor



As an industry, so much of fashion is tied up in both self-expression and cultural values. Recently, the conversations surrounding LGBTQ+ identities have opened up across the media and it’s given fashion the opportunity to explore gender neutrality in design. What’s more, as non-binary identification becomes more and more accepted and recognised, celebrities like Sam Smith (who recently announced his identification with the term) are translating their gender fluidity into their fashion.

Womenswear influences in men’s fashion

From Jaden Smith’s Louis Vuitton skirt to the leader of all the gender fluid fashion designers, Charles Jeffrey’s gender-bending menswear shows, the influence of traditionally female styles is slowly but surely making its way into men’s fashion as we know it today. But whilst this extreme of gender fluidity might not quite be for everyone yet, the influences are still very much visible.

This year’s awards season brought us Billy Porter’s “tuxedo dress” as well as a revival of the effeminate New Romantic look. Influences like Harry Styles and Timothee Chalamet are bringing a new wave of men’s fashion into the mainstream, presenting a new but still relatable interpretation of masculinity that goes beyond the identifiable “norm”.


Men’s fashion in womenswear

Meanwhile, whilst womenswear has typically seen a much more diverse array of designs than men’s fashion, the market has started taking design inspiration from its male counterpart. In a new age of feminism, sparked by the Me Too movement, womenswear has appropriated some of the most powerful elements of men’s fashion, like tailored trouser suits, shoulder pads and military inspired pieces.

What about gender neutral fashion?

Whilst in name they may sound the same, the concepts of gender neutrality and gender fluidity in fashion are slightly nuanced. Where gender fluid enables individuals to embrace a more feminine or more masculine identity, or indeed a mix of the two, gender neutral suggests a negation of any gendered identity. And, as Gen Z and the social media generation call for a non-binary approach to life (and within that, fashion), there is a place for both of these new schools of design in the current sartorial sphere.

Here at Pure London, we’re excited to see where this new approach to fashion will take our industry. Find out more about the latest in the industry at Pure London’s AW20/21 Festival of Fashion, from 9th – 11th February 2020.





About Pure London and Pure Origin

We are the UK’s number one leading fashion trade event that brings together the entire fashion supply chain, right the way from fibre through to finished ready to wear garments.

No other UK show offers sourcing and brands together, making Pure London and Pure Origin the only event to cater to all your fashion buying needs under one central London roof.

Location & Opening times:

Olympia London,

Hammersmith Road,


London W14 8UX


Sunday 9th February 2020, 09.30 - 18.00

Monday 10th February 2020, 09.30 - 18.00

Tuesday 11th February 2020, 09.30 - 16.00

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