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Copenhagen

Inspirational fashion across a trio of concisely edited trade shows made for an effervescent line-up of buying options in Copenhagen last week. From mainstream goliath Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF) - which had all the commercial buzz of Dusseldorf's CPD four seasons ago - to CPH Vision, which cemented its status as an Aladdin's cave of Scandinavian womenswear, Copenhagen Fashion Week is shaping up into an exciting pit-stop on the European buying carousel.

But it was new kid on the block Gallery, based at the Forum Copenhagen and run by CIFF organiser the Danish Fashion Institute, which injected innovation into the proceedings. In only its second outing, Gallery has been transformed from postage stamp-sized autumn 07 proportions into a veritable battleship of directional fashion.

Over the next five pages, we round up six of the biggest trends from across all three Copenhagen shows, each likely to get tills ringing in the UK. We also spotlight the hottest labels to watch, and profile Peter Ingwersen, chief executive and owner of Noir, one of Denmark's most directional catwalk exports.

TRENDS

Art prints and folds added surface interest, while future utility and new takes on boho introduced freshness into womenswear.

ART PRINTS

Providing a counterpoint to a mostly subdued spring 08 palette, designers in Copenhagen looked to art-inspired prints to give surface interest, particularly on dresses. The most popular patterns were 1960s-inspired modernist geometrics. Elsewhere, naive 1940s-style scribbles vied for attention with simple decorative abstracts.

FUTURE UTILITY

The future utility look is all about parkas and tops with tech sport references - think Stella McCartney circa 2005. Treated nylons, metallics, drawstrings, hidden plackets and oversized proportions were key. Day coats and shirt dresses in amplified, architectural shapes featured in a muted palette of neutrals.

NEW BOHO

There are two looks at play in new boho. At one end, contemporary smock shapes in chalky neutrals and metallics featured embellished clusters on necklines, hems, shoulders and cuffs. At the other, a rustic Provenaal look flourished. Off-white cotton dresses had crochet details, Broderie Anglaise and some cross-stitch patterns.

FOLDS

Intricate pin tucks and pleating provided plenty of surface interest. But more interesting was the emergence of origami-like folds across shirts, silk tops and dresses. This sophisticated trend could prove difficult for the high street to interpret, and for spring 08 could act as a valuable point of difference for independents.

RED AND YELLOW

Saturated shades of tomato red and buttercup yellow made loud, all-over statements, particularly at the more commercial end. For those less ready to give up the safe, muted shades, subdued flashes of yellow were used on art-inspired prints and 1960s-influenced abstract florals. Sky blue provided another fresh-looking option.

MONOCHROME

A perennial favourite among Germanic mainstream players, the monochrome look was reinterpreted for the contemporary market in Copenhagen. The trend featured in oversized spots and fern prints, but was best when used more subtly in sculptured shapes. Details included scalloped tiers on bib fronts and sweetheart necklines.

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