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Moda moods

A lack of clear trends and the season's omnipresent grey palette made things tricky for buyers at Moda, with many hunting for colours to brighten their offer

Buyers at Moda were looking for a splash of colour, and the brands that offered alternatives to the dominant grey, black and brown palette were the busiest. Rich reds, petrol blue and the mainstream market's stalwart powder pink helped to lift some of the darker collections.

With the autumn selling season continuing to constrict, and the strength of independent retailers' winter Sales starting to dwindle, buyers at the show were seeking out lighter-weight knits.

There were still plenty of winter coats on offer, but the most successful pieces came from brands that had designed them as key items, making them the must-have buy rather than a commodity.

The autumn 07 mainstream market offer at Moda lacked really coherent trends, and this, coupled with a lack of colour, made many buyers wary after a difficult autumn 06. Some looks trickled through from the contemporary womenswear market. There were plenty of animal prints around, but they were not necessarily trend led, like many of the pieces seen last week at Pure.

Meanwhile, the tunic dress had yet to make an impact at Moda. Instead, the much more flattering jersey crossover or wrap dress still dominated the silhouette.

Traffic on stands very much mirrored the energy in this part of the market, with eveningwear and occasionwear exhibitors among the busiest at the show. Their popularity among visitors reflected how these niches can still thrive, even when the rest of the sector is struggling.

The offer at Moda Menswear continued to present a more luxurious mood, although the look had moved on subtly for autumn 07 via the addition of surface pattern or detail.

On more basic casualwear, the interest was provided by enzyme washes across a brown and blue colour spectrum. Outerwear and heavier knits were notable by their absence, with the emphasis very much on layered looks to provide winter warmth.

DRESSES

Jersey wrap-style dresses finally hit the big time at Moda, albeit in a muted colour palette. Key styles all came in below the knee, with either ruched side seams or gathered bodices, in a variety of prints and sparkly eveningwear options.

COATS

Coats embraced the season's sombre colour palette, but were lifted by bronze and silver metallic finishes. There were surprisingly few lightweight options, with only quilted down-filled alternatives really making an impact.

JACKETS

There was a distinct lack of choice in jackets once the classic hardy perennials had been taken from the mix, with few 1960s swing silhouettes filtering through. Most of the styles on offer were short and waisted.

KNITS

Longer-line knits were not as prevalent as at Pure, with a fluid mid-thigh length proving most popular. But grey was everywhere, alongside deep berry colours. Ruching or ribbon ties added interest to familiar silhouettes.

EVENINGWEAR

Full-length dresses restated their dominance for autumn 07, with printed chiffon and silk fabrications featuring across the board. Placed beading and subtle ruching were all evident. Chunky, heavyweight, 1960s-inspired beading was a strong element on shorter cocktail dress lengths.

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