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Moda Spring 08

Transitional looks were the order of the day at Moda in Birmingham, as buyers sought respite from the poor weather that has plagued the sector this year

Following this spring's washout season, buyers' interest at Moda was captured by knitwear, mid-weight jersey tops, dresses and cover-ups. The only area where these rules did not apply was in occasionwear, where gauzy, floaty silk chiffon dresses still figured strongly.

Buyers remained interested in dresses, but were looking for garments that could be dressed up or down. There was a more workaday feel to skirts, in natural fibres such as linen and cotton, while dresses concentrated on silks and chiffon. Colour was used sparingly, although yellow mixed with grey and black featured across several ranges. Neutral caramels, ivory, chocolate and monochrome stories continued to be the mainstay of many occasion-based collections.

The lighter-weight outerwear utility look that was so prevalent at CPD and Pure was not in evidence at Moda, where lightweight, often brightly coloured mid-thigh trench coats were more the order of the day.

Moda's menswear visitors were offered few new looks to inspire for next spring, with creams, browns and cappuccinos - now with stripes - the only diversion from the staple dark colours on suiting, although grey was less prevalent than at Pitti Uomo. There were also more premium fabrics including super 120s and 130s, as well as more shiny suit finishes and skinny fits on the more contemporary brands.

Shirt brands were making bold statements with multi-coloured bright stripe looks, even on formal styles, as daywear and classic styles merged with non-work styling. Many brands also had a heavy Liberty-style print theme running through shirting. Marina looks and rugby styles on jersey tops were less inspiring, but there was still more colour and less monochrome than at Pitti.

Some brands nodded to the trend for technical and utility influences on outerwear, with microfibre polyester and breathable materials.

KEY LOOKS

JACKETS

Structured jackets, other than occasionwear options, were few and far between. Frill details on sleeves and hems remained strong across casual and more formal offerings, many with three-quarter or wrist-skimming sleeves. Seersucker cotton navy blue and white nautical blazers also figured in many ranges. Metallics were less in evidence, with brands opting for satin or shine effects.

TOPS

Most tops specialists were still showing shrugs at Moda, while subtle tone-on-tone embellishment was used to liven up jersey silhouettes. There were plenty of Missoni-inspired knits about, often trimmed with clashing silk chiffon. Longer-length tops, all the rage on the high street this season, were noticeably absent, with most brands deeming them too young a look for this market.

SKIRTS

Skirts had a neutral feel this season, with monochrome patterns in stripes, spots and understated animal prints. Alongside the black and white, tans and creams took centre stage, often on linen and cotton mix fabrics, with the occasional splash of red or pink. A-line was the most popular casualwear style, with subtle embellishment adding glamour on occasionwear pieces.

DRESSES

Oversized florals and tropical prints were the biggest trends on dresses, in statement shades of turquoise, canary yellow and hot pink. Satin added a sleek touch to occasionwear, while chiffon created draped layers on daytime pieces and stiff linens provided a more structured feel. V-necks and either capped sleeves or spaghetti straps were the key silhouettes.

JACKETS

Sleeve, lapel and hem details were all key on jackets, with frills and contrast cuffs prevalent

SKIRTS

Skirt lengths remained over the knee for the coming season, with animal prints, toile and stripes all in favour

TOPS

Knitwear saw a spring resurgence, as buyers looked for useful cover-ups with embellishment, pleats and prints

DRESSES

Floaty silk and printed chiffon dresses are still popular, with cap sleeves making a comeback

SUITING

Menswear's staple navy, black and plain suiting styles were accompanied by a prominent story of creams, browns and cappuccino shades at Moda this season. Linen was still in evidence, although with more stripe styles joining the plain finishes. Shiny wool fabrics, slim fits and skinny trousers made an appearance on the most directional of tailoring brands.

OUTERWEAR

Lightweight outerwear for spring included some technical influences, with stain repellent and temperature regulation qualities a common theme across several brands. There were shiny bomber jacket styles, as well as summer coats with utility details such as mobile phone pockets. Wax cotton biker-style looks also proved popular at Moda.

SHIRTS

Among the selection of classic business-style shirts on show at Moda was a growing infusion of brighter tones, including multicoloured stripes. Cuff and collar detailing added interest to traditional silhouettes, while a very prominent floral print story was evident in both day and eveningwear styles. Many brands offered the look in a variety of fits, from slim to classic silhouettes.

TOPS

Plain polos in a varied palette, from navy to lime green, orange and yellow, were a staple offer from many of the menswear brands showing at Moda. A few brands presented faded and distressed T-shirts and tops with a surfwear influence. But stripes were also a key story, featuring across marina styles, preppy looks and rugby-influenced jerseys in various widths and shades.

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