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Shining examples

Contemporary influences and more technical-inspired directions helped to rejuvenate the mainstream womenswear collections on offer in Dusseldorf

For the first time in three seasons there was an element of newness to the trends at CPD and in Dusseldorf's showrooms, with mainstream womenswear brands influenced by looks from more contemporary sectors. High-shine and wet-look fabrics nodded to the futuristic story that dominated the autumn 07 catwalks, and signalled a determination among mainstream brands to adopt designer directions.

This more youthful stance also ushered in utility-inspired silhouettes and a preppy story. These both referenced trends that appeared at streetwear show Bread & Butter in Barcelona, albeit reworked into more mature looks.

The utility styling was most obvious on outerwear, which largely took the shape of lightweight parka-inspired styles, with brands backing the possibility of another rain-drenched summer. While the preppy story offered buyers a safe nautical-inspired palette of navy and white, a more adventurous counterpoint came through on colour-saturated brights in sunshine yellow, tomato red, fuchsia and cobalt blue.

Metallics were still popular, used on jackets and slinky tops. While silver still dominated, pewter and gold were the favoured alternatives, and a subtler approach used Lurex and metallic yarns on knitted tops. The lavish use of oversized paste and plastic gems and intricate beading that characterised previous ranges was shelved, with brands opting for tone-on-tone details on cuffs and collars or beneath diaphanous layers.

Despite this move forward in terms of styling, brands were careful to include the classic safari and monochrome trends. Jungle-style prints and epaulette details characterised the safari trend, while the monochrome look ushered in optical prints and micro polka dots.

KEY LOOKS

Shine

High-gloss treatments were seen almost everywhere. Wet-look fabrics derived from coated cottons and linen sat alongside sateen weave finishes on most product groups, from trousers and tops to jackets, but always on light-weight garments. Colours veered from white and nude to grey and black.

Metallics

While more contemporary womenswear brands have moved on to sophisticated hues of rose gold and dark pewter in the metallics trend, silver and gold still dominated in Dusseldorf. Outerwear was the most popular vehicle on which to put an all-over shine, while glittering yarns were knitted into tops.

Preppy

A nautical theme provided the backdrop for a sophisticated preppy look, which smartened up many of Dusseldorf's more contemporary brands. Crested blazers and Breton stripes sat alongside crisp white blouses, cardigans, waistcoats and tank tops. Full skirts were an easier-to-wear option than shorts.

Utility

Parkas and technical-looking lightweight outerwear ushered in a utility story in an urban palette of Prussian blue, earthy brown, black, charcoal and white. Details included drawstrings, hidden plackets and hoods on three-quarter-length designs. Quilting and ruching provided a more feminine look.

Safari

Belted shirt dresses in linen or traditional heavy cottons and a palette of sand, taupe and chocolate heralded a return to safari styling. African-inspired hybrids of animal and fern prints on kaftan-style tops recalled the 1980s, while high-waisted skirts and drawstring dresses offered some fresher options.

Colour

Overall, brands in Dusseldorf showcased subtle and safe uses of colour, but a counterpoint emerged through bursts of sunshine-saturated brights. Used mostly on basic pieces, yellow shades led the way for a palette that also adopted orange, tomato red and fuchsia with shots of cobalt blue too.

Embellishment

Compared with previous seasons, embellishment took a back seat. But with a customer base always searching for something special, brands wisely spruced up hemlines, cuffs, necklines, and cuffs with beads, gems and sequins. Many of the details were subtle, featuring a tone-on-tone approach.

Monochrome

Answering the call for more dresses, brands opted for the always popular black and white. More adventurous prints included optical swirls, batik-inspired styles and polka dots, while safer options featured micro-dots and nautical stripes. Jackets, blouses and shirts also muscled in on the act.

Shine

A selection of coated, technical and satin-finish fabrics added a touch of sheen across outerwear and tops

CONTACTS

Bandolera 020 7580 1515

Betty Barclay 020 7580 3577

Claudia Strater 020 7580 3202

Emozioni 020 7636 7111

Esthis 07770 664977

Olsen 020 7837 2599

Riani 0049 21 14 70 92 76

Verse 0161 236 7951

Metallics

Silver and gold looks led the way, with metallics remaining on the trend radar

CONTACTS

Apanage 020 7636 7111

Apriori 020 7636 4463

Gil Bret 020 7580 3577

Hauber 020 7580 5075

Jorli 020 7636 3063

Kirsten 020 7636 4207

Lucia 020 7636 7234

Not The Same 0031 10 23 81 500

Preppy

American sportswear looks with a nautical twist ushered in a fresh, contemporary flavour

CONTACTS

Apriori 020 7636 4463

Bianca 020 7580 0085

Brax Golf 020 7580 1464

Catherina Hepfer 020 7636 4207

Frank Walder 020 7580 3202

Olsen 020 7837 2599

Oui Moments 020 7580 1474

Via Appia 020 7436 0501

Utility

Subtle interpretations of workwear detailing were given a feminine overhaul for spring

CONTACTS

Another Woman 00 31 20 51 14 111

Emozioni 020 7636 7111

Gardeur 020 7636 6462

Laurel 020 7580 6066

Marc O'Polo 020 3033 0177

Oui Set 020 7580 1474

Passport 020 7636 6462

Zaffiri 00 49 28 71 95 61 01.

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