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What lies beneath

Glamour takes a darker direction on lingerie with ultra-sexy black and dramatic blue shades dominating autumn 07

A new dark and moody palette emerged at Harrogate Lingerie & Swimwear Exhibition, Body Look in Dusseldorf and Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris for autumn 07.

Classic black was reinvented in ultra-sexy lace or smooth-lined moulded styles with intricate strap details. But it was the introduction of blue, grey and chocolate shades that provided adramatic new direction.

From navy and midnight to cornflower and indigo, the blue shades looked fresh, as did the smoky grey and pewter at the luxury end. Chocolate brown was another favourite, particularly atthe younger end of the market, taking over from last season's two-tone pink or turquoise-trimmed designs.

Monochrome and animal prints were also key, but were more pared down than their ready-to-wear fashion counterparts. Nude tones ofcafe au lait continued to be important, with warmth provided by trimmings in shades of pink. Styles in pink, from palest blush to vibrant coral injected colour, youth and fun into what was an otherwise grown-up and sophisticated season.

Overall, detail was restrained, with subtle lace trims decorating smooth-cup bras and briefs that were more notable for shape than elaborate surface detail.

Black magic

Always popular, black answers the call for both classic and sexy looks. For autumn 07, lace is key along with strap detailing designed to be seen as outerwear.

Blue

Glamorous looks come in shades of indigo and midnight blue, while delicate cornflower proves especially popular on everything from traditional lace sets to suspender-toting corseted basques.

Animal instinct

Subtle mini leopard spots layered with lace contrast against oversized tiger prints. Lace designed to mirror animal markings also prowl into view on skimpily cut balconette bras and neat triangle briefs.

Cafe colours

Nude lingerie has long been celebrated due to itsinvisibility under clothes, and is now a seasonal staple. For autumn 07, it ticks key trend boxes. Skin shades with flashes of pink and minimal surface detail are a retailer's dream, being practical, stylish and commercial.

Monochrome

Black and white combinations have seen a recent surge in popularity on the catwalk and high street, but lingerie takes a more subtle path with polka dots and simple embroidery leading the trend.

Grey

Luxury comes in an industrial palette of concrete steel and grey for autumn 07. The hard-edged, masculine shades are juxtaposed to sophisticated effect with ultra-feminine shapes, subtly trimmed with lace.

Nightwear

Delicate lace-trimmed chemises come with co-ordinating shorts or briefs while short sleeveless nightdresses in black lace or chocolate Tactel provide retailers with simple gift options.

Speciality

Paler colours and less fussy silhouettes are always popular for mastectomy and maternity styles, but for autumn 07 suppliers have picked up on more mainstream lingerie trends.

Hot chocolate

Warm chocolate brown is presented in traditional lace styles as well as younger, sportier designs for autumn 07. Fussy details are bypassed in favour of smooth lines that extend into nightwear.

Tequila sunrise

Daybreak shades of pale blush, candy pink and fiery coral provide an injection of colour in an otherwise dark season, and will certainly be of help to retailers looking for vibrant merchandising options.

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