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Europe Watch: Global Vision … Win Some, Lose Some … Fair is Fair

<B>GLOBAL VISION:</B> The minimalism — even austerity — often associated with Scandinavian design may still be an important trademark of the region’s fashion industry, but Nordic designers are increasingly taking their cue from...

GLOBAL VISION: The minimalism — even austerity — often associated with Scandinavian design may still be an important trademark of the region’s fashion industry, but Nordic designers are increasingly taking their cue from international trends. Last week’s Copenhagen International Fashion Fair, the Nordic region’s largest trade show, confirmed this, according to industry watchers. “Danish designers have become more attuned to the international trends in recent years,” said As Oeland, a consultant with the Federation of Danish Textile and Clothing, an industry group. “That reflects the growth in the industry’s exports, and its increasing commercial success abroad.”

For the summer 2005 collections, the main trend was toward “poetic but sensual dresses with light embroideries and lace,” said Lotte Freddie, a Copenhagen-based fashion critic.

A number of leading Danish designer brands, such as By Malene Birger and Bruuns Bazar, are heading in that direction, with the launch of collections that draw on Twenties and Thirties inspiration, such as early Coco Chanel.

At CIFF, increased international interest in the region’s fashion industry was reflected in the 7 percent growth in the number of attendees from outside Denmark and Sweden. More than one in four of the fair’s 22,400 visitors came from beyond the Nordic region. — Poul Funder Larsen

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME: The British Fashion Council has announced the winners of the Topshop New Generation sponsorship for the spring shows during London Fashion Week. Six designers — Giles Deacon, Adele Clarke, Ashish, Gardem, Swash and Simeon Farrar — will be provided with financial support to showcase their collections either on the runway or in the “New Gen” area in the BFC exhibition tents. The newcomers will join nine existing recipients of the sponsorship, including Bora Aksu, Camilla Staerk and Alistair Carr. However, one designer who won’t be joining them at London Fashion Week is Hamish Morrow. Last week, Morrow said he will skip the shows for the second consecutive season. “Hamish Morrow and his team are working on a radical new approach with which to relaunch the company,” said a spokeswoman in a statement. “This strategy will be completed by end 2004.” — Nina Jones

FAIR IS FAIR: Berlin is fast turning into a fashion fair center, with two new apparel trade shows set to debut parallel to the Bread & Butter, Milk & Honey and Premium events here in January. The Messe Berlin announced plans last week for a women’s and men’s wear fair to be held in a southerly part of the Berlin fairgrounds, as the central halls will be occupied by the popular consumer food fair, Grüne Woche, from Jan. 21-23. It will target the more commercial fashion sector, an exhibitor segment not included in Bread & Butter, Milk & Honey and Premium’s palette of contemporary collections. Messe Berlin provided few details, but said the yet-unnamed fair will focus “on the entire European and North American market, as well as special segments in Asia, Australia and the Middle East.” Meanwhile, the Hamburg-based event and public relations agency B.Kleidung also is organizing a fair of commercial women’s and men’s wear labels to be held in the vicinity of Bread & Butter in Berlin Spandau Jan. 21-23. Organizers expect about 30 brands at the inaugural show — and the focus to be on order writing. — Melissa Drier