By  on February 10, 1994

DUSSELDORF -- There was more fashion to see and there were more buyers than ever to see it as the fall-winter season got off to a highly promising start at the CPD trade show here.

According to show management, about 54,000 buyers came to the four-day fair, which closed Wednesday, compared with 48,000 last year.

Although German retailers have a weak December and January behind them, "their mood was surprisingly good. They've been able to finally clear out their stock," German ready-to-wear giant Klaus Steilmann reported of his domestic customers.

Moreover, retailers here are ready for something new, noted Pradeep Virmani, founder and designer of the German contemporary Virmani collection. "Formerly, retailers here did good business and didn't want to change anything. They wouldn't take risks, but now they're ready to accept new ideas," he said.

The German rtw industry has been hard at work to offer a broader range of fabrics, shapes and fashion orientations for fall/winter as it begins to pick up on "occasion dressing."

Although moderately priced and moderately styled apparel remains the German forte, collections have shed their narrow, tailored city-wear emphasis to include more overtly feminine city separates, rugged country weekend looks and romantic themes for day and evening.

Intricate detailing and novelty touches such as beading, embroidery, fringe, velvet or fur accents have given spice to even the most basic coordinates. So has the expanded array of fabrics, going from crinkle crepes and sheer wools to sueded cottons and natural tweeds, all to be freely mixed and layered.

Long looks continue to share the spotlight for fall with the mini, now reemerging in a new A-line. Pants, the all-important sales leaders, continue in slim, shorter, wide and flowing pajama silhouettes. The dress made an impact in Empire and trapeze styles, knit slinks, evening sheaths and schoolgirl jumpers. The neo-blazer category ranges from short, waisted looks and cropped boleros to long cutaways. Outerwear has gone primarily short, except for the continuation of the officer's coat.

The whole fair looked perkier; manufacturers exhibiting in the halls seemed to have invested more time and money on their stands. The halls, 12 in all, were also far easier to shop. The Igedo show management reorganized them into clearer and more consistent market segments, such as halls for modern woman, young fashion, separates and knitwear, and two new areas for the growing country market, including traditional folkloric resources.

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