By  on May 24, 1994

NEW YORK -- The big news in Europe's use of rayon these days is novelty yarns.

That was the word from Barbara Gropper, fashion marketing manager of Courtaulds Fibers, during the company's first formal forecast workshops.

The sessions started with invitational meetings and now are held by appointment in Courtaulds' offices here through June. Entitled "Rayon Runs Through Europe," Gropper's presentation includes slides she took while visiting department stores and boutiques in Barcelona, Paris and London, as well as about 20 apparel samples, all aimed at providing directional news for spring 1995. Ribs, crepes and crepe looks, jerseys and sheers -- some in blends with stretch yarns -- were prominent fabrics.

Novelty yarns, she noted, are taking on new dimension with a diversity of deniers, high-twist constructions and various types of finishing.

These yarns are being made into various silhouettes she saw at retail in Europe, including T-shirts, bodysuits, pants and skirts, using fine-denier rayon and microfiber rayon knits.

Color, she also noted, is more prevalent than in the past few seasons, with the Europeans adding various hues to the neutrals, which have recently dominated the scene.

"Customers want it," Gropper said. "The red browns, the dried cranberry and the orange-cast curry will enhance the neutrals that continue to be strong. The soft roses, dusted pinks and the yellows -- from banana to mustard -- will be important as well."

Putting together her observations into a forecast, Gropper said gauzy textures, sheers and lightweight fabrics will work for the relaxed layered looks -- such as the vest over a shirt worn with a skirt or pajama pants."There are so many options for the look," the executive said, noting that the prints that made some of these relaxed, layered, long fluid garments particularly feminine were large spaced florals combined with denser coordinating mini florals. Structured tailoring also was combined with the fluid looks, she said, as a fluid tunic over tailored pants or as a structured jacket over a long soft skirt, in such fabrics as rayon crepe, rayon poplins or twills.

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