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PARIS — Vivid colors, graphic prints and feminine silhouettes have enlivened many collections here, as designers tap into the pretty, carefree attitude sweeping through fashion for spring. Veronique Leroy, for example, in her second season at Leonard, continued to rejuvenate the brand with cute, sexy Seventies-style confections. The house’s signature prints came in delicate washed-out pastels or bright flower patterns in the form of everything from chiffon sundresses to swimsuits and linen coats. Standouts included a tight, plunging tank dress and a floating pastel pleated gown.

A winner of the prestigious Hyeres fashion prize, Christian Wijnants made a fine runway debut. He combined yellow and pink chiffon in pleated shorts and jodhpurs, and used Egyptian patterns on short-sleeved tunics. His heavy ribbed knits and sporty trousers had a feminine appeal.

Charles Anastase, who won France’s Andam grant this year, also made his runway debut. Working an “Alice in Wonderland” theme, his jackets and pleated skirts were shrunken, and his color palette included powder blue, yellow and pink. An accomplished illustrator, Anastase featured pieces printed with ultra-realistic faces he had sketched.

Berlin’s conceptual Bless label — designed by Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag, who are also Andam grant recipients — staged its first runway show, amid a video installation of people walking on the sidewalk. The models were meant to mirror real life as well, and they strutted out pell-mell in what seemed like everyday clothes. Though the lighting was bad, one could discern some details, including sly zippers and fabric combinations, that made these clothes far from ordinary.

In his program notes, Issey Miyake designer Naoki Takizawa said he was inspired by makeup — an interesting point of departure, to say the least. This translated into powdery stains on crisp white cotton jackets, or classic Prince of Wales suits sprayed with colors evocative of eye shadow. There was a retro feeling in the flowers appliquéd on tops and draped dresses, and an ethnic flavor in the African-inspired jewelry and scarification stitching on tops and skirts.

Ethnic inspirations were also abundant at Isabelle Marant, who mixed African embroidered boots with cowgirl looks. Ribbed underwear, for instance, was worn under a waistcoat and with cropped denim pants, while checked dresses were embroidered with silver threads and sequins. Victorian blouses came with matching skirts and delicate dresses and bikinis of crocheted lace had an antique feeling.

This story first appeared in the October 8, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

German Lutz Huelle, known as Lutz, gave his familiar deconstructed looks more feminine charm this season. Suit jackets were slit up the sleeve; a tailored black dress was backless, and unstructured denim tops were draped from the shoulders. He also revisited classics, in the form of cropped trenchcoats and a simple white coat with a Victorian collar. The highlight: a graceful cobra-print dress.

Gaspard Yurkievich’s good collection was feminine, too, with inventive dresses decorated with bows, silver sequined skirts and bustier tops with sequins. Yurkievich gave the line an edgy twist with tiny bustier tops of ripped chiffon and lingerie tops.

Belgian Bruno Pieters showed chiffon dresses, sequined tops and slouchy wraparound trousers. A pink skirt featured ruffles, a brown leather jacket was detailed at the shoulders and the gowns that closed the show were short in back and long in front.

Finally, Nicolas Andreas Taralis — a former assistant to Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme — made his freshman runway outing, which featured masculine-style tailoring, in a dank club on the Left Bank. There were tattered jeans with simple tops and sharp jackets that had a rock ’n’ roll edge.