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IP: an Issue at Asia Fashion Week
Helen Chantry

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The Asian Fashion Week hosted in Singapore's Expo Hall took off this week with exclusive viewings of the three-in-one clothing and fashion labels Next Asia, Buzz Asia and Labels Asia.

The Expo was an international event with branded collections from Australia, Brazil, England, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, London, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, Taiwan, USA and Vietnam.

A business matching service was available for buyers and trade visitors to increase business opportunities for the forthcoming Spring/Summer collections in 2006. Considered a fashion bridge between East and West, up to 5000 buyers from local regions and international greats such as the UK's House of Fraser attended.

The Asian Fashion Week focus was on quality which was more important that quantity and Next Asia's panel of experts were on the lookout for the star of the show as designers showed off their new creations.

Trends in fashion for Winter/Fall 2005 have seen an increase in textures, vibrant patterns and colors mixed with sequins and embroidery. The military styles previously favored by the top designers have been enhanced with softer and more flowing layers together with an emphasis on detail and stitching. Jewel colors are very popular in the high street stores for elaborate eveningwear as a contrast to the recent blacks and browns.

With new collection wedding dresses featured at the National Wedding Fair at Earl's Court, London UK colored in shades of citrus, a contrast to this year's abundance of pinks and reds, we are sure to be in for a colorful spring and summer 2006 as the ethnic mix continues.

As clothing imports continue to remain a focus for tax officials and with the issue of intellectual property rights a continuing problem for designers, some experts suggest creating patents of new concepts involved with clothing as the fashion industry often moves too quickly for patents to be applied in time to protect copyright.

Recent developments for the clothing industry include an awareness service run by HM Revenue and Customs on early compliance for emerging designers from colleges and on the catwalk shows in London. Called The Joint Fashion Industry Team (JOFIT), officers attend colleges and shows to discuss voluntary compliance to avoid fraud. Mr Vipani, one of the JOFIT officers at the London based office said that increased awareness of compliance amongst fashion and textile students was increasing as a result of the team's efforts.

For more information on voluntary compliance in the fashion and textile industry email

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