THE G-string, garter-belt, stockings and stilettos were all black. So was the male model, in lingerie, grinding his skinny hips to the beat of I'm Just A Sweet Transvestite from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This was not a preview for Jean-Paul Gaultier's latest press blitz. It wasn't even Paris. Heralding Spring/Summer '96 with a bang at Igedo's Collections Premieren Dusseldorf (CPD) was the house of Marc Cain, fast emerging as one of Europe's most popular labels. More cross-dressing came in the Johann Stockhammer show with a couple of pseudo-sirens in voluminous wigs and hour-glass gowns, but Nikos Apostolopoulos, the Greek bodywear star, had no time for ambiguity. The stage was plunged into darkness, then - burst of applause - an intertwined Adam and Eve, without fig leaves, were captured in a circle of white light. For three frenetic days this month, the world's biggest fashion trade fair proved it had its own brand of excitement. Indeed some reckon Igedo's mega event, the CPD, has an edge on the Hallowed Two. 'It's more directional than Paris and Milan,' insisted one foreign buyer. 'Here, you really see the trends, not a circus for the press.' Marketable fashion spiced with showbiz is Igedo's style. It is slicker than ever and the CPD, incorporating Igedo Dessous/Igedo Beach (lingerie and swimwear) is a sure new season guide. If red is your colour, rejoice. It is everywhere for Spring/Summer '96, followed closely by every shade of green, from emerald to olive. Brights are often combined - flame, hot pink and orange make a sizzling trio - leaving the bland and the bleached for dead. In prints, bold black and white geometrics are a favourite, followed by excursions into the jungle and rain forests. Belts, wispy and wide, are back. They define 40s and 50s dresses and suits whose more austere versions, with their prim knee-length skirts, are unlikely to win favour in Asia. The same goes for the sheer tops which some designers continue to add for brazen contrast, though there are plenty of chic alternatives which celebrate the bosom - halternecks, corselets, boob-tubes and a profusion of fetching bodywear. Short but decorous skirts are favoured, with micro and midi-lengths given little play. Knits are ultra-fine - as usual, Marc Cain provided the best - and while ecology-conscious fabrics still have the edge, the season will see plenty of high-tech plastics and elastics. Jackets are cut to follow contours and pants are tailored to look svelte, if a touch severe. For light relief there are the short kilts and tank dresses, plus numerous variations of the safari look. For the evening, Hollywood glamour a la Harlow and Hayworth is revived in lashings of gold lame and sexy silhouettes, though the classic romantic gown - moulded bodice and long, luxuriant skirts - is equally popular. Black verges on passe except when contrasted with white for Op Art drama. Otherwise, the emphasis is on colour, whether in brights or shimmering iridescent pastels. Nine major collections - among them, international favourites Escada, Laurel, Bogner and Mondi - a sensational Igedo Dessous/Igedo Beach Show complete with a London dance/modelling team and the Nikos Gala featuring a bevy of bodies to kill for, left buyers with ample choice. Especially strong were the collections from Escada and Dusseldorf-based Italian designer Tristano Onofri, with the former replacing its trademark kitsch with a much cleaner, sharper image and the latter impressing with a near-exhaustive range that fell somewhere between Gianfranco Ferre and America's Bob Mackie, yet still came across as distinctive. Like Marc Cain, Onofri is ripe for worldwide exposure. Those who didn't make it to Dusseldorf will be able to sample something of the magic in Hong Kong next January when Europe Selection, combining the expertise of Igedo, Milan and Florence's Ente Moda Italia, joins forces with Hong Kong Fashion Week '96 - in effect, a fair within a fair. 'It will be the first time merchandise from Europe is exhibited in Asia in a really major way - a big, big change,' promises Igedo chief Manfred Kronen.