GRUNGE and retro-mania are out. Gone too is the sharp, overdone power dressing of seasons past. That's the message from the Paris pret-a-porter shows for spring/summer 1994. Instead it's time to think of the bottom line and play it safe with a mix and match selection of clothes which appeal to the widest audience. This week's shows have shown that the exaggerated shoulders, bizarre fabrics and outlandish posturing of the late 80s are finished - at least for next season. Clothes for next year offer softness and a more sensuous attitude to dressing. Materials caress as well as cover the body, while last year's flower power has moved on to subtle prints. The ''something for everyone'' theme ran through most collections - long and short skirts, skinny and wide pants - as designers hedged their bets. One designer paying little heed to recession was Christian Lacroix who provided a luxury line of wearable art in a stand-out collection. His mixture of prints, lace, knits and styles pushed creativity to the limit although retailers said that they would have to pull the outfits apart and put them together in a less arresting manner to make them work at street level. Included in the Lacroix collection were wide-legged pants, Empire waistlines and bouffant mini-dresses. Patterns ranged from long-stemmed flowers and Swedish peasant prints to bold stripes. The dazzling combinations of prints mesmerised but proved somewhat overwhelming given that Lacroix did not focus on any single style. Christian Dior's collection provided a showcase for the talents of Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre. Sleek and chic summed up the mood with Ferre producing a strong line in flared skirts with tight leather jackets. A safari-inspired line featured oversized blouses, leggings, short and long skirts in creamy coffee and beige while his pantsuits offered wide, roomy trousers teamed with a long ''dandy''-inspired jacket and halter top. Tight shorts appeared under tent-shaped tops while flirty polka-dot cut-outs on black tops sat above loose, short pants. But it was Ferre's eveningwear that earned him a standing ovation: little black dresses over short skirts with delicate silver beading; and high-necked white chiffon blouses worn with perfectly pleated flared skirts that moved in just the right way. At Lanvin, Dominique Morlotti - who previously designed the men's line for Dior - used his experience to good effect. Using light wool gabardine, Morlotti created a long, lean look for stylishly-cut pinafore skirts worn under tailored frock coats. Pin-striped pants, wide or pencil-thin, were teamed with sexy waistcoats. But it was Lanvin's saffron and spice-inspired line that made the audience sit up and take notice. Loose, flowing shirt jackets in cinnamon and paprika georgette were teamed with narrow linen trousers and silk waistcoats. Morlotti's eveningwear consisted of black crepe dresses with scooped necklines that perfectly cupped the bosom. Colours and fabrics were tender, a melange of silk, satin, chiffon and organza which flowed together effortlessly. Silk crepe suits with wide chiffon lapels in shades of cream provided a touch of luxury while over-sized cuffs, from which dangled short strands of pearls, provided the glitz for an understated yet classy line. Paco Rabanne's latest collection was clearly geared towards a younger market. Unlike the supermodels used on other catwalks, Rabanne's models put aside perfectly-coiffed hairdos and sultry pouts for a fresh-faced, fun-filled approach. The designer's ready-to-wear line is not yet available in Hong Kong, a pity as he is already a hit in Japan and Europe. To the strains of Saturday Night Fever the models - with only a touch of glitter in their make-up - paraded clothes that were eminently wearable if not startlingly new. Rabanne stuck to cleanly-cut jackets in cream and black with his trademark mesh-and-metal numbers reappearing in touches or as garments on their own. Also included were slinky jersey dresses, ribbed knitted tops and pants with crochet insets with Rabanne's only concession to prints astrological motifs on hemlines and sleeves. For evening he offered a dress featuring little more than a wisp of jersey, a metallic bustier and a large cutout revealing almost the entire stomach. There was pandemonium and a mad scramble for seats when the doors finally opened for Karl Lagerfeld's show, in which the designer's current obsession with stretch chiffon was revealed. Relying on a hotch-potch of pseudo-punk, Louis XIV and heavy metal styles for effect, Lagerfeld put guests through a 25-minute assault on the senses. The music was too loud and the multi-coloured strobe lights a nuisance. but by the end of it, he had proved his point: fashion is for fun and should always amuse. That his collection certainly did. Models had their hair brushed into conical shapes, piled two feet high, or adorned with ringlets in a different colour. Skinny stiletto heels caused two models to almost lose their composure and another to look as if tottering down the catwalk caused her physical pain. Lagerfeld broke all conventions with his anything goes collection. Brightly-coloured bras and briefs were placed on plain black ''bodies'' with a frock coat added on top. The ubiquitous long-sleeved, mesh-like stretch chiffon black sheath was pulled over maillots and then pulled off again; worn over crotch-hugging shorts and tiny mini-skirts; and placed under short-sleeved jackets for a look that was street-smart and almost frivolous. Fun? Absolutely. But with the general mood of the ready-to-wear collections focused on sober reality of recessionary times, the question is will it sell?