Yesterday’s journalist task was a day trip to the Peugeot Citroen design centre just south of Paris.

We were there to take a closer look at the Citroen REVOLTe concept, and talk to the designers involved. However, we were also allowed a sneek look inside Citroen’s colour and trim department, something that’s rarely permitted.

Colour and trim departments are much more in sync with the fashion world than any other part of the car industry, but it was a surprise to see the variety of influences.

Wild Italian fashion shoes and even Cola energy drinks have influenced the colour treatments of recent Citroen concepts. It also uses fashion prediction reports that claim to accurately predict the way that fashion will shift on a seasonal basis.

Unsurprisingly, the department spends a lot of time and effort on colour and mixes its own creations with the design centre’s own paint technicians.

Colour and trim designers (those in the Citroen studio seemed slightly spooked by the arrival of a herd of journalists) rarely get any public acknowledgment, unlike their stylist colleagues, but their influence on the world of design can be huge.

For example, one of Britain’s most influential ‘fashion’ designers is Kim Brisbane, whose work is spread across the globe. She’s probably as influential as any British handbag designer, but you’ve probably never heard of her.

In fact, Brisbane has been in charge of colour and trim for the Mk3 Range Rover since its inception. You won’t, though, see her being lauded for her work in the fashion magazines.