NEW YORK — The color palette for spring-summer 2003 is going to warm up the season, according to James Siewert, manager of trend direction at Celanese Acetate.

This story first appeared in the July 2, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

At the company’s most recent Directives trend presentation, Siewert touched on both color and fabric trends. “An overall visual of richer colors exists in each of the four color stories, utilizing both tonal and contrast effects,” he said.

Fabric plays a key role with the use of both knits and wovens adding character to these colors. “The influence of texture and luster impact the depth in each category,” he added.

He sketched out four color groups: Darks, Neutrals, Midtones and Brights. Darks included a mix of natural colors from the land and sea, with intense browns and vegetal greens as well as water-based blues.

“Adding white to the browns works for spectator separates while working the blues with them offers rich stripes and accent trims,” said Siewert. In this group, he said that ink blue replaced black as a classic.

Neutrals is the quietest group in the selection, according to Siewert, yet he characterized it as extremely multi-purpose. The group included tones of pale mint, pink and blue. “These tones can be base colors for summer sportswear or used in knits in a textural way,” he said.

The Midtones group featured a warm range that included a berry red, a fluorescent-like orange, a brighter pink and a melon color. This group, noted Siewert, accented the Darks range for less formal sportswear and could also be used with the Neutrals group for topweight options.

The Brights group included “pure color for activewear-inspired designs as well as silky-hand separates from day to evening,” continued Siewert. This group featured high-voltage reds, oranges, yellows and greens. The group worked with all the other categories, he said, allowing for tonal and contrast mixing. In addition, he said the colors could also be used as tools for print, trim or as contemporary designs in base cloths. “Simple knit topweights are necessary summer items in these colors,” said Siewert.

He grouped fabrics into three categories: Weightless, Surfaced and Cozy. The Weightless group included tissue-thin taffetas with a crisp hand as well as decorative sheers. “The mood here is one of classic lines and contemporary mixing in separates,” he added.

The Surfaced group was an important category of dimensional weaves that remain fluid in hand, he said. Crushed or crinkled surfaces would be strong for topweights and more contemporary separates in this group, noted Siewert. Weave effects were key with irregular or slubbed yarns adding a rustic hand while still remaining light for sportswear and neatly tailored designs.

The Cozy group offered a comfort factor in warm-hand fabrics that allowed for luster, pattern and a more elegant touch, “even when worked in contemporary separates for a visual effect.” Velours and velvets — patterned, plain or crushed — could be new “necessities,” according to Siewert, when paired with classic denim or twill bottomweights.”