NEW YORK — The future of legwear looks rosy…and poppy red, chrome yellow and lime green.

These were just some of the fall 2003 legwear colors DuPont Textiles & Interiors presented during its bi-annual fashion and innovation workshop earlier this month. At the event, DTI executives provided an analysis of current ready-to-wear trends and fall forecasts to help its customers — manufacturers, designers and retailers — anticipate the next fall season.

In addition, the company showcased corresponding hosiery and sock collections, "to inspire newness and drive innovation in the marketplace," said Sharon Cook, retail marketing partner at DTI.

Doug Farmer, senior research associate in the global development team at DTI, added: "When we talk about our branded fibers and what they do, it makes more sense to talk about them in terms of garments, instead of holding up just a packet of yarns and fibers."

Among the rtw trends DTI cited were "Everyday Chic," consisting of soft, fluid dresses and sportswear in fabrics such as velvet and cashmere; "Establishment Revisited," which featured classic American looks inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and "Playful Planet," a group that takes its design cues from a variety of world regions, from Morocco to the Orient.

DTI centered its hosiery looks around five themed platforms:

Natural Selection: Focused on comfort and nature-inspired clothing — the top looks were legwarmers, chunky handknits, tweeds, marled yarns, crochets, heavy ribs and folkloric motifs. Yarns included chenille and cashmere.

It’s Better Than Bare: With ladylike dressing on the rise again, the well-dressed leg is slated for a comeback. Looks on tap included superfine sheers and opaques. Also of growing importance are silky and shimmery looks for anklets,knee and thigh highs.

Dangerous Curves: A key trend during the spring collections was the pencil skirt, which puts more emphasis on the waist. DTI showed body-shaping and curve-controlling hosiery designed with Lycra, for instance, as a likely trend next fall.

Visual Pleasure: Legwear continues to be considered a fashion accessory. Trends included an abundance of color, texture, pattern, shine, matching leggings-and-socks combinations, and coordinating tights and legwarmers.Active: Sport continues to be a key element, and DTI showcases socks suitable for active lifestyles, with more focus on Lycra, Coolmax, Thermolite, Supplex and Cordura.

Colors ranged from metallic mauves and berries to faded hues of loden, magenta and hot pink, contrasted by brights such as turquoise, chrome yellow, poppy and lime.

"[These fibers and innovations] will give people that make and sell hosiery something to show right at the time when consumers seem to be showing a renewed interest," Farmer said.

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