NEW YORK--DuPont explored fashion through the ages at its latest ready-to-wear spring-summer 2003 trends workshop, called Evolution of Style."The Evolution of Style is about the rich legacy of style that has been passed down to us through time and from which we now glean as we form and shape 21st-century style," offered Roseann Forde, fashion director at DuPont.The presentation centered around three themes: Polished Pretty, Natural Soul and Dynamic Spirit.Polished Pretty was influenced by the Victorian era with its fragile femininity, as well as the languid styles of the Thirties. "What both these eras encompass is a time of letting go of imposed restrictions and an emergence of unique personal styles," said Forde.The color palette in this trend included soothing pales combined with neutrals. Fabrics included novelty textured knits that played off smooth, lustrous wovens such as satin, sateen and jacquard.Natural Soul took inspiration from the diversity of culture from the far corners of the world, according to Forde. "Some date back to ethnic traditions, while others are more practical and conducive to individual expression," she said.Colors for Natural Soul included vivid, rich and spicy hues as well as neutralized and metallic tones for an "Out of Africa" update, according to Forde.For fabrics, the group included touches of folklore in embroideries and ethnic florals. The group also celebrated Western looks with gypsy and cowgirl designs that featured floral patterns.The Dynamic Spirit put the focus on 21st-century style. She said that active-sportswear inspiration continues to move out of the gym and into urban avenues. "Dynamic Spirit addresses the issue of innovation in the treatment of sportswear, how we use it and the new combinations of fabrics and technologies we need to create truly dynamic looks," said Forde.Technologies such as DuPont's new T400 polyester for relaxed stretch, crease retention, low shrinkage and color fastness as well as Tactel Prisma nylon, which creates innovative bicolor heather effects with varying degrees of luster, are two such examples, she noted.Colors in this group had an "offbeat activewear sensibility," where chrome yellow and raspberry are worked with more traditional blues and greens, she said.

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