By  on April 28, 2008

NEW YORK — Inspired by the romance and retro fashion of the famed Edith Piaf song "La Vie en Rose," Invista Inc. kicked off its semiannual intimate apparel workshop at the company's offices here on Thursday.

Marie Dekens, marketing manager for Invista's intimate apparel business, said while a number of ideas were gleaned from the fall-winter trade show Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris in February, as well as ready-to-wear trends, the SIL slide show presentation, concept pieces and brands such as Wacoal Asia, Chantelle, La Perla, Olga and Warners represented a seasonless look. Several concept pieces for Invista were designed exclusively under commission by Joyce Baran Design LLC.

"There was an overriding theme of retro style at SIL with strong influences from the flapper era," Dekens said. "Everything was pink and decadent — it reflected 'La Vie en Rose.' I would like to play Piaf's songs during the presentations to inspire the retro mood. Nature also was a very big inspiration for design for visual use."

The seductive format of vintage-inspired styles, colors and embellishments from the Twenties, Thirties and Forties, underscored three themes:

l Sheer Art, feather-light undergarments in transparent and semiopaque silhouettes that are inspired by artistic touches such as Claude Monet florals and Jackson Pollack's splatter effect, as well as geometric prints and graffiti motifs in milky undertones and soft neutrals like putty and pink. The key fabric is Lycra Xtra Fine Fiber, which offers invisible support, gives the illusion of transparency and has a soft hand.

l Night Scapes exudes a sultry mood with theatrical, nonconformist styles in dull and shiny metallics, and satin and silks that have a liquid shimmer. Top colors are black and rich brights including electric blue, rouge and fuchsia, all rendered in Lycra Black Fiber, which gives black fabrics a "blacker black" and provides richer and brighter shades, said Dianne Lober, marketing communications manager.

l Nature Redefined, focused on botanical prints such as fern, palm and leaf patterns, as well as tribal motifs that covered the gamut from exotic patterned laces to paisleys and Batik effects. The color palette is anchored in sand and sea hues. The key fabrics: Lycra freshFX Fiber and Fabric, which has wicking properties, and Lycra T-179M Fiber that offers seamless technology with a relaxed fit and a soft hand and can be combined with Lycra freshFX for wicking effects.Addressing the Sheer Art theme, Michelle Rice, global segment manager for intimate apparel and swimwear, noted, "You can do fun things with it by layering it and also seeing really fine fabrics in certain areas of a garment, such as a molded cup contrasted against the sheer [side] wings of a bra."

Dekens said the workshop will be by appointment for major retailers, manufacturers, mills and designers until May 7, after which group sessions will run through May.

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