By  on May 14, 2007

NEW YORK — The semiannual Invista workshop for lingerie is featuring a seasonless vignette of themes that range from soft and sensual to retro hand-crafted workmanship and cyber-tech looks.

Called "Intimate Innovations," the two-week workshop runs through Friday. Retailers, designers and merchandisers also can see the presentation by appointment during the next several weeks, said Iris LeBron, a trend consultant whose background includes fashion director of intimates at Invista and its former nameplate, DuPont Textiles & Interiors.

The seminar examines directional trends for the fall and spring 2008 with three themes: Future Perfect, Lightly Crafted and Sensuous Beauties. The trend information is presented on fabric swatches, trend boards, prototype garments, key items purchased in Europe and a slide presentation of runway shows, as well as the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris, and the Lyon, Mode City show in Lyon, France.

The Future Perfect theme focuses on what LeBron described as "cyber chic" with fabrics that give intimate apparel a sexy, futuristic look similar to the Sixties sci-fi movie "Barbarella" starring Jane Fonda.

"We continue to see a lot of influence of lingerie in ready-to-wear, as well as rtw trends in lingerie," said LeBron.

Key ideas for the "galactic glam woman" include wet-looking ciré, corsetry that has the look of a gladiator's breast-plate, trapunto stitching, dimensional textured fabrics, open-work graphics, specialty strap treatments and cutouts through which bras peek through.

Many of these cyber looks are crossing over from rtw and activewear into intimates, where Invista's new X6300 nylon with an antiwicking application is expected to become an important innovation.

"The Asian, European and U.S. markets are all coming on board with X6300," said LeBron.

Key ideas include delicate guipure laces, combinations of sheer chiffons and laces, cross-stitch lace effects, textured scroll treatments and "little do-it-yourself crochet knits" that have a homespun flavor.

"The idea of special-looking knits are becoming so popular that knitting clubs are popping up everywhere," said LeBron.

Top crossover examples include "visual aids" from Sonia Rykiel, such as long layers of sheers and laces that allow girly looking briefs to be seen underneath, Venet's use of unbuttoned knit cardigans that reveal an embellished bra, Miu Miu's cardigan bodysuit and lacy scrollwork effects at Anna Sui and Betsey Johnson. Cross-stitch looks were prominent at both the La Perla and Lejaby intimates labels, as well as at Reza Shah swimwear. Adding another dimension of lightness to fabrics was Spanish maker Dogi's new "invisible collection with Lycra" spandex, she said.The Sensuous Beauties theme concentrates on the retro glam of Vargas-inspired pin-up girls.

"The Salon fair in Paris had the right ambience and environment to tell the story of pin-up and calender girls of the Fifties," she said.

This group focused on high-shine satins, embellished necklines, shirring and ruching, pinstripes, mixes of graphics and plaids and fancy embroideries on guipure lace. Kenzo [intimates] was a main inspiration with stripes of green, black and white, as well as Lisa's Follies, a young designer brand that featured a range of pink shades in varying textures, layerings, fabrics and laces.

The retro statement was tempered by sleek and sexy undergarments rendered in Black Lycra, a naturally sheer black elastane developed by Invista that achieves a significant reduction in the visibility of elastane in dark fabrics, eliminating the "grin-through effect" that affects the evenness and intensity of a color, said LeBron.

Dianne Lobar, Invista's marketing communications manager, noted that reaction to the Black Lycra adaptation into a range of fashion colors has been strong.

"Black Lycra makes colors brighter," Lobar said. "The color is woven in the fiber. It can never come out."

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