NEW YORK —The fall 2003 trend presentation from the Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium focused on leather looks that featured both a return to tradition and old-world rich- ness,as well as tyles that touched on a free spirit.

The three themes for the sea- son,according to Angelo Uslenghi, European trend consultant,were Endurance Test,Refined Style and Fun Time.

"Endurance Test promotes strength and determination," said Uslenghi.The color palette combines five warmer,burnt tones with five cooler,more oxi- dized ones.A variety of treat- ments,meanwhile,gives the hides in this group a selection of textures from lumpy and grainy looks,hammered workmanship and embossing to tire-tread pat- terns,andpaper-looking finish- es and lava-like,black-tar looks.

"There ’s a strong energy as- sociated with these looks,"con- tinued Uslenghi."Many of the textures look burnt,like they are ashes on the hide."

Prints in this group were folk- loric in nature and include bro- cade,damask and baroque motifs.

More understated than Endur- ance Test,Refined Style drew in- fluences from bohemian chic. Colors in that group included five cosmic gray-blue hues and five others with a violet cast."The feeling for color is very witch- craft,"aid Uslenghi.Treatments abounded in this group with,for instance,a atin ilk-like polish or a color veil of pewter,as well as ash gray tints that gave a misty and dusty effect."Moire urfaces are also important,"he added, "as are diamond and hexagon shapes and patterns."

Fun Time had a feeling of hippie chic and juvenile pirit. Colors were weet and bright, and surfaces were sugary and grainy,with touches of gilding.

"The textures are influenced by candy,"aid Uslenghi."There are glazed surfaces on rainbow color combinations."The fun continued,he added,with gold- en foils,laminates and powders on top of festive colors.Flocking in gold gave a velvet effect while handicraft,patchwork and arti- sanal braiding added to the group ’s hippie theme.

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