NEW YORK — Get ready to relax. According to Angelo Uslenghi, trend director for Moda In, primary themes for the spring-summer 2004 season will be harmony with nature, well-being and pleasure. He said the three key trends will be Soothing, Sun Burnt and Tonic.

For Soothing, the palette is watercolor-like with diluting effects, ethereal appearances and pastel camouflage. “The feeling for color mixes very transparent hues with more mineral-like neutrals,” said Uslenghi. “It’s relaxed and fresh.”

Fabrics for Soothing are floaty as well with streaked muslins, chiffons and crepes as well as batiste linens, silk charmeuses and cotton voiles. Patterns include faded and yellowed “cloud” prints, shaded embroidery, tapestry jacquards as well as burn-out and open techniques. Also important, noted Uslenghi, are coats of color on already dyed fabrics. “Touches of rose, lavender, lemon and mint give a beautiful bathed in pastel look,” he said.

For Sun Burnt, more exotic feelings arise. Colors are earthy with bright orange and pearl white as accents. “There’s a Robinson Crusoe theme,” he added. “But it’s very chic — very primitive and handcrafted looking, but sophisticated at the same time.” Raw cottons, linens, and silks feature variegated stripes and marled, streaked patterning while torn jerseys and rustic gauzes have sun-dried and faded effects. Roped and corded accents are also seen throughout the group. “Yarns are coarse and cabled,” said Uslenghi. “Sailor knots and braids are also included.”

Other accents include mother-of-pearl-like touches on raw, rustic and opaque grounds that give “precious contrast,” while prints include iridescent looks on cotton as well as gold graffiti. Many of the textures in Sun Burnt are grainy and sand-like.

Tonic, meanwhile, gives off a feeling of energy and frivolity. “The colors are very strong and flashy with dark contrasts,” Uslenghi continued. “Inspiration came from the ’50s and ‘La Dolce Vita.’” Cottons include poplin, piqué, matelassé and cloqué. Patterns include ginghams, stripes and dots, while textures are lighthearted with lots of seersucker and cross stitched embroidery on the edge of clothing.

A sport theme is also seen in Tonic where performance fabrics such as bi-stretch twills, piqué jersey and neoprene emulate the surfer and skater lifestyle. Contrasting color blocks in addition to graphic, geometric pop art looks are prevalent. Finally, ethnic touches abound as well with modern-day looks infused with African, Asian and Latin influences. “Just a touch is all you need such as a golden arabesque motif on the border of a piece,” said Uslenghi. Other examples include tone-on-tone batiks, silky madras and lacquered stripes with a Chinese feel.

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