NEW YORK — Prato Expo’s fabric-trend forecast for the fall 2003 season focuses on emotions. Trend consultant Andrea Dall’Olio recently presented the forecast, which he grouped into eight emotional themes.

"They are all linked by exploring different feelings," he said. "Fashion is now about mixing elements together in a personal way."

The eight themes are: Softly, Tenderly, Soberly, Naturally, Profoundly, Differently, Mysteriously and Distantly.

Softly is anchored by a neutral, dusty color palette that includes beige, taupe, rose and gray, among others. "This look is all about fine materials, clean lines and a creative, personal simplicity for an everyday look based on opposites such as rough and refined, dry and soft or perfect and unfinished," Dall’Olio said. Fibers used for Softly include wool and cashmere, often blended together. Textures focus on loosely woven wools that are then felted, as well as slubbed surfaces, printed structured fabrics and mattelasse. Contrast, he added, is important, with shiny rayon yarn on matte wool, as well as other iridescent yarns mixed with rougher bouclé-like ones. Knits are airy and open and feature a variety of laces.

For Tenderly, summer colors abound. Sherberty shades of pastels such as yellow, pink and green highlight the more neutral side of the palette. "It’s a new romanticism that is dreamlike and virtual," Dall’Olio said. In this group, fabrics are fancier with a summer tweed being key. Prints, he added, are also important in this group on felts and cotton muslins. Open work is once again a factor, with primitive-looking wool lace and laser-cut felted wools. "What is important is the lightness and transparency of everything," he noted.

Work uniforms influenced the Soberly group with its palette of dark brown and blue tones. "The feel is denim and sports driven," Dall’Olio said. Cotton is prevalent and is either coated for function or patched with leather and shearling for a more updated look. Brushed fabrics in the group include a variety of corduroy, chenille and velvet. Woven patterns, meanwhile, mimic nature, and prints are featured on highly textured bases. Knits, said Dall’Olio, include fancy jerseys that look laser cut and embroidered effects on wool.For Naturally, the focus is country folk. "Festive colors and shades of revived traditions and folklore with modern details are important here," Dall’Olio said. The palette is bright with primary colors such as yellow, blue, green and red. Accents include native embroidery on denim, hand stitching and appliqués. Prints are traditional with floral and tapestry looks. Smaller jacquard patterns, meanwhile, are seen on knits, as are romantic damasks. Multicolored wool lace finishes off the selections.

Profoundly is intended to have an air of mystery. "It’s intensely feminine, with deep, seductive colors that are perfect for evening or anytime a woman wants luxury," Dall’Olio said. Color plays an important role in this theme with a group of deep, bordeaux-like browns, reds and purples. Velvet is key, with sculpted and embossed effects that give dimension. Other textural looks include metal nets and flocking on silk. Prints include faded florals as well as a selection of pigment prints on velvet.

Differently, the forecaster said, is a new approach to baroque inspiration. The colors are bright and rich, with shades of hot pink, deep purple, burnt orange and emerald green. Examples of fabrics include metallic brocades and laces. "There’s really a mix of looks," he continued. "Stripes and patterns are combined, paillettes are used, there’s even a touch of Lurex [metallic fibers] in a traditional plaid."

Largely masculine in feel, the Mysteriously theme features colors that are the darkest among all the groupings. Navy, black and a couple of browns are accented with a muted aqua blue and an acidy green yellow. "The fabrics and shapes in Mysteriously are inspired by athleticwear, which can be worked into eveningwear as well," Dall’Olio said. Different applications, such as flocking, are added to fabrics to give them a more sophisticated look. Many of the finishings, he added, are organic in nature, and shadow prints that give movement are also important.

Distantly is both exotic and refined. "It’s inspired by Africa and the Yves Saint Laurent collections of the Seventies and Eighties," he said. The palette is burnt with shades of red, brown, terra-cotta and ivory, as well as black. Surface interest is the focus of this grouping, with prints, perforations, studs and braids. "The look bears the trace of the human hand, " Dall’Olio continued. "It embodies multiple influences of other ages and cultures, from the Copts to the Masai; the fabrics tell tales of life amid savagery." Effects in this group include metallic finishes on velvet, embroidery that’s graffiti inspired, prints atop of plisse fabrics and jacquard patterns that mimic oxidation.

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