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Li Edelkoort goes with graphic

Li Edelkoort sees graphic colors ahead, particularly in blacks, whites and reds, said Emanuelle Linart, the New York-based director of Edelkoort Inc. "Black becomes interesting when you use shades of black," she said. However, a flat color is not enough, she added. "You need to put a texture along with the color to make it come alive … The material itself gives it color."

The white color story, with the motto "fighting for peace" behind it, includes shades of opal and gray. In that theme, white's tactile aspects are also of interest, like powdered chalk and spongy whipped cream.

These whites also border on decayed pastels, reminiscent of a boudoir, romantic feel. Because of the recession and war, she said, "people are spending more time in the home."

In the same way, flesh pinks will also be popular. "It's a different way to look at skin now — skin is our protection."

Beiges and wood colors have also emerged, she said. "We have a strong feel for sand. Beiges are being taken from the earth and desert, but they are not as sophisticated or luxurious as they used to be." Other types of browns, such as Amazon brown or a grainy pottery brown, are important.

Bright colors are also a key group, she said, because they allow people to escape and laugh. These colors are very cartoonlike, she said, very naive and childlike, and include yellow, turquoise, coral, green and orange.

Metallics remain strong as well, she said, though they are not really shiny, but may have an old, aged look or patina finish instead. Or they may have a tone-on-tone combination or a matte and shiny aspect.

"The whole feeling of the season is aggressive," she said. "The good times are over. It's not enough to be lazy — yoga and meditation are not enough. That's why martial arts is so popular now."

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