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Color multiplies with polkadots, checks and plaids. But stripes are the next significant graphic pattern, either printed simply on linen or constructed with contrasting leather trims. Designer inspirations also come from the kitchen colors of the 1960's of olive, turquoise and harvest gold.

Other decades, which influence this season's retro styling, include the flower power of the 1970's, the pearl and rhinestone treatment of the 1980's and, more significantly, the swing era of the 40's (with jump and jivin' dance shoes, dainty ankle straps, peek-a-boo toes, leather stacked wedges and spool heels)..

Important styles and silhouettes include dress tailored with slimmer, trimmer suit shoes; thongs in all categories from jellies to evening, and yes, boots for spring, this time light in both color and weight. Mary Janes continue from fall, but now as a sneaker or a backless slide. And, opened-up footwear takes a break with the Hampton espadrille and flats with jute or awning stripes.

For material interest, look to ostrich and python in the higher priced lines, which start in Fall 2000 and move into Spring in snakes, faux croc, animal printed leathers, crinkle patents and sleekly trimmed pony in tan. Leathers are dressier and smoother, not the dusty nubuc and distressed calfskin of season's past. And, designers are creating interest by mixing such materials as rubber, leather and vinyl into the same shoe.

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