MODERN TIE-DYE STYLE
The sixties were umpteen million years ago, and one of the major results of that unique moment in American history is: no, not political and social upheaval and war; no, not the musical revolution, but the stuff of legend: True Fashionista tie-dye. As 2021 rapidly approaches, we ask, is tie dye still a thing? It’s still very much an activity, probably more so these days in quarantine situations. However, do they still carry cred on the street?
The Japanese art of Shibori, a precursor to modern tie-dye, surged in popularity a few years ago, reports Chrissy Callahan for Today, and tie-dye showed up on both the 2019 and 2020 spring runways. "Project Runway" even dedicated an entire episode to the groovy print earlier this year. Tie-dye, it turns out, has been on a hot streak, ranking as one of 2020’s hottest fashion trends. From Kwaidan Editions’ cult-hit spiral T-shirt in 2017 to the fetishization of Grateful Dead shirts by streetwear-loving tastemakers like Jonah Hill and Quavo, tie-dye never quite seems to fade (True Fashionista funny). Late last year a shot of Rihanna sporting a one-off tie-dye dress by Asai went so crazy viral that she put it into production, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to charities that support Black Lives Matter.
Ultimately, quarantine has brought out the tie-dye artist in many, including the rainbow pieces modeled recently on Instagram by Hailey Bieber (Mrs. Justin if you’re nasty), where she introduced the world to hubby’s new tie-dye collection for his Drew clothing line. Vans has been marketing some groovy tie-dye lace-up sneaks, and Madewell’s oversized tie-dyed edition of its jean jacket is trés popular, especially with cooler weather in the air. From swim trunks to hoodies, dresses like the Tiare Hawaii Lilikoi version, there’s room for tie-dye in everyone’s wardrobes at the moment.
Jonah Weiner, co-founder of fashion newsletter Blackbird Spyplane, affirms that tie-dye clothing evokes thoughts of “music festivals, jam-band tours, and other posi-vibed mass gatherings, all of which COVID made impossible and which we're feeling especially nostalgic for as a result.”
Tie-dye’s resurgence in popularity was quite evident throughout spring/summer 2021 resort shows, Veronique Hyland reports for Elle, albeit in a subdued yet exciting True Fashionista way with updates by Dior, Chanel and Gabriela Hearst among the many presenting tie-dye creations for the season. Dior featured a touch on a jacket collar or skirt hemline, while Hearst’s line centered on overall prints in subdued, seasonal designs.
Then you’ve got the design companies going back to the roots to present their take on tie-dye. Fledgling Los Angeles-based purveyors Online Ceramics took a moment in summer 2018 from selling clay pieces to produce a bunch of tie-dye shirts to sell at Shakedown Street, the now-legendary tailgate marketplace that happened originally in Grateful Dead concert parking lots and now (um, or eventually once again) at Dead & Co. shows. Eager fans have been snapping them up ever since.
Label cofounder Elijah Funk shared with Naomi Fry for The New Yorker, “We’re trying to see how far you can stretch something to the point where it’s just, like, a mystery, and then it’s, like, rad.” He and business partner Alix Ross regularly sell out of their True Fashionista merch both on the street and online, so keep a heads up for availability.
Today also shared the story of Jackie Pepper Green, who runs a Philadelphia-based tie-dye company called Dye It Pepper. "The tie-dye process is therapeutic for me, Jackie offers, “I find it very soothing and it gives me the perfect outlet to create unique art while totally zoning out. Life can get really loud sometimes and it’s so important to me to be able to have that escape and that time to myself." In addition to its tie-dyed products, Pepper Green offers a "sacs by Jac" service to customers where she dyes a bag full of white items for a flat price and at-home tie-dye kits. Ten percent of the proceeds help out the nonprofit No Kid Hungry.
Go ahead, show off that tie-dye fashion, and if you’re not in the DIY mood to risk a month of multi-colored hands, swing by True Fashionistas in-store or online, to peruse our continuously updated selection of tie-dye fashion.