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Tie-dye is back, but this time without the hippie vibe.
This story first appeared in the August 1, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Designers worked the look in various sporty ways for resort, and manipulated them via prints rather than those traditional twist-and-dip methods.
“You think of tie-dye as being raggedy, crinkly and hippie, but I wanted to make it more modern and cleaner,” says Nicole Miller, who, inspired by a recent surfing trip to Belize, featured tie-dye in almost every one of her 25 Artelier looks. Prototypes were dyed by hand old-school style, then screen-printed digitally for production. “Because you can now engineer it, it can be exactly what you want it to be,” Miller adds.
Rebecca Minkoff looked to surf culture, using watercolored tie-dye motifs on clothes and handbags. For one bag, an Italian tannery hand-painted the leather in pinks and purples and then lizard-embossed it. “Tie-dye on mixed materials exudes a more updated take on its Sixties origins,” says Minkoff.
RELATED STORY: Tie-Dye Through the Years >>
While the practice is synonymous with the Sixties, the method dates back to pre-Inca Peru and has had various iterations in India, Africa and Japan, where, in the latter, a similar dyeing method called Shibori was used for kimonos. Still, it’s that crafty, homemade vibe that some designers went for this season.
Take Suno’s retro sunburst print on a viscose T-shirt. Erin Beatty said she and codesigner Max Osterweis “wanted to take a traditional dye process and tweak and modernize it, mess it up a bit through a more digitized look.”
Jen Kao, meanwhile, took an arty route, putting some of her clothes through a double process of acid-washing and “crunch-overdye” for an effect that was actually meant to resemble a mountainous landscape. “I wanted the collection to look like something a girl could have done herself,” Kao says.
Current/Elliott evoked a similar spirit, combining tie-dye and stonewashing techniques on shirts, and twisted and dip-dyed ones for shorts. “The new tie-dye is muted and less psychedelic,” says chief executive officer and creative director Serge Azria. “It’s more relevant and easily incorporated in a high-low outfit.”
MODEL: JESSIE/WILHELMINA; HAIR BY NATASHA LEIBEL/ARTISTS BY TIMOTHY PRIANO; MAKEUP BY ANOLI USING MAKE UP FOR EVER/AIM BEAUTY MANAGEMENT; FASHION ASSISTANTS: KATHERINE BESOZZI AND MEGHAN PRESSMAN; PHOTO ASSISTANT: MADDY BOARDMAN