As 90s fashion and culture is experiencing a comeback, tie dye is firmly established as a major current trend. The catwalks have been full of fabrics dyed according to this ancient technique, with pioneers Proenza Schouler and Isabel Marant incorporating it into their spring / summer shows for 2011 and 2012 respectively. But instead of using the bright neon colours and psychedelic patterns associated with the 1960s and 1990s, current re-interpretations of the pattern are less loud and therefore more wearable; they even come with an updated name: dip dye.
The technique, that is also sometimes referred to as shibori or batik, became popular on a mass scale in the 1990s, but had gained its first adoration in the west during the 1960s when hippies were interested in arts, crafts and colourful clothes with psychedelic patterns. Tie dye has been practiced across the globe in Asia, West Africa and South America as early as 500 AD and is achieved through the folding and tying together of fabric that is then dipped into dyes. Dip dye, on the other hand, does without the folding and produces a more ‘cloud-like’, rather than ‘ray-like’ pattern.
LNA’s dip dye tees come in beautiful hues that stay true to the brand’s effortlessness. Rather than dyed throughout, certain parts of a garment have been emphasised, such as hems and necklines, making for chic and aesthetic items of clothing that don’t look bonkers. The tees in shades of black, brown and white can be matched with just about anything in your wardrobe. With tie or dip dye, anything goes and this is precisely where its appeal lies. It nods to 1990s grunge where the mismatching of tones, patterns and fabrics was encouraged. LNA’s collection makes for more stylish combinations and won’t leave you looking as if you got dressed in the dark.
Another appeal of the dyeing technique is the element of surprise it brings when creating a pattern in a DYI process at home. Every piece is unique. For those who do not wish to get their hands dirty, even commercially produced fabrics are one-of-a-kind. Both tie and dip dye offers the possibility to wear an item that is in line with our culture’s high value on individuality.
LNA’s second drop as part of the Spring 2013 collection are coming into UK stores this week. They are available at ASOS, among other retailers.