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Tie-Dye: At the Heart of This Year's Must-Have Motif

21 May 2019

Woodstock, Coachella, The Beach Bum… Forget everything you think you know about tie-dye, because this year, it's making a comeback that's more evolved than ever before. Since the 2018 runways, it has returned to its former glory due to a trending boom in surf culture and references. Brightly colored sweatshirts, shell necklaces, bike shorts, and Teva sandals are all back in a big way this season, but tie-dye's return to the style scene trumps them all by being that much more major. Today, it's overdone, delivered in small doses, simultaneously delicate and devastatingly cool, gender-neutral, and continues to inspire people with a feeling of freedom. 

8th century — Japanese Origins

Though it may seem to come from the modern era, tie-dye actually dates back several centuries. The first type of tie-dye, called “shibori,” originated in Japan. Garments were tied and then dyed using indigo, madder, or beetroot. The patterns we've found are circular, linear, and sometimes accompanied by embroidery on kimonos.  

1968 — Nonconformist Pacifism

While the music of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix reflected the ideals of human solidarity and freedom from morals, the fashion of the time was all about being handmade. Everyone created and personalized their clothing to express themselves. Tie-dye drew the American people’s attention to the fact that a revolution was sweeping the country at the time. It was a symbol of anti-establishment. Instead of merchandise featuring artists’ logos, tie-dye pieces were sold to raise funds to allow groupies to follow their idols on the road. 

1996 — From Peace-Loving Revolution to Cool Colours

The ‘90s generation continued to wear tie-dye in many other ways. Seen as slightly grunge, psychedelic, and casual, the pattern became synonymous with day camps, messy crafts, and marginality 2.0 for youth. Saturated spirals reigned supreme, covering T-shirts, overalls, and loose Bermuda shorts. 

2019 — Neo-Artisans of the Modern Era

Today, tie-dye acts as an interesting link between haute couture, streetwear, and major contemporary issues. The renaissance of the pattern is an occasion for individuals to take back a part of their identity by channelling it into a garment while also subscribing to a movement that's inspired by progress and committed to fighting fast fashion. Designers and ready-to-wear labels have adopted this dyeing technique and adapted it to their collections in order to successfully reflect our era. Out of today's tie-dye trends, four have caught our eye.

Multicolor Dye

A unique rainbow of primary and secondary shades is what immediately comes to mind when we think of tie-dye. Not only does it remind us of the ‘60s hippie movement, but also of our teen angst in the 1990s. In 2019, the pattern is still as fresh as ever and continues to convey the ideal of freedom and the hope of Flower Power. Justin Bieber and Gigi Hadid have already added it to their athleisure line-up. It’s Cali-chic at its very best!

'80s tie-dye sweatshirt           Tie Dye slip-ons            Multicolour tie-dye T-shirt

Tie-Dye and Ombré Stripes

Coming in one or many colors, striped and ombré patterns are moving away from the psychedelic scene to take on a more elegant attitude with ombrés that look more like parasol stripes. This technique is all about creating uneven lines, mixing colors, and blurring saturated shades. When it comes to ombrés, they have a powerful and somewhat futuristic effect, especially when the gradation goes from dark to light. 

Mega-logo tie-dye tee           Fading colours hoodie          Beauty and the Beast tie-dye T-shirt

Moon Tie-Dye

Like an ink cloud that spreads across a fabric, this pattern is made by adding dye to a damp textile. When it mixes with black, this type of tie-dye takes on a whole new dimension. The contrasts are splashy, and the blending colors reminds us of the Moon's cratered surface. Talk about trend-right! 

Tie-dye hoodie           Tie-dye raglan cami           Tie-dye bike short

Marbling and Mineral Brights

On pastel and white backgrounds, certain tie-dye techniques result in soft, mineral-like
motifs. Using uneven spurts and washes, prismatic colors mellow out into tone-on-tone patterns that attract the eye. This watercolor effect is one that’s bold, sleek, relaxed, and perfect to put on every day.

Cropped tie-dye sweater           Tie-dye T-shirt           Tie-dye polar fleece half-zip

Want to Try the Tie-Dye Trend?

Wear it with denim, a clothing combo that's proven itself in the past. We also love tie-dye on nylon shorts and bike shorts, pieces that are huge hits for both men and women this summer and that pair perfectly with an XXL T-shirt or sweatshirt. But the best way to wear tie-dye is however you want. After all, it is the ultimate symbol of individualism, so go ahead! Express yourself!

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