August 27 2014

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Tie-Dye: Tired Or To Die For?


Are the eighties over as a source of fashion inspiration? Tommy Ton’s recent street-style photos seem to indicate a move toward easier seventies styles, and we found further evidence of the trend in the tie-dyed looks that brightened the Spring runways. “There’s something about tie-dye that speaks to everyone,” says Tory Burch, adding, “it’s a little nostalgic but also feels modern.” If Blumarine‘s caftan belongs cheerfully in the former camp, Proenza Schouler‘s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough gave the dyeing technique new life by applying it to sleek and of-the-moment active-sports styles. Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, meanwhile, pieced together ragged, postapocalyptic looks using fabric usually associated with long-haired flower children. Are you ready for the re-dawning of the Age of Aquarius?

Click for a slideshow and let us know, below.

Photo: Marcio Madeira



  1. jbanks says:

    Tired! Moccasins are getting a bit worn too.

  2. futurefashionzoey says:

    A few of the dresses were cute but over all not really feeling tie-dye.

  3. malousarah says:

    Can be to die for if it’s worn with chunky high heels, but, like being said before, with moccasins… we’re OVER the bohemian look…

  4. tutt says:

    I like it. I’m not a fan of the typical tie-dyed T-shirts, but the examples in the slideshow all have a modern twist to them… so yay, I like it

  5. ToucanBoutique says:

    Generally, I’m not a big fan, no matter how it’s styled it is still tie-dye. Leave to little kids who wanna make a mess, that’s more fun.

  6. Heidi01 says:


  7. tlstudios says:

    Actually, this kind of fabric is not “hippie style tie dye”, but is part of a complicated process of dyeing know as “Shibori” out of Japan. Some of the work is less labor intesive, and some is more. Some involves complicated stitching, dyeing and overdyeing, or removing dye from the fiber and then overdyeing, some is wrapped around a pole, pleated and tied, then dyed several times – know as “arashi”, and there are many, many other techniques only a few of which are seen here. The artisans who do this work are very proficient and knowledgable dyers, not working with “Rit Dye”. A good reference book, “Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing” by Yoshiko Wada, Mary Kellog Rice & Jane Barton published in 1983 is a good starting point to this fascinating group of textile dye techniques. To call it a hippie tie dye is insulting to the many artisans producing this fabric all over the world in old and new patterns. Please do some research and identify this technique properly. Thank you.

  8. bossmama says:


  9. lovecouture1 says:

    LOVE IT!! It’s a modern take on tie-dye…more like washed watercolors. Fashion is ALWAYS recycled…these looks are fresh!

  10. kadrielcoat says:

    love it. lets have a little season of dye-its.

  11. Odiefox says:

    I love tie-dye. It’s so laid back and care free so when paired w/ structure, like a nice dress, it’s so cool. Anyway…It is to dye for!

  12. Odiefox says:

    P.S. I’m an Aquarius, too…..go figure.

  13. patternperson says:

    I love what Lela Rose and Tibi did with this, but some of these do look tired–I’m really hating the bright Proenza Schouler dresses. If you want to make your own two-tone tie dyes, check out this little instructional I put together:

    I also blogged about this trend and posted a few of my faves on the Printsource blog:

  14. elisheva says:

    Love it! Not a fan of the common kid-made T-shirts but I love the modern way they are used in these outfits!

  15. hannah_hys says:

    NAY for moccasins as well, but tie dye lets its wearer be playful and unique. Tie dye lets one see the creation of the garment, since it makes us imagine the dying process.

  16. auntiemame08 says:

    Nice new use of old idea — fun!

  17. ihartstyle says:

    What I dont understand is that you guys pull photos from the same collections and them label them as the next big trend…YOU are, YOU tell people what to wear. So if you say that seventies are big, they will be. Thanks for this, I’m not a fan of the 80s and am looking forward to a change into flowey looks. Boho will return?

  18. Virgin_Candelaria says:

    I definitely like it, although the use of the colors must be use carefully so it doesnt look cheap! moccasins mmm I am not to sure,but colorful sandals..oh yeah!

  19. nealin says:

    as a designer that loves working in India, I LOVE it! I love any application that can RE -INVENT and be FRESH. And in SOPHISTICATED colors and with modern takes on it, this looks great! ( I could skip the hippie brites, though.)
    If it’s done FRESH, I LOVE IT!

  20. ilvucis says:

    Proenza Schouler has did a great job :)

    I like Tie – Dye – it’s hippie chic, colourful and positive. A plus from me.

  21. katsoul11 says:

    reminds me of coming home after school to tie up t shirts for elaine post ltd. so hard to look at this now.

  22. MiaDolceBella says:

    eh, not really feeling it.

  23. NotMod says:

    I am intrigued by these prints in classic tailored form. Absolutely EXCITED by the instances of print matching cut! I am delighted to see that more demanding patterns and techniques from ethnic textiles getting attention. I hope that this source of inspiration is here to stay.

    A global revival of the American 70s is less interesting by a long shot. Besides, it is the locals that seem to think least of it! No point disagreeing, for a foreigner…

  24. Mitten says:

    Love it! I have a hand-shiboried wool winter shift from last season’s Gary Graham that is unbelievable. Tie-dye gives clothes a hands-on feeling, even when they’re not hand-dyed, that I love.

  25. fauxPasNouveau says:

    Did you people even look at the slideshow?? I think most of the tie died dresses look like modernist paintings not your standard hippie fare. I am a fan. Besides, the bohemian look is always going to be in when spring/ summer seasons roll in.

  26. jadek says:


  27. GracieK says:

    I gotta admit, I’m a tie-dye lover. It never gets old to me.

  28. gisellegg says:

    I do love tie dye for it’s boho appeal however this is way to obvious – needs to be more subtle with a mix of modern construction.

  29. gisellegg says:

    This tie dye is too literal….It is more interesting when designers distort it such that the underlying concept is there but it is not so obvious.

  30. anthonyB says:

    I think Proenza Schouler, Peter Pillo and Max Azria have all transformed this look into something ultra modern.The rest look tired and washed out (excuse the pun). if you would like to see some summer trends and more please check out

  31. CJDaisyLane says:

    Only in black and white. Only.
    And only with plain accompaniments. For example leggings tie dyes and a white t-shirt.

  32. Steina says:

    Love it!

  33. anamcbride says:

    I like tye-dye when it’s worn in a classy way like with a classic sophisticated piece, but I’m so over the hippie kind of tye-dye !

  34. ras1clothing says:

    acid and hippy…almost looks like a windows media player graphic

  35. dineKstyle says:

    I love the effect when it adds texture and demension to the fabric. When tie-dye technique is used to make circles on my dress or distinctive lines across it I feel like that is just too much.
    The Max Azria dress is done very well. You almost don’t even know it is a tie-dye pattern. That is when it is cool and unique.

  36. FunkyTed says:

    Love it or hate it check out my high-quality tie-dye @ Unique and will last for years not months. Click our Facebook link and “like us” for a chance at free tie-dye!

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