To Dye For

Isabel Marant SS12Close your eyes and picture tie-dye. What do you see? Half naked hippies at free love festivals? Hemp and peace signs? Perhaps you’re thinking of those recent images of Fergie strolling down Sunset Boulevard in tie dye jeans. Instead, picture Bindya’s grey tie dye scarf, Proenza Schouler’s subtle shibori print gowns and Toni Maticevski’s feminine silk dresses, so delicate and so unlike tie dye, they insist on a second glance.


Prints have made a forceful comeback, and although the swirling patterns might bring back memories of the 70s, they certainly don’t have to. If you know what works for you and you’re willing to get just a fraction creative, you can make the most difficult of trends work for you – including the swirling, whirling world of tie-dye.  Just take a peek at our tips of updated, modern ways that hark back to heritage but say hello to here and now.


Work it to your advantage

Most of us have a part of our body we don’t want highlighted, let alone emphasised by such a confident print, but you can work this to your own benefit. If hips are your sore point, stay clear of bright, bold prints around this area and wear bright colours on body parts you want to accentuate. Work the shapes to your shape; vertical rings will make you look taller, horizontal ones will make you look wider, and the part of your body at the center of the rings will always look smaller.


Embrace the unconventional

The traditional red, green and yellow colours we all imagine when we hear the words tie-dye doesn’t have to be the only way. If you’re still none the wiser, think: Dylan fan with bandana and no knickers. Embracing this print doesn’t mean you have to make peace with the stereotypical design. Shibori print is a traditional Japanese type of dye, made by binding, twisting and compressing material to create exotic and versatile effects. It was a common theme on catwalks and filtered down into accessories and shoes alike at All Saints and ASOS. This is tie-dye all grown up.


A neutral base

As with most bold prints, a solid neutral base is key. Denim, blazers, even classic tailoring are wardrobe essentials and make the perfect accompaniment to tie-dye because they don’t overwhelm, or underwhelm the main attraction. Hence the name.


Accessories, Accessories, Accessories

Accessorising naturally rears its useful head in the event of a trend overhaul. If you aren’t quite ready for the tie-dye unitard, (yes it exists) then opt for the humble scarf or a summer staple like the wedge. Notable favourites include Club Monaco’s silk number, and Alice + Olivia’s platform sandals.


Now, who’s for Woodstock?