The return of tie and dye

Amrita Prasad
Thursday, 6 July 2017

The blend of Indian textiles with Western silhouettes and cuts has caught on. Designers give you tips on how to carry tie and dye outfits in the best possible ways

The revival of handloom and Indian textiles and the union of Indian weaves with Western silhouettes and cuts have definitely made traditional the new cool. No wonder then that tie and dye has caught the attention of both fashion experts, fashionistas and celebrities. Ranbir Kapoor sports an orange shibori printed shirt in a TVC, Priyanka Chopra flaunts a tie and dye sea green and white two-piece bikini in Miami, Aditya Roy Kapur grooves to Humma Humma, Jared Leto sports a tie and dye t-shirt, vest, and so on.

From bralettes to crop tops, skirts, maxi gowns, stole, achkans, shrugs etc for women to shirts, t-shirts, scarves, and shorts for men, there’s nothing that you can’t sport in this print. But before you get confused, we bring to you some advice so that you can sport the trend in the most stylish way.

The trend and acceptance
You can stand out by simply flaunting the fabric for its uber cool appeal and ease of carrying. “The trends of the past have become the trends of today. Although tie and dye has not reached the mainstream market yet, it has created a major hype among youngsters. Designers and brands have made sure that there is something for everyone in 2017 when it comes to this groovy trend,” says Sushmita Dutta, fashion team lead, Roposo, an online fashion platform.

Designer Rashi Kapoor, who feels that tie and dye has always been around for ages, says that the sudden craze is because people are on the constant lookout for something new. “The fact that Western designers have also shown interest in it, has brought it to the fashion forefront. While the youth has taken to this trend strongly, the older generation has always found solace in reviving the crafts of their times,” she adds.

For Althea Krishna, the trend is a comeback, yet to become a fashion statement. “It’s a scientific experiment and art project since the trend hasn’t boomed yet. Since it’s still new, this is a good time to decide what side you’re on,” she adds.

Endless varieties
Whether it is the traditional Japanese shibori or Indian tie and dye, the fabric is equally good for both genders and monsoon makes it an ideal time to flaunt it. According to Dutta, for women, the most common ones are the tie and dye maxi dresses best suited for a beach vacation. “With sleeves being a big trend in 2017, pairing a dyed top with either an off-shoulder neckline or bell sleeves top should be perfect for a ladies’ brunch. Keeping the Indian weather in mind, crop tops, sundresses and full skirts should be your must-haves. From the basic staples of t-shirts and shirts, the 2017 wardrobe is a little more experimental when it comes to menswear. Pick up a pair of dyed sneakers or layer with a dyed shacket (shirt + jacket) this season to up your game on styling,” suggests Dutta.

Kapoor feels that loose long maxi dresses, draped outfits, sarongs and resort-wear dresses look great in tie and dye fabrics and give a holiday-ish feel, while coatees (Modi/Nehru jackets) for men are also in vogue. Krishna feels that both sexes can go for a street style twist with a distressed rainbow tie and dye t-shirt paired with a pair of denim shorts. She adds, “The printed crop top paired with a plain skirt and vice-versa works too.”

Choosing right print and colour
With the number of varieties in the prints and an array of colours available, sometimes it can get quite daunting to choose the perfect combination. “The shibori dye has been the most common effect that everyone has been flaunting this year. The cooler hues of indigo-dyed kurtis and maxi dresses have been a rage among college-goers and vacationers. Away from the ‘70s hippie culture, the 2017 dyed patterns are more neutral and ‘wearable’,” points out Dutta, adding that you can try a subtle colour with a dip-dyed outfit or a monotone hue.

“But if you like to create a statement, opt for vibrant and warm colours such as vermilion and tangerines,” quips Dutta. “Blue, white, red and orange go well with all skin tones and age groups. It also depends on the ability, confidence and attitude of the wearer,” adds Kapoor.

Avoid going overboard
The key to looking cool and stylish in tie and dye fabric is to keep it minimalistic and balanced. Dutta’s suggestion is to opt for cooler colours instead of a rainbow colour palette and hence you can save those colourful tees and dresses for a fest or vacation time. “A colourful tie and dyed jumpsuit is not necessarily the best way to embrace the season, but a pair of dyed culottes paired with a neutral top can be part of your college wardrobe. As for men, everything looks great with denim pieces. An ombre-dyed t-shirt with a jacket and jeans is the ideal outfit for you. Try to stick to one or two colours on your tie and dye outfit to not look too retro,” advises Dutta. In case you are flaunting a multicoloured t-shirt, pair it with denim shorts and white sneakers in the hotter months.

Kapoor suggests that with these fabrics, you should never go for fitted garments since there are chances of them looking disproportionate. To keep the look minimalistic, she adds, “The trick for both sexes is to dress up the garments in a way that doesn’t make it too jazzy. Neutral and pastel colours are the safest.”

However, in monsoon you can make little changes and try out the most colourful fabric. Dutta suggests, “Make sure your wardrobe is peppier than monotone. This is a good season to wear high-octane shades of pinks and yellows.”

Accessorise it perfectly
The tie and dye fabric is a statement in itself. “The best way to incorporate the dyeing effect in your outfit without overdoing it, is by teaming dyed accessories, shoes, bags, jewellery, with simple outfit. A vibrant pair of plimsolls (shoes) can be paired with white bottoms or a two-tone clutch can be matched with a gorgeous black gown. It all depends on how much colour you wish to wear,” says Kapoor, adding, “Beads, bangles, jootis and jholas are the best way to highlight the casual spirit. Metrosexual men can team them up with casual chappals and sling bags.” Krishna feels that junk jewellery goes best with tie and dye outfits.

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