street styleFriday, April 16, 2021

Why the Tie-Dye Trend is Back and Here to Stay



Bandhani, shibori, resist-dyeing, plangi; although tie-dye is commonly associated with the hippies of modern history, it’s actually a technique first used in ancient Asian and South-American cultures. It opened-up many creative possibilities for the people of AD civilisations, influencing fashions around the world for hundreds of years.


So now that tie-dye trend is back, we’re wondering, should it stick around? James Brackenbury, founder of Stain Shade, and Parker Gispert, Atlanta rock artist and tie-dye enthusiast, certainly think so.



James Brackenbury: Stain Shade Founder


What first inspired you to start tie-dying?

“I have been tie-dying for a number of years as I wanted the tie-dye items I was struggling to locate. I have a large collection of vintage tie-dye tees which include band tees from the Grateful Dead, promotional tees from Ben and Jerry’s and ride tees from Disneyworld in Florida. When I began looking at how to do it or who did custom tie dye stuff a lot of it seemed to be in the US, specifically West Coast. So I took it upon myself to set up shop in my mums back garden in South London.”


What are your favourite colours to tie-dye with?

“I like the less obvious combinations, like browns, greys and greens mixed with pastel lilac, pinks and blues. There’s more of this coming from Stain Shade in the near future.”


Can anyone wear tie-dye?

“100%. I think tie-dye, in essence, is about expressing yourself and wearing something individual. I dye everything by hand myself and each edition of a style is slightly different from the last.”


Why do you think the tie-dye trend has made such a big return for 2019?

“I think in a world where everyone and everything, especially the fashion industry is consumed by uniformity and an expectation to fall in line - tie-dye or hand dyed clothing offers some individuality and an opportunity to differentiate yourself as the wearer. I am also conscious as a business that tie-dye is a trend which is why I am pushing the envelope and bringing techniques and finishes that, hopefully, people won’t have seen before. Through this, I hope to breed some longevity for the brand and give my customers a deeper understanding of what the brand is - hand dyed, process lead, affordable fashion. The way the garment is dyed and the path it takes is just as important as the finished product.”


Finally, why wear tie-dye pieces?

“Tie-dye has been around for hundreds of years from its roots in Japanese Shibori dying and Indonesian batik to the human awakening of the ’60s and ’70s. This was a time when the world was fraught by war and political madness and you can draw a lot of parallels to today. In short wear it if you like it, it might cheer you up! Lord knows we all need it!”

Style Challenge: How would you style?


A Stain Shade pink and green tie-dye hoodie?

“I love clashing colours, so probably some more tie dye!!”


A Stain Shade pink short-sleeve T-Shirt?

“Some basketball shorts and a pair of Air Jordan 1’s.”


A pair of Stain Shade red and blue sweatpants?

“A pair of white Air Force 1’s and an XXL white tee.”


A Stain Shade purple and orange long-sleeve T-Shirt?

“I would rock this underneath another tie dye tee with some solid blue jeans.”

Parker Gispert: Atlanta Rock Artist/Tie-Dye Enthusiast


Why do you think the tie-dye trend has made such a big return for 2019?

“Tie-dye when done properly never goes out of style in my opinion. It’s been around since early AD and the Japanese Shibori technique has been happening since the 8th century.  I’d say its resurgence is more a matter of today’s designers finding an inventive new way to incorporate it into lines where there’s consumer demand for such expression. For me, it represents a practice that’s inherently more artistic than clothing design itself.  Like, you could be into tie-dye art without having clothing involved. Feels a little more like you’re wearing an abstract piece of art as opposed to just a sweatsuit.”


What attracted you to these 'Stain Shade' pieces?

“I was attracted to the darkness.  I love to see tie-dye on black backdrops.  When it’s done with vibrant colours it creates more of a futuristic celestial, cosmic feel than a lighter fabric. The same colourful Tie - Dye on white has more of a hard 60’s or 70’s connotation which potentially has already been worn out a bit and is less exciting for me personally.   I was also into the stringy, laser-like tie-dye on the Stain Shade pants.”

What's the secret to pulling-off the tie-dye trend?

“I’m not sure if there’s any secret to pulling-off tie-dye in general, I think it’s more about the particular context of where you’re attempting to pull off the piece.  Like, I wouldn’t wear a tie-dye sweatsuit to a formal event where everyone is wearing suits but I could potentially be up for wearing a dark tie-dye suit to an informal suit occasion? I guess you just “grip it and rip it” with tie-dye”


Can anyone wear tie-dye?

“Yes, Anyone can wear tie-dye. Tie-dye for all!”



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