Season after season, tie-dye ventures further from its hippy San Franciscan origins into fashion and streetwear circles, and with new styles for 2018, there’s little sign of the feel-good pattern running its course. Rocked by everyone from Tyler, The Creator to unlikely streetwear icon Jonah Hill, this might even be the trend’s biggest year since the ’70s.
Speaking to Brain Dead’s Kyle NG, who delved deeper into the origins of the trend on his Netflix series Social Fabric, we learned more about why tie-dye pieces remain popular to this day. “Tie-dye is a very relatable pattern because of its historical context,” says Kyle. “Just like camo, it’s something that’s been accepted through a culture. Camo is a pretty crazy pattern, but because of the military there’s a narrative around it, and tie-dye is the same because of the hippy movement.”
An admittedly bolder statement than the lower-key colors of traditional camo patterns, it’s this context that justifies the boldness of the trend. But how does the next generation of tie-dye differ from its original iterations in rainbow-obsessed San Fran? “Personally, I do a lot of different marble dyes now, and we’re seeing a much more artisanal side to tie-dye,” says Kyle. “For me, it’s kind of overtaken those “Zumiez” big box retailer styles and people are looking into new forms to rock.”
And with so many on-trend pieces to choose from these days, it’s no run-of-the-mill mirrored tee that takes pride of place in the Brain Dead founder’s wardrobe. “I’m a huge basketball fan and I always think of my vintage Lithuania jersey when it comes to tie-dye. It’s a crazy aesthetic for an Olympic team.”
Below, we’ve curated some of our very favorite tie-dye pieces currently available to buy from both the high street and the high-end. Whether you’re seeking inspiration for your own designs or want to cop a super on-trend piece from the likes of Levi’s, adidas, or A-COLD-WALL*, the selection of denim, tees, and even socks are setting the pace for how far tie-dye has come. Click through if you like what you see.
For more shopping inspiration, check out the essential ’fits to have ready for every summer event still to come.
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