How To Wear Autumn's Chic New Trend: Upmarket Tie-Dye

When it comes to tie-dye (and like most other things in fashion), the wearer gives meaning to the trend. For some, the tie-dyed T-shirt is an artefact of '60s counterculture. Others see a broader significance: Almost every civilisation has its own tie-dye variation, from Shibori in Japan and Indonesia, to batik dyeing in Africa, to mudmee in Thailand. For me, tie-dye means nostalgia, and recalls memories of growing up in Indiana and spending my summers tie-dyeing clothing with my best friends at camp.
With every tie-dyed look that walked down the runways this past Fashion Month (at Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, Marine Serre, and Proenza Schouler), I felt warm and fuzzy, and wondered how my peers experienced this enduring trend themselves. Everybody's story of tie-dye is as unique as the pattern itself; and, while it might seem more of a summer trend, it has evolved way past rainbow Grateful Dead T-shirts. Just look at ASAI Takeaway's tie-dye 'Hot Wok' tops, which dominated this year's Notting Hill Carnival.
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For autumn, the colours used are more muted, with more sophisticated tones and intricate patterns. Ahead are five tie-dye looks to get you up to date with one of our favourite new season looks.
Photographed by Jess Farran
Proenza Schouler Tie Dye Turtleneck Dress, £1,090, available at Proenza Schouler; Dinosaur Designs earring, Birkenstock Birko-Flor, £60, available at Birkenstock.
Photographed by Jess Farran
Tony The Witchy Tiger
Luxury tie-dye feels like an oxymoron, but velvet might just be the greatest canvas tie-dye has ever seen. The designs created by tie-dye are a 2D texture on their own, and combining that with a soft velvet enhances the dimensions. The tie-dye technique on this dress makes you do a double take: Is it tie-dye, or is it animal print?
A dress like this speaks for itself, so pair it with some casual socks and Birkenstocks (another trend of the season) to add some chunkiness to an otherwise sleek look. It may seem overwhelming , but don't hesitate to introduce more colours to your outfit. Start off with colours in the same family as your tie-dye. Our greatest lesson from this trend: that sometimes you can surprise yourself with what you'll wear and how you'll style it.
Photographed by Jess Farran
Photographed by Jess Farran
Sies Marjan Nicole Silk Twisted Rosette Dress, £2,635, available at Sies Marjan; Riverside Tool And Dye Full Bodysuit, £103.28, available at Etsy; Mansur Gavriel Glitter Slingback, £435, available at Mansur Gavriel; Lizzie Fortunato Rome Hoops, £74.16 , available at Lizzie Fortunato.
Sunset Ombre
Ombre is colour blocking without your glasses on. And in this dress, the colours cool each other off. They're the epitome of a summer sunset. Nice and cool after a very long hot summer day, all we're missing is a campfire for marshmallow roasting. Layer a tie-dye unitard underneath to mix-and-match tie-dye prints, and throw on some sparky sling backs, because the sun's only just set, and the night is young.
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Photographed by Jess Farran
Photographed by Jess Farran
Upstate Palm Dress, £310, available at Upstate; Mozh Mozh pants; Jiwinaia Large Flame Earrings, £74, available at Jiwinaia; UNIF Desire Top, £42.35, available at UNIF.
California Dreamin'
Now that mixing and matching different variations of tie-dye is a part of your styling arsenal, don't go overboard! We toned it down for this look by letting tie-dye serve as just another print. By combining knits, silk, and sheer fabrics, tie-dye takes a back seat and lets the fabric textures do the talking. The result is possibly the ultimate fall outfit. It's comfortable (you can karate kick in it) and includes clothing pieces from summer and winter. But when the temps really start to drop, cue The Mamas & The Papas and dream about Cali.
Photographed by Jess Farran
Photographed by Jess Farran
Re/Done Tie Dye Cotton T-Shirt, £126, available at MyTheresa; Raquel Allegra pants; Dyspnea Madonna Slip, £248.13, available at Dyspnea; Dinosaur Designs earring.
Top-To-Bottom Tie-Dye
Have we convinced you yet to upcycle your pit- and sauce-stained clothing yet? If not, this look will. Rethink T-shirts, lounge pants, and tie-dye as casual wear. Tie-dye can be more than just one design. We like to refer to it as deception, a phenomenon that occurs when the tie-dye print creates a print within a print. See: this T-shirt where a stripe is dyed into the fabric through tie-dyeing. It's just another way to ease into the trend if you're not quite ready to jump in head first. And for those who aren't ready to permanently tie-dye something, tie-dye your eyelids. No rubber bands needed. All you need to do is blot some of your favourite colours on your lids, blink a few times, and voila!
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Photographed by Jess Farran
Young Fabulous and Broke Utopia Tee, £85.72, available at Shopbop; Mansur Gavriel Translucent Trench, £815, available at Mansur Gavriel; Riverside Tool And Dye Painter Pants, £96.83, available at Etsy 
Photographed by Jess Farran
Keepin' It Casual
These pants are what we imagine to be a happy accident while dyeing or painting, a byproduct of living on the edge and wearing white while doing something crafty. Meanwhile, the holographic look hit the runways in a big way the past few seasons, and offered the same type of mesmerising IRL eye candy as tie-dye. Both create textures and effects that make it hard to look away. When this holographic trench hits the light on a sunny day, it creates so many colours and textures that you're unsure where to focus your gaze. As for the T-shirt: Taking tie-dye back to its roots can be an easy way to dress simply while still injecting some much-needed colour.
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