It became official at the Spring 2019 shows during fashion month in September that the high fashion world had adopted tie dye as couture; Moving on from “sleazecore”- the ironic, goofy, sloppy aesthetic popularized by the hypebeast crowd (Justin Bieber’s Hawaiian shirts, anyone?) – and making way for tie dye to be elevated to the runway.
Everyone from Proenza to Prada was doing it, but it was really R13 who mastered the mix of high and low – combining both Grateful Dead band tees (the more obvious choice) and head-turning tailored blazers as seen on Kaia Gerber. R13 designer Chris Leba commented that the collection was actually a reaction to our modern social media crazed world, and represented his longing for a simpler time, spending the 80s summers in the Hamptons with his Deadhead friends. With that lies our answer – the root of this tie dye surge is pure, true nostalgia.
It seems the more advanced and technological our society becomes, the more nostalgic we get, and the more willing we are to adopt the highlights of our memorable moments past. We are also coming up on the 50 year anniversary of Woodstock, and that coincidence is not lost on us. Grateful Dead-era tie dye certainly commemorates a time we can look back on fondly – especially during our current contentious political climate. While millennials, the current owners of the fashion landscape, may not know or remember a world with Jerry Garcia, they are discovering the music through their reminiscing parents’ generation. This type of nostalgia gives us a platform to connect to one another, and reminds us that while its always about much more than fashion, the clothes spark the conversation.
Whether you rock this trend the OG way with a favorite band tee, or elevate it with some fresh Spring RTW, you can rest assured you are part of a bigger, much needed moment.