Hippy tie-dye or couture chic? The debate continues... I was determined to prove the latter true and set out to supply many top local designers to prove my point.
In 2005 Sun Goddess commissioned this T-shirt for their SA Fashion Week Collection. They were looking for an interpretation of the sun in their season colours. I tied very tight elastic bands in rings and then added the yellow, red and brown using a syringe to make sure it went only where I wanted it. The sun motif is only on the front of the T-shirt and the back is plain brown.
The headscarf is a chiffon silk. I have always found the shapes of Ndebele patterns inspirational, and I had a vision to create a diamond pattern in colours that came from our national flag. I called the piece Rainbow Nation. This was the first time I made this pattern and Vanya Mangaliso was excited to snap it up for her collection.
I just made it again for Contemporary Dyecraft (Metz Press) and you can now learn how to make it for yourself, using the step-by-step photos in the book. Rainbow Nation will always be one of my personal favourite patterns. I had a lot of fun inventing and refining it, and I am always delighted with the outcome.
I have dyed chiffon silk, raw silk, habotai, T-shirting, linen, muslin and twill for Sun Goddess over the years. Tie dye is an opportunity to create something distinctly unique. It is an opportunity to choose pattern and colourway. It is an opportunity for designers to create limited edition custom cloth, on-demand.
When I first began to understand the implications for manufacturers, it blew my mind. Many years later, the possibilities remain endless.
What do you think? Hippy tie-dye or couture chic?
Have a great day in full colour!
Picture by Ivan Naude http://www.planetivan.com for SA Fashion Week