Tie-n-dye, the hippie favourite style statement from the 60s, has been voted as the worst fashion trend in the last 50 years in a recent British fashion poll. Popularly known in India in its two forms, Lehariya and Bandhini, the design was voted the ‘worst fashion mistake’ by 72% women surveyed by the website myvouchercodes.co.uk. Indian designers think that’s nonsense.
“Calling it the worst fashion trend is like saying the white shirt and blue jeans are outdated! Tie-dye is a technique rather than just being a seasonal look or a trend, so it can’t really go out of fashion,” says designer Anand Kabra, who extensively uses the look. “Like other fashion staples such as the little black dress, tie-dye is a must in every closet. It can hardly be called a trend, let alone the worst one, ever,” adds fashion designer Anupama Dayal.
Others insist that the multiple styles of tie-dye which are so easily available are reason enough for the look to never go out of vogue. “No two pieces are ever the same in any tie-dye style prints, so each piece is customised like couture, which is what fashion is all about,” says Professor Sudha Dhingra from the textile department at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi.
Some also explain why tie-dye is one of the core building blocks of style. “If you like to wear colour, you cannot ignore tie-dye. Besides, European women are known to shy away from colour,” says fashion editor Edward Lalrempuia. “Because it’s so versatile, it can be styled, cut and stitched to suit almost every body type,” adds fashion retailer Shaan Thadhani.