Fashion & Beauty

Tie-Dye, Take Two

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yes, tie-dye is back. But today's take on the Summer of Love look doesn't exactly cue the faint strains of "Uncle John's Band." For their resort collections, designers Anna Sui and Michael Kors took the hippie staple high-end by way of rich fabrics and elegant silhouettes. Kiran Rai, 42, the creative director and designer of the line Sir Alistair Rai, followed suit for summer by dyeing lush silk pieces in clean, simple color palettes.

"The whole inspiration for the entire collection and all this tie-dye was: 'If Jackie Onassis had gone to India, what would she have worn?' An amazing, elegant woman, a style icon -- we wanted that elegant flow," Rai says.

Rai's collection includes a breezy monochromatic maxi, which she suggests cinching with a belt for a casual look, as well as vibrantly hued caftans and kurtas. Sunshine & Shadow's powdery silk scarf freshens up a simple T-shirt and jeans, while Anthropologie's ankle-tie sandals look equally sweet at a barbecue or at the beach. Going for a more grown-up vibe? Add a bit of funky polish to a basic work ensemble with BCBGirls peep-toe pumps or Pietro Alessandro's buttery leather satchel.

Rai, who admits to being a tie-dye aficionado, says the secret to being trendy, not tacky, is to choose luxurious fabrics and classic cuts. "Tie-dye is so elegant if done right. A Jerry Garcia cotton T-shirt is so different from beautiful silks and flowing fabrics."

-- Holly E. Thomas

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