Tie dye!

Dyeing silk dresses


Photo: Melissa Hom

When I was a kid, I told my mom I wanted socks the color of the sky just before the stars came out. (She tried to find me some, which were a little too green, but close.) When fashion designers need fabrics to be similarly specific shades — for example, the pale bubble gum lace that appeared on Oscar de la Renta's spring 2013 runway, and later on Kerry Washington — they turn to services like Metro Custom Dyeing, a place also available to plebeians at a price. Graceann Taormina, Metro's director of public relations, indulges the customer who sends his Margiela and Balmain shirts with photos of Kanye, requesting to make his shirts look as artfully faded as Mr. West's. She has overseen a white suit dyed the perfect shade of "Gangnam Style" yellow for Halloween. She recently helped Victoria's Secret sample 119 colors of four different laces for an important meeting. So although it was tempting to see if her team could achieve the evening blue scrunch socks I dreamt of as a second-grader, I opted for pieces to pack a more sophisticated punch. Here's how you can give your light-colored — even stained — clothing a second life.

1. Choose your garments. Go for those with value (sentimental or monetary).
We all have clothes we would wear if only they were a different color or a certain stain didn't show — but some garments are simply not made to be submerged in steaming kettles of Rit dye on the stovetop, left to drip-dry all over the bathtub. Most wedding dresses, for example, are simply too enormous and terrifyingly loaded with sentimental value for DIY dyeing. However, many brides might wear their dresses again if they weren't white. I am not married, so I opted for my own shirtdress with a silhouette that reflected the %20that's%20turned%20up%20recently%20at%20Prada, %20Lanvin



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