ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Finally today for our trend-tracking series, What's the New What?, Youth Radio's reporter, Olivia Cueva, she's in college in ever-fashionable New York City, but she grew up in Berkeley, California still with a tie-dye hangover from the 60s. That's OK, says Olivia. Tie-dye has a new name and a new fashionista appeal.
OLIVIA CUEVA: What's the new what? I say Ombre is the new tie-dye. Whoa dude, tie-dye is back. But this time, high-end designers are in the mix trying to make sure that tie-dye's trip back to public consciousness isn't a bad one. And they've even given it a chi-chi name, Ombre.
Ms. TRACI PEACE (Director, Visions of La Moda): Really what the definition is, is to shade, to dip-dye.
Ms. CUEVA: That's Traci Peace, director of a youth fashion program called Visions of La Moda.
Ms. PEACE: The color graduates from light to dark basically. It could be like a sky blue on top and as it goes down, down, down, down, down.
Ms. CUEVA: It becomes a darker blue, like a navy. For fashionistas, Ombre was pretty shocking when it came floating down the runway at this year's New York fashion week, but a high-end tie-dye is pretty shocking in my hometown of Berkeley, California, where you don't have to be on your way to a Dead show to show off your old-school tie-dye.
Mr. SAM MIKSO (Street Vendor, Berkeley, California): Spare a smile, spare a smile.
Ms. CUEVA: Here on Telegraph Avenue, the die-dye epicenter of Berkeley, the sidewalks are lined with vendors selling incense, political t-shirts, jewelry, and, of course, tie-dye. I asked Sam Mikso (ph), a tie-dye street vendor, what he thinks about this symbol of 60s radicalism becoming high fashion.
Mr. MIKSO: I've never really heard of it, but I imagine it's just a lot like normal tie-dye. I mean, there's only so many ways you can dye a shirt in multiple colors.
Ms. CUEVA: Well, that's not what Ombre designers want you to think, and my friend, Ariel Kresak (ph), agrees. She bought a green and white Ombre dress at Forever 21.
Ms. ARIEL KRESAK: Well, I mean, this is definitely a cocktail dress that I bought. I don't even think it's even that comparable to something that you'd buy on Telegraph because you wouldn't wear them to the same occasion whatsoever.
Ms. CUEVA: And if you're buying Ombre from high-end designers like Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs, it's pricey, too. I recently searched the Nordstom Web site, and most of the Ombre clothes sell for $200 or more, even small items like clutch bags and neckties, the kind of accessories that wouldn't be worn by stoners, you dig? Still, Traci Peace advises all you flower children not to pull out your old tie-dye.
Ms. PEACE: I would, you know, very kindly say give it away, throw it away.
Ms. CUEVA: My friend Ariel Krezak has a kinder recommendation for those ex-hippies.
Ms. KRESAK: It's hella tight when people make their own tie-dye. Bring tie-dye back.
Ms. CUEVA: That's right. My friends just started inviting me to tie-dying parties, good old do-it-yourself tie-dye. Not three-figure designer dip-dye, but instead of sitting around with lava lamps listening to Janis Joplin, we'll be bumping (unintelligible) and taking tie-tie from far out to hella tight.
CHADWICK: And for today that's Day to Day.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.