The Technicolour Dream Chanel

In 2018, it was Proenza Schouler’s kaleidoscopic velvet turtleneck; in 2019, it was Prada’s accessories and Stella McCartney’s boilersuits; and in 2020, it was everyone’s lockdown hobby. Even Chanel couldn’t resist the trend in their Métiers d’art 2019/20 collection. Tie-dye is back, and it’s not going anywhere.

Inspired by this, and indeed by her own tie-dye collection, Leila Van Kash brought her faded bag to us with dreams of a tie-dye Chanel transformation.

Leila Van Kash wearing a tie-dye shirt
Leila Van Kash embracing the tie-dye trend

The Assessment

Leila’s blue mesh Chanel 2.55 bag had little signs of wear and was in good condition. Despite this, the bag was faded and patchy all over. The colour faded under the flap, where the dye is usually most protected, and remained vibrant on the exterior, where the dye is usually most vulnerable to fading. With such an unusual fade pattern, our atelier worked with Leila on a creative solution to reimagine her beloved Chanel. Being inspired by the flavour of the season, Leila was eager to transform her bag into a tie-dye Chanel masterpiece.

The Approach

The tie-dye technique involves twisting, tieing and knotting items before submerging them into dye. Unfortunately, it would not be possible to execute this technique on Leila’s bag because of its structure. Our atelier had to get creative in the ways they could recreate this look. They got to work on researching techniques, testing formulas and creating samples.

To begin, we sourced fabric in a similar material to the bag and dyed it to match the bag’s original colour. It’s important to test colours and techniques to understand how layered colours mix. For example, blue dye on a yellow base will mix to make green. We deduced a palette of green, purple, pink, yellow, blue and a deeper blue, and took note of the colour relationships that worked and those that didn’t. Interaction of colour is characteristic of the tie-dye effect.

We created four samples for Leila to choose from, including some that incorporate bolder shapes and others that are more fluid and focus on colour alone.

Once Leila chose the look she wanted to go with, we sketched a plan to map colour allocation on the bag. In preparation, we protected the chain, hardware and interior with tape and bubble wrap to prevent dye from getting onto them.

The first step was to wet the bag to ensure even colour penetration. Then, working in layers, we applied each chosen colour evenly onto the bag. We sprayed water on the bag in between layers of colour application to ensure the bag was constantly wet. This is important because it helps the colours merge and blend together in a seamless way which helped create the tie-dye effect.

Once happy with the final outcome, we let the bag air dry to ensure an even finish. To finish the process, we steamed and waterproofed the bag to set the colour and allow the fibres to relax. We carefully unmasked the protected areas and polished the hardware.

The Results

Leila was delighted that her bag had been given a new lease of life! After the frustration of her bag being patchy and faded, she was delighted to be able to enjoy it’s new lease of life. The vibrant colours of the tie-dye Chanel brighten every outfit!

When all hope is gone, there is The Restory

Leila Van Kash

Follow our other reimagine case studies, with this Manolo transformation or this Gianvito Rossi recolour. If you’re looking to reimagine your own items, get in touch with our team to find out how we can transform your wardrobe.