For Noah’s “What Color Are You?” project with the Whitney Shop, we collaborated with menswear designer and textile artist Jasmine Plantin to create 200 one-of-a-kind sweatshirts in unique hues. Each was hand-dyed by the Brooklyn-based artist at her childhood home on Long Island, where we caught up with her to discuss the dyeing process, her mother’s creative influence, her favorite projects, and more.
We shadowed Plantin during one of her dye sessions on a beautiful summer afternoon on Long Island where this interview picks up.
When you went to the dye house, were they surprised by this project ?
I don’t think they actually currently know (laughs).
What it is ?
I gave them a huge quantity of the hoodies and they were curious: “Oh, what’s happening with these?” And I was like, “You’ll see.” They didn’t realize there would be another step, but that step [the pre-dying] was crucial because if I had hand-dyed the blanks, it would have been in individual dye baths, which is not healthy for the environment. This technique is called low-immersion dyeing. You use a smaller amount of water, which is an ideal way of dyeing.
Do you have a favorite color ?
In life? I really like black, which I guess is not a color. I like the absence of color. It’s also very easy to wear.
Is there a time of day where you normally work ?
Really early in the morning, or really late at night. I like working by myself, which I imagine most creative people do. Also weird hours, when no one’s awake. There are less thoughts in the world or something. I’ll wake up at 4:30 a.m. and start working, or start at midnight and work until three. But I found myself working during the day for this project to see the colors better in the daylight.
How long have you been dyeing clothes ?
I guess seriously, within the past two to three years. My mom. She’s been doing it forever. She does Shibori dyeing, which is a Japanese technique of resist dyeing—and she’s been working with that technique for years.