Our first Foreign Correspondent is here! Bijal Shah, her husband, and her two daughters spent ten days traveling around France this summer. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is Part 1 of their adventure. Stay tuned for the rest of their story this week!
The Shah family outside the Palace of Versailles
Our family vacation to France was full of so many incredible experiences which left our daughters, ages 7 and 4 wanting to come back one day and experience it all again. This week I will re-live our journey our taste buds experienced.
On our first day in Paris we came across a gelato shop on our walk back from the Eiffel tower. After a long wait and using the minimal French my husband knew, we finally sat down with our refreshing gelato. The strawberry and cantaloupe sorbets tasted just like fresh ice-cold fruit that was picked at the peak of ripeness! The wonderfully cold gelato was a truly delicious and much needed reprieve in the hot Paris afternoon.
After a few days in Paris, we took the train to Aix-en-Provence, a small town in the south of France As a promise to the girls, we woke up early and headed to an outdoor farmer’s market with stalls of produce, meats, cheeses. The first things we bought were a bag of beautiful dark cherries and a basket of strawberries. The cherries were the sweetest we had ever tasted. We couldn’t help but exclaim “wow” after the first bite of a fresh cherry. While walking back to the apartment, we nearly devoured all the strawberries.
Each morning in the apartment we would have breakfast consisting of fresh fruit and warm croissants. Directly next door to the apartment building was a family owned Boulangerie (bakery). Every morning my husband would run downstairs and buy some hot croissants and deliver them for breakfast. We would sit on our rooftop terrace, eating our warm, melt-in-your-mouth croissants, juicy sweet fruits and enjoy the view of the orange tiled rooftops, church steeples and Mount St. Victoire in the background. The food in Paris was fun for the girls, as was the experience of sitting in the outdoor cafés, but the farm fresh foods in Provence are the ones that still get their taste buds tingling.
Every Friday we share a weekly behind-the-scenes photo taken in our offices at Tea.This could be anything – great employee outfits, our sources of inspiration, shots from our parties, or photos of us hard at work. For more sneak peeks behind the scenes at Tea click here.
Amber on the design team brought this zapatista doll back from Mexico. Zapatistas are a leftist revolutionary group based out of Chiapas, and their fashion is a huge part of identifying who is participating in the movement. We’ll be writing more about them later! This little doll sits on the windowsill in the design department watching the daily hustle and bustle. We brought him downstairs to show him off in front of our large map of the world.
Menzel traveled around the world to shop, cook, and eat with families in their homes, taking note of each and every piece of food consumed during a week. Each image in the book describes a little bit about the family featured, and outlines the average cost of weekly groceries. Above, the Aboubakar family in Chad.
The Ahmad family of Cairo
The Batsuuli family of Mongolia
The Casales family of Mexico
I’s interesting noticing how much food that can be grown regionally plays a part in people’s meals. Some families eat mainly grains, others eat a lot of fruit. The families above seem to consume very little packaged food, in comparison to the average American family. To see more photos click here. What would a photo of your family’s weekly groceries look like?
Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.
Amate bark paper-making is a Mexican craft that started in pre-hispanic Mexico. The craft risked being replaced entirely by more modern European paper production. When amate paper started getting attention from scholars, the Otami saw the opportunity to revive the craft. They began selling the paper in Mexico city where the Nahua poeple started a “new indigenous craft” by creating paintings with the paper. Nahua paintings (above) are now one of the most popular crafts from Mexico.
images from Montgomery schools, Mexican Art Dealing
This season we are all about outfitting! More than ever before, our Mexico-inspired line of clothing is about mixing and matching, layering, and accessorizing. This concept is great for back to school. In August the weather may still be warm, so short-sleeved shirts and dresses are in demand. As fall sets in and the weather gets cooler, layering a long-sleeve tee underneath short-sleeve items adds a layer of warmth. And as winter approaches throw on some thick cotton leggings, legwarmers, and a hat and you’ve got an outfit that is good for playing regardless of the weather.
And what better way to demonstrate this than through our customers? We’ve asked a few of our blogger friends to showcase our Back to School Fall 2011 collection, and highlight their favorite outfits. Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring a few of these posts on Studio T.
The first blogger we talked to about this was Amy Turner of Mom Central. Her 3 year-old daughter Brooke is just starting to assert herself in regards to fashion, and has some pretty strong opinions about how she’d like to dress herself. In Amy’s words “She insists on picking out her own clothes and getting dressed all by herself, even if that means stripes matching up with polka dots and pink matching up with orange. And what gets me is her determination and strong voice. When I gently suggest a different option that may match better, she insists what she’s picked out is perfect and dismisses my opinion. Who can argue with that passion for flair?” Luckily with Tea Amy and Brooke were able to come to a happy medium – everything is made to mix and match, so there’s no clashing of colors and patterns. And hopefully those future conversations about clothes can be on hold until Brooke’s a teenager…
Christian Cota is a Mexican fashion designer and up and coming star in the fashion world. Born in Mexico City, Cota studied painting in Paris, before moving to New York to study fashion at Parsons.
Cota’s aesthetic often references nature, and many are calling his Fall 2011 line “haute hiking”. Inspired by seventies rock climbers, Alpine ski trips, and traditional Tibetan garb, Cota’s recent collection is constructed of earthy tones, thick furs, and loosely draped linens. About his new line, Cota tells a story: “A couple years ago I went to Mount Etna in Sicily. The temperature is so extreme at the top of the volcano and there’s a real spiritual aspect to dressing”.
To contrast with his earthy colors and to complement his spiritual Himalayan theme, Costa also introduced bright reds into his latest collection:
To see more of his collection, check out Christian Cota’s website.