Monthly Archives: July 2011

July 6, 2011

Marvelous Marimbas

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.

Have you heard of the marimba instrument? First developed in southern Mexico and northern Guatemala, marimbas were influenced by an instrument similar to the xylophone called the balafon, which originated in West Africa.

Similar to a xylophone, marimbas have keys that the player hits with mallets. Traditional marimbas have gourds attached underneath as resonators (see above), but more modern versions have carved wooden resonators to better control the pitch. The instrument has a fun beat, and is either played solo or with other instruments. Our designers loved the playful music the marimbas makes, and designed our Marimba Mini Dress with dancing in mind!

Our Marimba Mini Dress comes in two colors – a light surf turquoise or a dark indigo blue. The flower design down the front was inspired by some of the intricate artistic carvings done along the sides of marimbas.

So what does a marimba sound like? Any ABBA fans out there may recognize marimbas at the beginning of their song Mamma Mia – one of its more famous pop appearances. Traditional marimba musical styles vary on the region and player, but below is a great example of the range of the marimba, and some history about its origins in Mexico and Guatemala:

 

Bird of Paradise Dress

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.

Have you ever seen a bird of paradise flower? I never had, until I moved to California. They flower everywhere here, lining gardens and growing like weeds in front of stores. Sometimes I forget about them until I have visitors from out of town, who can’t believe how easily they grow in California.

Birds of paradise are popular in Mexico as well, and we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to create a dress influenced both by the flower and its namesake bird. In a mercado in Mexico City we found a woman’s shirt (above right) that became the inspiration for our Bird of Paradise dress (above left).

Lightweight poplin cotton, this dress is perfect for hot summers, and can be layered over our radish-colored leggings for cooler evenings.

Do you have a favorite bird or flower you’d like to see on a Tea dress?

July 4, 2011

Random Acts of Inspiration: Party Hats

Every Monday at Studio T we showcase fashion and art projects we find inspiring. Have a look at our previous Random Acts of Inspiration here.

Paper-stylist Stuart McLachlan‘s creations are intricate yet whimsical – we love them! Garnering attention from the fashion world, his creations have been seen on runways around the world, and have made appearances in Vogue magazine.

Happy July 4th, everybody!

July 1, 2011

The Summer Adventure List

July 4th weekend is almost here, and with summer moving so quickly I’m already making mental lists of what I want to do before the San Francisco rain returns in November. Raft down Russian River,  ride horses on the beach,  send my grandfather postcards from all over California,  have a barbecue in Golden Gate Park…and the list goes on and on!

What’s on your summer to-do list? The list below is kid-friendly, but I think I could get into any of those activities…

image by whatever