Category Archives: Behind the Design

March 20, 2014

It’s Officially Spring And We’re Celebrating With New Arrivals

New arrivals are here just in time for the first official day of spring! In the heart of the Marrakech medina (the old city) sits La Mamounia, a palatial hotel that dazzles with hand-cut tiles, ornately carved columns and handmade lanterns.

When we saw La Mamounia, we knew it was the perfect inspiration for our special occasion styles. Bring a little Moroccan magic home with you – the lighthearted prints, intricate embroidery and fresh colors are perfect for all your springtime celebrations.

Shop our new arrivals today!

March 18, 2014

Happening at a Nordstrom Near You…

Nordstrom Days to Delight with Tea Collection

Saturday, March 22, 2014 // 10AM-2PM
Nordstrom // Days to Delight
World of Tea Collection Moroccan Art Party

Create artwork inspired by Morocco (we’ll give you some fun facts to get you started) and we’ll turn it into a magnet for you to take home. Young Picasso’s can enter a contest to have their art transferred to a real canvas. Find a Nordstrom near you and don’t miss out on the fun!*

In the Bay Area? Nordstrom Walnut Creek will host our co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Emily Meyer. Emily will share the story behind the Spring 2014 Morocco collection and join in the Morocco-inspired drawing activity from 12-2PM.

 

*Event will be hosted in Nordstrom Kids’ Wear department, while supplies last.

March 4, 2014

DIY Head Turban

No-Sew Turban

Our spring catalog was filled with bright colors, bold patterns and tons of accessories. Many of you wrote in about the head turbans and tassel necklaces wondering where you could buy them. Unfortunately, they’re not available for purchase as they were handmade by our talented stylists, but we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for a couple of DIYs. Grab an old shirt or dress and a pair of scissors, with a few twists you’ll have your very own head turban in no time!

Head Turban by Tea Collection

Really, all you need is an old dress or tee shirt and a pair of scissors. About 5 inches above the hem of the dress or shirt cut across the garment.

Head Turban by Tea Collection

(We decided to also cut the hem off, so both sides would be even)

Head Turban by Tea Collection

Twist once…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

Twist twice…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

Place one end over the other…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

And you have yourself a DIY head turban!

Want to dress it up like we did in our spring catalog? You can find beaded headbands such as this and this to layer on top. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

February 27, 2014

Shades of Jardin Bleu

Jardin Bleu

Shades of blue are found all throughout Morocco. We found this bold, cobalt color in tiles, walls, doorways – even orange stands! We’ve come to call this particular shade Majorelle Blue, and we think it’s perfect for spring. With so many styles, it’s easy to mix and match all sorts of prints and patterns for fresh outfits all season long!

Majorelle BluesShop these styles:

Majorelle Flutter Dress // Majorelle Stripe Tee // Swiss Dot Flutter Sleeve Top // Dot Print Layering Tee // Soludos Original Canvas Dali // Blue Chameleon Raglan Tee // Dot Print Capri Leggings // Patagonia Trucker Hat // Majorelle Garden Twirl Skort // Delta Runner Graphic Tee //  End-on-End Stripe Hoodie

January 20, 2014

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons in Custom Tea at Golden Globes and SAG Awards

Awards season is in full swing and we couldn’t be more excited to see Tea on the red carpet! Aubrey Anderson-Emmons attended both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards shows in one-of-a-kind custom Tea Collection dresses. Congratulations to the entire cast of Modern Family for their SAG win, ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series’, the award was much deserved. Aubrey is the youngest SAG winner and she’s now won three years in a row!

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons Golden Globes

Months ago, we sent Aubrey sketches of several different design options for the award shows. She chose her two favorites, a modern drop-waist dress in pink duchesse satin with Swarovski crystal accents and a modern shift dress in a two-tone iridescent satin in orchid with two tiers of cascading ruffles draped across the bodice. We got to work!

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons SAG Awards 2014

We were thrilled to hear the announcement of Pantone’s color of the year; Radiant Orchid. With purple as one of her favorite colors, she was ahead of the trend! Aubrey held her own on the red carpet amongst award show veterans. Congratulations again on the win, Aubrey – What an exciting two weeks!

Pantone Color of the Year - Orchid

 

August 19, 2013

China’s Most Recognized Design Tradition

One of the most iconic Chinese designs is China’s world famous Blue and White Porcelain (known in Chinese as 清花 qinghua), which is why it seems so natural that it was one of the design inspirations for Tea Collection’s Fall/Winter 2013 Destination China collection.

Traded all over the world at the height of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Blue and White Porcelain came to be known outside of China as “Ming Ware” or quite simply “china” as an ode to the land of its origin.

The most prized Blue and White Porcelain didn’t come from just anywhere in China, though. It all came from one place known as the mecca of all porcelain craftsman and artisans for over 1000 years: Jingdezhen, Jiangxi.

Porcelain from Jingdezhen has come to represent the pinnacle of Chinese craftsmanship, as China’s most skilled porcelain and pottery masters have perfected their craft in the city for centuries. Aspiring porcelain artists continue to flock to Jingdezhen to join the artisan community and study at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, China’s premier center of ceramic higher learning.

Photo credit: Frank B. Lenz

History of Jingdezhen

Since 557 CE, Jingdezhen has been the center of fine porcelain art, crafting, innovation, and production in China. The city is home to the Imperial Kilns that fired the porcelain used and treasured in Beijing’s Forbidden Palace.

In fact, Jingdezhen’s name is connected to its imperial ties. The Song Dynasty Emperor Jing De (who reigned from 1004-1007) so admired the porcelain created in Jingdezhen that he issued an imperial edict to honor the manufacture of porcelain. The town became known as “Jing De Town” (zhen 镇 in Chinese means town) in his honor.

In 1267, the legendary Kublai Khan established a Ceramic Bureau with 80 imperial craftsman.  During the Ming Dynasty, official kilns designated for imperial porcelain production were established along with the Imperial Porcelain Bureau in Jingdezhen.

In addition to regular sacrificial offerings to the Chinese diety protecting ceramic production, in the Ming Dynasty the emperor started dispatching a royal eunuch to oversee ceramic production in Jingdezhen on behalf of him.

Chinese Emperors took their Jingdezhen porcelain seriously!

When your young ones wear the Lucky Fish Tee, Porcelain Floral Smocked Top, Painted Pottery Graphic Dress, or Porcelain Floral Henley Dress, you can transport your whole family to the historical ancient porcelain crafting capital of Jingdezhen.

Photo credit: Frank B. Lenz

Visiting Jingdezhen Today

Jingdezhen still continues to carry on the legacy of fine Chinese porcelain craftsmanship today.  The pride this small town in southern China takes in porcelain crafting can be seen in the visitor friendly restorations of the Ancient Kilns and in the small details, like the porcelain stop lights downtown or the porcelain trash cans at historical sites (really!).

Photo credit: Tranquil Tuesdays

Visitors to Jingdezhen can see how craftsman continue to use the same techniques Chinese porcelain traditions have relied on for centuries at demonstrations in the Ancient Kilns. In the pictures above, you can see a photo taken in the 1920’s and one I took two years ago. As you can see, not much has changed!

To discover what is new and fresh in the ancient town of Jingdezhen, visitors can also visit many different studios and galleries of younger talents based in Jingdezhen who seek to bring a modern twist to China’s ancient porcelain art.

Photo credit: Tranquil Tuesdays

For anyone fascinated with Chinese porcelain crafting traditions, a pilgrimage to Jingdezhen is the place for you! If you want to learn more about Jingdezhen and China’s unique design and art traditions, read more here.

 

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Charlene Wang regularly travels to Jingdezhen, China to work with the emerging Chinese artisans who handcraft Tranquil Tuesdaysauthentically beautiful and exclusive teaware collection.

 

July 18, 2013

Complete Pandemonium

China loves its pandas, and so do we, from their pretty little faces to their fuzzy little tails. Did you know that China is the only place panda bears live, and the country has 37 official panda protecting areas? In the land where this bear is a national treasure, of course we caught a case of pandemonium.

Shop our Pretty Panda Graphic Tee now!

 

July 9, 2013

Polka Dots For Everyone!

When four of Tea’s finest were spotted in polka dots, we couldn’t resist a picture! Have your little one join the fun with our new Modern Dot Bubble Dress. In the Beijing art district known as Dashanzi or 798, we loved seeing the art that abounds in galleries and on the street. It inspired this dress!

June 17, 2013

Dresses + Leggings