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…
Whenever our designers travel they take hundreds of photos – of flowers, gardens, buildings, people, fashion, textiles, markets, and signs. All of these images are brought back to our offices in San Francisco and used to draw inspiration from when designing our latest line of clothing.
Photographing signs seems to be a common practice of the traveler. Living a few blocks from the Haight-Ashbury intersection in San Francisco, I see this touristy obsession with signs all the time. And yet…there is something quite beautiful about signs. Much like the coffee bags in yesterday’s post, our designers love signs as resources for gathering different typefaces and graphics to use on our tees.
Do you have any favorite signs that you see every day, or that you’ve captured photos of on your travels?
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 tasted coffee from Chiapas, Mexico? Chiapas is located in the southern mountain range of Mexico, near the Pacific Ocean. Coffee beans from this region are sought after for their delicate aroma and sweet, medium-bodied taste. Mexican farmers have been growing coffee beans for generations with limited technology, and due to the mountainous environment most coffee fields are small – between 2 and 4 acres large.
When visiting this region of Mexico our designers were bombarded with different brands of Chiapas coffee, each owned by a separate family company. Each bag had its own typeface and personality, some referencing vintage coffee bag aesthetics, while others were more bright and modern. Inspired by the graphics, our designers created our Jaguares de Chiapas Tee. Constructed out of our favorite slub cotton, this shirt references a rich agricultural history, and is perfect for playing sports and exploring!
“Jaguares de Chiapas” is a professional soccer club from the Chiapas region. And why number 19? Chiapas is Mexico’s 19th state.
Frida approached Diego initially in search of an artistic mentor. They fell in love and were married in 1929. Their marriage was fraught with difficulties, but their art flourished. Our designers visited their famous “blue house” in Mexico City, which had separate living quarters and art studios connected by a lush courtyard garden.
Diego Rivera’s paintings commonly reflected the working class citizens of Mexico. A known communist, he sympathized with union workers and was commissioned to create numerous large-scale murals during his lifetime. Intricate stories often play out in his larger murals, depicting famous political and artist characters of the time.
Diego Rivera's "En el Arsenal" detail (left), and "The Flower Carrier (right)
Frida’s work consisted largely of self-portraits. Suffering from chronic and extreme back pain following a trolley car accident when she was young, her paintings fluctuate between states of calm beauty and a harsher dark aesthetic. Frida’s artwork is hailed as emblematic of the surrealist movement, and she is one of the most well-known women artists in history.
Frida Kahlo's "Self Portait on the Border Between Mexico and the United States" (top), "Self Portrait with Monkey and Cat" (right), "Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress" (left)
Both artists were significant influences on our Fall 2011 collection. Stay tuned for more stories about Frida and Diego and how their work and aesthetic styles inspired our design team!
Are you familiar with Picasso’s work in clay? I didn’t realized that Picasso was so passionate about clay. His ceramic pieces ended up being some of my favorite. They inspired many of our graphics for our Catalonia collection.
Peacocks were popular in the Modernisme and Art Nouveau movements (right). We especially loved these lesser known drawings of peacocks by two of Spain’s most famous artists (left), Salvador Dalí (top) and Joan Miró (bottom).
Welcome to our Fall 2011 collection, inspired by Modern Mexico! Our designers traveled to Mexico City, Oaxaca, and San Cristobal, and immersed themselves in the culture to gather inspiration for this new line. Loving the bright vivid colors, intricate embroidery, and bustling marketplaces, they returned to San Francisco to design our latest collection. We have a small release and preview of what’s to come up on our site, so head over to check out our latest girl’s and boy’s clothes.
For the next few weeks on Studio T we’ll be wrapping up our Barcelona-inspired summer collection, and moving into the festivities of Modern Mexico. We look forward to taking this journey with you.
Oscar de la Renta’s outdone himself with his latest Resort 2012 Collection. Drawing inspiration from Spain’s cubist artists such as Picasso, his line celebrates bold patterns and geometric shapes, much like Tea’s current Catalonia-inspired collection.
We love the way he’s transformed this artistic movement into an edgy line of urban couture. Bright colors and textures are combined with simply-cut dresses to create a timeless collection.
There is so much inspiration to be drawn from art movements in Spain. Below are a few pieces of Tea’s interpretation of Cubism and Picasso’s art:
In the spirit of our current destination Catalonia, and spurred on by one of my favorite food(ie) newsletters and sites, Tasting Table, my husband Tom and I went on an excursion to the Noe Valley restaurant Contigo for Calçots, a special variety of spring onion from Catalonia, Spain.
We had first seen them picked, grilled and devoured “live” on the PBS Series, Spain…On the Road Againwith Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Gwynneth Paltrow and Claudia Bassols. Needless to say, when I got my Tasting Table email, I was salivating.
At Contigo, they came two ways – roasted on the grill and in a light tempura coating. The accompanying sauce, salvitxada, was amazing, kind of like a romesco, but a bit different (roasted red peppers, garlic, nuts and red wine vinegar).
I forgot to snap a photo, but here’s a pic to give you a sense of what calçots are all about:
We tried some other dishes, including the Catalan style chard and the flatbread. And we enjoyed our tour of Spanish wines. It was a transporting and tasty experience just a couple miles from our home. Proof that you can go there across the street.
Here’s a salvitxada recipe if you’d like to try the sauce on for yourself. I think I’ll grill some veggies this weekend and give it a go. Happy tasting and Happy Mother’s Day and love to my mom and all the moms out there!