When we moved into our house 4 years ago, there was a cozy, sun-filled room adjacent to the kitchen that I felt would be a great mini-play space. I envisioned the kids creating artwork in this space and proudly displaying their creations on a large wall inside the room – it would be their very own art gallery! We covered the wall with magnetic paint and then added a few layers of chalkboard paint. (The kids still don’t know that the wall is actually one large chalkboard… too messy and dusty near the kitchen!) At first, we tried to mount the kids’ paintings with magnets, but they didn’t stick well (most likely because we have chalkboard paint over it), so the artwork is now mounted with colorful tape.
A deep dive into five of our favorite big cat graphic’s from past destinations…
Destination: Japan Fall/Winter 2009
Tiger Mask is a Japanese manga (comic) series written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Naoki Tsuji. First released in print in 1968, Tiger Mask was later adapted into an anime series in 1969. After 105 episodes, the series ended in 1971. In both the manga and anime, Tiger Mask was a feared wrestler in America who was ruthless in the ring. However, he became a face (“good guy”) after returning to Japan when a young boy told him he wanted to be a villain like Tiger Mask when he grew up. The little boy lived in an orphanage… the same one that Tiger Mask grew up in during his childhood. Frightened that the boy would idolize a villain, Tiger was inspired to be a heroic wrestler.
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!
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!
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!
“For this year’s Emmys, my inspiration started with the elegant oversized sash worn with traditional Japanese robes. The dress has a delicate bateau neckline with a graduated hem skirt, and we added a dramatic knotted tie to captivate on the red carpet.
We were delighted to have found this beautiful floral silk ikat, as Aubrey’s favorite colors are pink and purple – I just knew it would make the perfect accent to the lavender silk satin dress. It is sophisticated yet sweet, the perfect complement to Aubrey’s spirited charm.” Emily Meyer, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Tea Collection
Several different styles were sketched for Aubrey’s 2013 Emmy dress.
We focused on fabrics that would work best with the fit and style of the dresses you see above.
We added color to our sketches after the fabric was pulled and sent images to Aubrey so she could choose her favorite. The dress was then transformed from this…
Her favorite part of this dress?
Emily was on hand for final touches…
And then Aubrey was off!
We’ll be watching live to see if she takes the Emmy stage for another ‘Modern Family’ win for Best Comedy.
Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage
Good luck tonight Aubrey and to the entire cast of Modern Family!
See Aubrey Anderson-Emmons in a few of her favorite Tea dresses…
What She Wore
(And, shop the look!)
from left to right
Row 1: Blooming Lily Shift Dress, Los Angeles Film Festival, Summer 2013 :: Custom Tea Collection Dress for 2012 Emmy’s :: Sethunya Floral Dress, USA Upfronts, Summer 2013
Tea brings worldwide cultures and modern design to children’s fashion. Twice each year we pack our bags, travel the globe, explore and discover, and then bring it all home in original designs that express the spirit of our adventures abroad. We go there.
We found this early video of Emily and had to share it with you. It’s the story of how it began and why we continue to explore.
Discover the inspiration behind one of our favorite boys tops, the Black Mamba Tee.
Hiss-Hiss make this Black Mamba tee ‘hiss’ own.
Elephants at Thula Thula.
Me on my safari jeep with the Thula Thula staff.
At the end of our South Africa adventures I went to visit Thula Thula – the game reserve owned by Lawrence Anthony, author of the Elephant Whisperer – a book I decided to reread on our trip. The first night I was there – I was literally the only guest. I went to dinner and on the nightly safari drive with the staff and as it turns out, a few of the people from the book I was reading. It was a little scary sleeping in your own little house by yourself with no one else around. I heard a few creatures around my room throughout the night – but just kept telling myself they were only geckos so it was no big deal.
Rhinos at Thula Thula.
Hello, way up there!
The next day in between a morning bush walk and lunch, I went back to my room/cottage to read. I’ve never been especially squeamish around snakes – I watched a lot of crocodile hunter and “knew” how to deal with the poisonous ones. Then I get to the section in the book where one of the staff at Thula Thula gets bit by a black mamba, because he tried to grab it – crocodile hunter style. So then they talk about how you have 30 minutes to get anti venom but they can’t keep it on site because it goes bad too quickly. They have to rush this staff member to the nearest hospital – 45 minutes away. The math is not adding up to me and things aren’t sounding good for this poor guy. It was now time for lunch so I put my book away and glance up at the top of my mosquito net – and what do I see? A smiling black snake looking down at me. Well crap, now I am scared of snakes, or at least this snake. So while still in the safety of my mosquito net I try to get as close as possible to the door of my room. But every move I make the snake follows. I finally get the courage to brave it and leap for the door.
I went and found a ranger. He and the manager came back to my room to identify what kind of snake it was. Obviously, he was no longer in the same spot when they got there. But I wouldn’t let them leave till we found him because logically, I assumed the snake was going to hide in my luggage and wait to make surprise attack back in San Francisco. So we are all looking around my room and finally we spot the snake. But we are all pointing in different directions, because apparently it was a entire family of snakes that was lodging with me.
Well it turned out they were just a friendly black house snakes, so I was safe. But the experience inspired me to design our Black Mamba Tee. Black mambas actually do look quite friendly, so I made him a little scarier so his look better matched his reputation as the “deadliest snake in Africa.” Like what you see here? Check out all our new boys outfits.
A common house snake on your left and a deadly Black Mamba on the right.
Who do you think looks more friendly? The house snake is on the left and the Black Mamba is on the right.
Our cozy boys’ hoodie was named after Chester Williams who was famously dubbed ‘The Black Pearl.’ During the 1995 Rugby World Cup games, Chester was the only black player on the Springbok Team from South Africa. He became the poster boy (literally) of the end of apartheid in South Africa; his face was plastered on the sides of planes and on billboards. Many South African children idolized him which eventually helped bring an end to the racial injustice in South Africa. If you are curious about Chester and the rest of the Springboks, watch Invictus.
Nceka cloth from our South Africa inspiration trip.
On our trip to the Limpopo Region, our designers were struck by the beautiful beading and embroidery on Nceka cloths. The Nceka cloth is a traditional cloth worn over the upper body by Tsonga and Shangaan women. Oftentimes it is an indigo dyed fabric embellished with beads and safety pins by the wearer herself. Intricately embroidered Nceka cloths are saved for special occasions like weddings.
We loved the colorful and unique detail of Nceka cloths so much that we created the Mtititi Floral Tunic. You can bring home a piece of South Africa too from our girls’ tops! The over-dyed floral indigo fabric is embellished to look like the beads from traditional Nceka cloths.
Our Mtititi Floral Tunic inspired by the Nceka cloth.
Watch the Mtititi Magic video to see beading in action and learn about how Mtititi has changed the lives of women in the Limpopo Region. Video courtesy of WatchKubasa via Youtube.
Horses have played a major role in the development of all cultures, maybe because they proved reliable creatures and friends. For the past three holiday seasons, we have featured horses on our girls’ tees. Take a trip down memory lane with us.
What can you see on every street in Copenhagen? A bike! That’s right everywhere our designers looked – right, left, up, down- they spotted bikes. That’s why our Nordic collection was dotted with bikes on girls tees and boys hoodies. Cycling is an integral part of Danish life and even has its own blog capturing cycle style, Cycle Chic. For many, it may be their only mode of transportation. Did you know more people bike to work in the greater Copenhagen area than in the entire United States? Urban planners in Copenhagen wanted to make cycling easy not an uphill battle for their residents. Many factors contribute to Copenhagen’s biking success, one being that they have a relatively flat terrain and specialized cycle tracks that criss-cross the city. Slowly but surely, progressive American cities are becoming more bike friendly like San Francisco where bikes lanes are being widened and free bike valet is offered at major events.