As we end one year and make our way into another, we’re taking this chance to look back and explore the places our collections have taken us. Tea has made it to over many different countries, met hundreds of caring people, learned how to sing and dance and say hello in countless languages. Most importantly, we’ve gathered all the inspiration along our way to share with you. Here’s a look at some places we’ve gone over the past few years.
Over our travels, we have been inspired by dragon folklore and symbolism that is revered in many Asian cultures. Though their physical appearance may differ from country to country, the dragons legend is consistent throughout. They are the symbol of power, strength and good luck. Chinese dragons are also closely associated with water. They are said to reside in rivers, lakes and oceans. Ancient Korean folklore suggests that dragons are capable of speaking and understanding emotions such as kindness, devotion and gratitude. Japanese dragons are much like Chinese in appearance and are connected to Buddhism and thought to live in the ponds and lakes near temples.
During the celebrations for the Chinese New Year, which begins on February 19th, 2015, you will see many dragons, especially in parades where people dance with large dragon figures. Here is a craft activity to recreate a dragon, like the one shown in our Daring Dragon Double Decker Tee, that you can share with little citizens to help them explore the ancient Asian mythology.
What You’ll Need to Draw a Dragon:
-1 sheet of white paper
-colored pencils or crayons
We love learning different ways of designing textiles. We feel deeply connected to the ancient Japanese dye technique called Shibori. Shibori comes from the Japanese verb root shiboru, “to wring, squeeze, press.” Dyeing cloth with a Shibori technique requires folding, crumpling, stitching and twisting the cloth to create the design pattern you hope to achieve. What we all love about the Shibori technique (besides the lovely Tea favorite indigo hue!) is the mystery around the process – you never know what type of design you have made until it is done. Learn how to make your own shibori dyed fabrics below!
What You’ll Need:
– An indigo dyeing kit like this one or indigo dye, wood blocks, rubber bands and rubber gloves
– T-shirts, cloth napkins, towels or any other fabric you wish to dye. Cotton responds best to dye.
– Two large containers, one for the dye, one for water.
– Newspaper or plastic to protect the surfaces around you
We’re excited to announce our first collection of Citizen Blue – a semi-annual collection that celebrates the magical spots we stop along the way to somewhere else. Rooted in rich indigo hues, Citizen Blue revisits heritage Tea styles and favorite prints from places we’ve already been and offers new designs inspired by places we’ve seen only glimpses of.
Citizen Blue is a voyager, a nomad. Not quite here or there, the collection draws inspiration from the journey and all of the magical spots we stop along the way to our final destination. It is truly global inspired, as pieces within a single collection range from Japan to Mexico.
Here, we share with you a look behind a few of this season’s designs…
This holiday season, we have been celebrating and sharing modern traditions. We had the pleasure of collaborating with Salli Swindell and Nate Padavick, a brother/sister design and illustration team known as Studio SSS. Sally and Nate shared a cranberry sauce recipe from their website, They Draw & Cook and we were hooked! Salli and Nate also have another amazing website, They Draw & Travel, home to the largest online collection of illustrated recipes and maps by artists from around the world. They kindly offered to share their two travel inspired books with Tea, Make Map Art by Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell and their first published book, MAAAPS by Aunyarat Watanbe.
Salli and Nate’s book, Make Map Art, came about after they attended a stationary show in New York where they met an editor at Chronicle Books. Their love for travel and storytelling mixed with their wonderful illustrations creates a great informative activity book for kids and adults alike. “The book is designed as a project portfolio kit to help anyone who is interested in exploring mapmaking.” says Salli. “Included in the portfolio is a guide book with ideas, definitions, prompts and examples along with templates and pages of icons. There are all kinds of different maps to make, everything from mapping your favorite city to creating a map of your mind!” Make Map Art is a great interactive book. Let your little citizens explore and create their own maps — even share them on the They Draw & Travel site!
At Tea, we believe in and wholeheartedly support the mission of The Global Fund for Children, and we began our tradition of Global Giving Thursdays in October. Every third Thursday of the month when you give to The Global Fund for Children on our site, we will match your donation. All proceeds go directly to our longtime charity partner.
For the month of December, we are matched up with The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project in Washington, D.C.. In the holiday spirit of giving, we are extending our Global Giving Thursdays to be everyday from December 2nd, 2014 until December 25th, 2014. During this time, when you buy one of Tea’s holiday styles, we’ll donate a similar style to the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project.
Families with children find themselves homeless for a variety of reasons, including rising rent costs, job loss or a job that pays too little, domestic violence, and medical problems. Some families spend years in facilities that are intended to be short-term solutions. This vulnerable time in a child’s life presents unprecedented risks as families live and sleep in unsafe situations. Most family shelters have no programs or services for children.
Since our holiday collection is our most dressy, we wanted to balance out the elegance with a healthy dose of fun. After all, the holidays are a time of laughter and parties and glitz—so we styled our holiday Tea models to match.
We imagined a chic holiday party in Berlin with a mix of opulent elegance and punk irreverence. We paired gorgeous gilded dresses with black tights, twirly embroidered skirts with skater-style high tops and festooned cozy sweaters with sparkly skull brooches.
David Bowie and Iggy Pop in Berlin 1977 // Courtesy of shapersofthe80s.com
While in Berlin, we were inspired by very the pop-punk scene of the late 70’s and 80’s. The music of Berlin in this era inspired everything from hairstyles to culture and it traveled all around the world. Let your little ones be inspired, play music and put on a show at your holiday party!
Images pulled for inspiration for the Tea Collection Holiday catalog photo shoot.
For hairstyles, we took a look at West Berlin’s punk style and Neue Deutsche Welle(New German Wave) in the 70’s and re-imagined those audacious mohawks in fun bouffant styles with braids and retro finger waves.
It’s lighthearted style that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Time to dress up, turn up the music and dance!