The entire team at tea is so excited about our Mexico-inspired spring collection. The creative team was lucky enough to explore Oaxaca and Mexico City and bring back lots of inspiration for incredible styles and beautiful photography. One of the entire team’s favorite experiences was visiting Casa Viviana, an artisanal candle studio in Oaxaca. Our designers were so inspired by the beauty of these special handmade candles that they created a beautiful printed fabric, and then a dress, based on them. Director of Design Margie talks more about the experience at Casa Viviana:
Q: How did you discover Casa Viviana?
I sought meaningful travel and inspiration and found Cosa Buena—a foundation offering unique experiences, and focused on responsible connection between cultures. Assistant Designer Nicole and I participated in the Entre Sueños retreat, exploring Oaxaca’s culture and traditions through workshops and exchanges with local communities and artisans. We gained a deeper understanding, respect for cultural heritage and created life long connections with the participants, including at Casa Viviana.
Q: What kinds of things did you do at Casa Viviana?
We visited with Doña Viviana Alávez, the matriarch who presides over the crafting of elaborate, ceremonial beeswax candles at her home in Teotitlán Del Valle. We learned about this timeless, intricate, handmade traditional art that this Oaxacan region is known for.
Q: What was it about the candles that inspired you?
Viviana and her family make each candle themselves. Every piece of wax is formed and assembled by hand, so we decided to use hand drawn and painted techniques for the illustrations of the candles. We felt that her use of flowers, animals, and fruit icons would be so beautiful on a dress. Also it could be a great opportunity to introduce a traditional artform to our customer.
Q: Can you tell us more about this dress?
Yes—it’s hand illustrated artwork printed on Tea’s beautiful cotton/linen woven fabric. This fabric is both refined yet rustic. It’s durable and breathable. Holds its structure and twirls beautifully. We wanted to create a twirly, feminine silhouette that was effortless, yet modern.
Our partnership with The Cosa Buena Foundation is part of our ongoing commitment to donate 10% of profits to make the world a better place for kids everywhere. To date, Tea has donated over $1.5 million to various non-profit organizations. You can learn more about their work or make a donation here.