June 6, 2008 Father’s Day: It’s In the Details

Alpaca_links_cardigan
Alpaca_links_cardigan

Father’s Day became official here in 1972, but at least one of the stories circulated about its origin began a century earlier in Spokane, Washington.  U.S. Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart reared his six children as a single parent after his wife died.  One of his daughters, Sonora Smart Dodd, was so grateful that she campaigned for a day like the then newly-instituted Mother’s Day to commemorate his shining fatherhood and paternal parenting universally.

The stories about Dodd’s dedication to her dad don’t reveal the details.  But I suspect that her admiration was not about size, but scope – a microscope.  That is, her abiding adoration for her father was composed of his mundane, minute, but ever-caring acts magnified over time to create a lasting (dare we say big?) impact in her life.

In our hearts we know it.  The good feelings we have about our male family members are not wrought of lofty edifices like the Sears Tower, but (if you’ll forgive me), woven enduringly like our men’s Pima shirts and Alpaca sweaters, stitch by loving stitch, on a smaller, more daily-wear scale.

Posted by on
Tagged , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink | ShareThis

May 30, 2008 Father’s Day: Bigger & Better

Men's Pima Cotton Polo
Men's Pima Cotton Polo: Peruvian Connection

Here in America, we’re always thinking about size. The bigger, the better. You know, the Empire State Building, the Mighty Mississippi, the Giant Redwoods, the Great Plains. I noticed the other day that the Hungry Man brand of TV dinners now come in size XXL.

And speaking of men, no one looms larger on our pop culture landscape this month than Dad. Advertisers, from tire-makers to cellular phone purveyors, seek our ear and our buying impulses, so we can demonstrate to our fathers that they are indeed biggest and best in our respective families.

And when it comes to Father’s Day, we’re not just in Kansas anymore—we share our celebration of “the big guy” the third Sunday in June with 40 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, including Japan, the UK and Peru. Germany is a notable exception, observing no similar family-oriented event for their “Vaters.” (Instead, the men literally take a hike. They get together to walk and pull along a beer or wine wagon for refreshment. If you think I’m kidding, look up Herrentag—Gentlemen’s Day.)

So, here’s the deal. We’d love for you to share with us your yarns about dad. Think Dustin Hoffman. No, not about big noses. About “Hero” tributes and your own “Little Big Man” moments. (And, of course, if dad was wearing one of our shirts at the time, all the better, wink!)

Pima Interlock Polo, $49
Pima Cotton Tee, $36

Posted by admin on
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink | ShareThis

May 7, 2008 Design Inspiration: A Phoenix Rises to Nobility

Last_one25
Last_one25

In the late 14th century of the Ming Dynasty, the use of woven or embroidered insignia badges were worn at the chest and back of robes to indicate rank in social and military circles.  The mandated system specified a particular bird or animal for each of the nine ranks.

In the above Ming-dynasty badge of silk and gold threads, we see a pair of phoenixes.  The phoenix was associated with the empress, just as the dragon was the symbol of the emperor.  Here, the paired phoenixes identify the owner of this insignia as an imperial lady or high-ranking noble woman. 

As you look more closely you will find more symbolic references.  The long-tailed pair focus on each other with intense energy, their curving forms spiraling that energy inward toward the center of the badge.  The perched male bird sits on a rock over waves, an abbreviated reference to the deep sea / cosmic mountain motif.  Lingzhi mushrooms of immortality grow near the rocks.  He turns his head towards his mate, who hovers above in a cloud-filled sky.  (It was unusual to have a female figure higher than a male during this time.)  Three large peonies in full bloom, emblems of female beauty, separate the pair and complete the imagery. 

This single museum piece was the inspiration for three of our designs.  If you would like to empower the same female energy as our imperial lady then you can wear her insignia here:

Due East Skirt
Chinaberry Tank Dress
Phoenix Kimono

Posted by admin on
Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments | Permalink | ShareThis

April 18, 2008 Seal of Approval

Fidelity_medallion
Fidelity Medallion

Bring a little romance and nobility into your life with our medallion necklaces.  Inspired by a box of wax-sealed letters found at an estate sale, the designers have turned the authentic 19th century seals of cracked wax into jewelry that fuses archaic symbolism with modern design.

Sterling Fidelity Medallion – (pictured above) Reads "Fidele En Absence" which means "Faithful in Absence" in French.
Bronze Coat of Arms Medallion – Depicts a lion upon a Fleur De Lis crest, representing courage & purity.
St. George’s Medallion – Depicts St. George who, according to legend, slew a fearsome dragon.

Posted by admin on
Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment | Permalink | ShareThis

Behind the Scenes

Cargo_skirt_3
Hibiscus Cargo Skirt

Our photographer captures all sides of our Hibiscus Cargo Skirt while shooting in Tlacochahuaya, Mexico.  Not your average garden variety cargo skirt, ours is made from pima cotton sateen in a vibrant hibiscus print. 

Posted by admin on
Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment | Permalink | ShareThis