The Middle Kingdom: a cosmopolis set against a backdrop of soothing blues skies, seas and emerald mountains. Here, the Tang dynasty reigns, rocking the cradle of civilization. It is the golden age of literature, art, poetry, politics; a time for prosperity, extravagance, beauty. Men drink and feast in the imperial courts; women sing and swathe themselves in powders, pearls and perfumes; all dance merrily, unknowingly, on the brink between peace and war.
This t-shirt collection is our ode to the greatest Chinese dynasty that ever was: the peak of economic and artistic pursuits, rich in culture yet riddled with chaos. Distilling the opulent spirit of the Tang dynasty, we’ve reimagined their elaborate iconographies and aesthetics into effortlessly simple yet unique prints and pieces, rendered in color palettes lifted from the dynasty’s proliferating Silk Road. Thoughtful details—mandarin collars, antique buttons, playfully-placed motifs—add intrigue to casual staples that promise to breath new life into your boring rotation of worn-out tees.
Here are a few of our patterns.
The Dragonfly :
Our Dragon Fly print takes inspiration from The Meandering River, a beacon of calm and tranquility, where the great Chinese poet Du Fu penned one of his most enigmatic wartime writings by the same name, dreaming of peace amidst a war-torn reality:
"Butterflies flitting through the blooms are seen, unseen, in turn /
Dragonflies touch the calm waters, and dart, and then hover."
The humble dragonfly's innate ability to change its flight course mid-air—instantaneously yet so gracefully—is often likened to such coveted human qualities of power and wisdom. Its colour-shifting capabilities represent constant self-discovery, while its near 360-degree vision denotes an open mind, unbounded and free. It feeds off the wind, a mark of true purity.
The Tang Lantern :
After our visit to Xi'an, China, we wanted to recapture the capital's boundless beauty and elegance—beauty that can be found in even the most minute of details of the vast Middle Kingdom.
Our Tang Lantern Pocket T-Shirts come in color-blocks
inspired by the painted faces of the Tang Dynasty women: dusty yellow foundation, bluish black eyebrows with a touch of emerald green. The pocket lining features tiny ornamental designs paying homage to the delicately hand-painted flourishes that can be found on the women's foreheads. Think of it as the finishing touch that makes all the difference.
The Red Circle :
In Chinese culture, the circle symbolizes completeness, roundedness, fulfilment, the meeting of ying and yang—in a word, heaven. This simplest of shapes is also the hardest to perfect, the most difficult to draw unaided.
Looking to pat yourself on the back for past accomplishments while striving ever closer to endless goals ahead? Go for our Red Circle, representing prosperity and good fortune.
In need of a pick-me-up, less stress and more chill? Choose our Blue Circle to promote vigour, vitality, longevity and more harmony in your life.
Or go ahead, get both. If the heavens won't thank you, at least your wardrobe will.
All styles will be available 1 October, 2016