Mumbai, City Secrets: Masala Tees: Earl Grey, Black and Not (T)Oolong

06.28.2010

Served in dainty Sevres cups and chipped grimy glasses, featured on leather bound menus and at street stalls, hot, milky tea spiced with cardamom, black pepper and sometimes even saffron, is one of the most ubiquitous motifs of Mumbai?s urban landscape.

We recently stumbled across a unique avatar of this city classic at Bombay Electric, one of the city?s hippest, most upscale fashion stores: Masala Tees, cotton T-shirts that come adorably packed in actual ?tea bags.? Embellished with traditional Indian portraits and strategically placed Swarovski crystals, these are available in colors just right for spring: mustard, grey and, of course, hot pink ? India?s answer to navy.

Served in dainty Sevres cups and chipped grimy glasses, featured on leather bound menus and at street stalls, hot, milky tea spiced with cardamom, black pepper and sometimes even saffron, is one of the most ubiquitous motifs of Mumbai?s urban landscape.

 

We recently stumbled across a unique avatar of this city classic at Bombay Electric, one of the city?s hippest, most upscale fashion stores: Masala Tees, cotton T-shirts that come adorably packed in actual ?tea bags.? Embellished with traditional Indian portraits and strategically placed Swarovski crystals, these are available in colors just right for spring: mustard, grey and, of course, hot pink ? India?s answer to navy.

 

Masala Tees are designed by Sheikha Mattar-Jacob and Noelline Besson, expats from Singapore and France respectively. They succeed at a formula that many attempt, but few in India get right: combining distinctly traditional elements into a garment that is truly contemporary. These form-fitting T-shirts are a great way to add a little bit of India to your wardrobe without the draping hassles and excessive yards of cloth that so often accompany garments from the Subcontinent.

 

Better yet, Masala Tees are made from organic fabric (another big trend currently gripping Mumbai), and proceeds from sales often go toward one of several causes the designers support, like women?s issues and sustainable businesses.

 

Click here to view the collection.