Art & Soul

by Shannon Kelley Gould

For the three-man (okay, two-man, one-woman) show that is
Trinity Tropics, fashion is a family affair. The artistic vision
comes via the genius of longtime local Rhett Headley, whose family
owned Castagnola Seafood Restaurant and 19 other restaurants and
whose father was the president of the World Plan Executive Council,
which organized the activities of the transcendental meditation
non-profit movement. Rhett began meditating with his father at the
age of 13, and that experience has informed his art, as well as the
family business, which produces brightly colored, Mandala-inspired
designs in easy-wearing pieces, including pareos, yoga pants, and
shirts, that are perfect for a beachside lifestyle.

Rhett’s art focused mainly on airbrushing; today, on the
computer he creates the designs that adorn Trinity Tropics’
clothing line. Rhett’s wife Sheri always thought there was a
business somewhere in what he was doing. Enter Rhett’s nephew, the
business/econ-degreed Jason Headley (also of impressive Santa
Barbara stock — his maternal grandmother is Kit Tremaine, founder
of the Rescue Mission), who put the wheels in motion. The concept
was to create clothing for a relaxed, active, healthy lifestyle —
“the kind of lifestyle this art promotes,” Jason said, and the idea
took the two men halfway around the world, to India, in search of
manufacturers up to the task.

Recreating Rhett’s computer-generated, kaleidoscopic creations
on fabric is no easy feat — each item is meticulously hand-dyed,
color-by-color, pattern-by-pattern. And the process requires
extreme heat in order for the colors to render vividly enough, so
Trinity’s manufacturers — located in Jodhpur, Jaipur, and New Delhi
— can only work during the warmest times of year. But the results
were impressive enough to satisfy the artist behind them, as well
as earn the company accolades from the fashion industry at large:
Trinity Tropics officially came out at last September’s Action
Sports Retailer trade show in San Diego, and was a featured darling
of the Ellegirl fashion show. Locals can pick up their goods at the
Bikini Factory, Momentum Surf shop, Spa du Soleil, and the Oaks at
Ojai. Check them out in our fashion spread, on pages 27-33.


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