Every year, when winter wanes and the weather warms, Mother Nature reveals her true colors in the Texas countryside. Come spring, the Lone Star State produces one of the biggest and brightest wildflower shows on Earth, with bluebonnets and brown-eyed susans, winecups and Indian paintbrushes blanketing the state’s south-central region.
This year, Carolina Lewis, along with her twin cousins, Margaret and Alicia Amberson, are celebrating the season at their San Antonio–based ranch wear brand, Sorella Clothing Co.
Their capsule collection of wildflower scarves includes the oversized Sallie shawl made of 100% silk, plus two 40-inch-long silk ribbons that can be worn as wristlets, hat bands, hair ties, and more. While the shawl blooms with flora and fauna, the ribbons recount the South Texas vendors selling grapefruits, oranges, strawberries, and watermelons on the roadside every spring.
Like Sorella’s other textiles, this limited-edition collection features all-original artwork, with each design hand-painted by Alicia before being finished in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
“There’s something sort of magical about the different uses and abilities of Texas wildflowers,” says Alicia. “The same way you would snap a snapdragon in Colorado, you crack the stem of a crybaby in Texas to see the milky-white sap drip out. Dandelions can be used to predict the future by asking a quantifiable question and counting the number of seeds or petals. Depending on the life-cycle stage of the flowers, they can be used to grant wishes when the fluffy white seeds are blown away.”
In addition to folklore, the cousins were inspired by the wildflowers’ age-old medicinal uses. It is said that the Cherokee Indians used fleabane to treat internal hemorrhage, while the leaves of saltmarsh morning glory have been applied to snakebites. “While the prickly poppy sedates, the skeleton plant heals. Where the pheasant’s eye poisons, the Easter lily detoxifies,” says Alicia, adding, “It is these narratives that give Texas wildflowers their power.”
Since launching Sorella (which means “sister” in Italian) last May, the cousins have debuted a line of tailored shooting vests, silk scarves, blouses, and outdoor fashion accessories designed to celebrate Texas and the strong women who call it home.
“We started Sorella because we see a vision of Texas that is dominated by men but held together by women,” says Alicia. “We want to pay homage to all the powerful women who came before us.” sorellaclothingco.com
By Sallie Lewis | Photography by Hannah Gibson | Illustrations by Alicia Amberson for Sorella’s Spring 2021