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Tropika Paraíso, a Collection from the Caribbean

There are some places in the world that seem infused with a little bit of mystery and magic, where time moves a little more slowly and the nostalgia of the past is actually a thing of the present. The sultry islands of the Caribbean are just such places, and they provided plenty of inspiration for Shabby Apple’s new line of swimwear, Tropika Paraíso.

Translated to mean “tropical paradise” from Papiamento, the native language of the Caribbean, the Tropika Paraíso line pays homage to the colorful, yesteryear vibe of the islands with Bohemian prints splashed across peplum tops, skirted bottoms, keyhole cutouts and ruched details. These pieces styled against the vibrant backdrop of the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

I wish we could all meet in San Juan tomorrow (with our favorite swimwear stashed in our carry-on, of course), but I suppose infusing a little bit of Caribbean culture into our lives wherever we happen to be will have to do. Here are some things to get you started!

Talk like a local with these Papiamento phrases:

Kon ta bai?/How are you?

Sea asina di/Please

Mi stima bo/I love you

Laga nos ban sali!/Let’s go out!

Or really put your linguistic skills on display with these classic island expressions:

Hopi scuma, tiki chucuati (“A lot of foam, little chocolate”) means, Too good to be true.

Eynan e porco su rabo ta krul (“That is where the pig’s tail curls”) means, That is where the problem lies.

Sopi pura ta sali salo (“Quick soup turns salty”) means, Good things take time

Bring some island flair into your kitchen with Puerto Rican pasteles (Pasteles Puertoriquenos), a Caribbean twist on the familiar tamale. A traditional food served at Christmas and other special occasions, women gather to make pasteles by the hundreds and freeze them until the designated celebration rolls around. Traditionalists grate the vegetables by hand, but you have my permission to use a food processor. Even with that modern convenience, be prepared to go on island time; this is one recipe that cannot be rushed!

And while you’re enjoying the fruits of your culinary labors, it can’t hurt to dream of paddling through the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay, windsurfing off the white sand beaches of Culebra, strolling past the Spanish colonial buildings in El Viejo San Juan and taking in a famous Rincon sunset.

As the locals would say, Masha bon. Very good.


All photos taken by Shabby Apple Team for Tropika Paríso Collection.

Frances Johnson