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 Design & Patterns:

From the initial sketch to creating the pattern for each design, everything is done at the Voilà Workshop in St-Boniface, Winnipeg. We test the product with our test team and the it’s off to the cutting and sewing! Even the decorative ceramic beads are made in house; you can spot them on the Balance Jacket, Reveille Jackets, Bamboo Vests and our fabulous summer scarves.

 

 

Raven of Life

Raven could transform himself into anything. This design, by Aboriginal Métis artist David Albert, portrays the Raven becoming a branch of life. In Haida culture, the Raven is the most powerful of mythical creatures. Traditionally, for the West Coast Aboriginals, the Raven gave people fire and water, placed the trees and grass over the land and put the sun and moon in the sky.

 

Northern Willow

The Aboriginal people used the bark of the willow to relieve pain and fever. They chewed or boiled a tea from the willow's leaves or inner bark to relieve fever or other minor pain like toothaches, headaches, or arthritis. The willow is often given the nickname "toothache tree".
Modern medicine has discovered that willow bark contains the medicinal extract, salicin, or salicylic acid (salix is Latin for willow). This chemical is the active ingredient in common aspirin. David Albert, a Métis artist, selected this important element of nature to create this design.

 

The Scrimshaw Birch

Scrimshaw etching was traditionally done with sailing needles on bone and then darkened with candle soot. Aboriginal Métis artist David Albert free hand painted this birch tree, which reminded him of scrimshaw etchings. A copy of his design is hand screen printed on fabric. Birch trees were important for the survival of the Aboriginal people. The outer layer of the bark was used to make canoes. The wood made excellent snowshoes and paddles for the canoes. Aboriginal women used the bark to make baskets to gather fruit, cooking pots, and bowls to eat in.

 

Story of Catherine’s Vine

The Grey Nuns first introduced silk embroidery to the Red River Métis in 1844. Métis women used silk embroidery to decorate their clothing. They established a mission school in Ile-à-La Crosse where Catherine was born. Andréanne’s métis ancestor Catherine, embroidered in the « Lake Winnipeg Small flower style ». This style was generally made up of tiny sinuous flowers, long leaves and tendrils. The flowers were often rosettes, layered in shades of reds and pinks. From samples of Catherine’s embroidery, still owned by her family, Andréanne was inspired to create the design she calls Catherine’s Vine.

 

Spirit of The North

To the Inuit people the Polar Bear is regarded as the embodiment of the spirit of the North, an animal who possesses ancient wisdom. The Aboriginal Plains people used Eagle feathers in ceremonies as a symbol of respect and healing. David Albert, an Aboriginal Métis artist, captured the beauty and essence of both, using a Haida style in his design.

 

The Red River Floral

Representing harmony and pride, The Red River Floral was derived from traditional floral beadwork which is distinctively ‘Métis’. The Métis were known as the ‘Flower Beadwork People’. This print was created by Candace Lipischak, a Métis artist from Winnipeg who merged European floral designs with The Red River traditional flower (center one) which creates a connection between culture and earth.

   
   
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