VOILÀ is considered one of Canada’s unique Aboriginal clothing design companies. We are proud to offer you 100% Métis Canadian clothing beautifully crafted, comfortable, and sustainable fair-trade women’s clothing, featuring stunning original Aboriginal design and handmade details. From initial sketch to pattern making, cutting and sewing, everything is proudly produced in Winnipeg. Our style: a beautiful fusion of European’s flare and influences of Aboriginal art, all in a ridiculously comfortable piece of clothing. Et VOILÀ!
According to the designer, it is a company to which she has devoted her life for the past ten years with the solid support of her community, her first customers, and her parents, without whom none of this would have been possible. It was in their basement design studio that she began to give free rein to her unique designer talents with creations that bear the distinct mark of her personal heritage.
"I have not forgotten where I come from"
It is both an economic and cultural issue for Andréanne, who would like to share her Métis and Franco-Manitoban heritage with the world. Ever since her childhood, the designer has been immersed in a world filled with natural textiles, Prairie motifs and Métis aromas. Her apparel’s flower prints, soft fabrics and wavy lines are crafted to evoke the Prairies and Métis culture. For her, the greater challenge as a designer is juggling the creative component with her business needs – two roles that can be, at times, polar opposites. The emotional attachment she has to her designs, and the creative process that goes into them, is often challenged by the structured approach to business that she mandates for her company. To satisfy these two roles, Andréanne relies on her philosophy that there are challenges and risks no matter where you produce your designs. “If you believe that every challenge creates opportunity, you will attract positive outcomes and good things will happen for you.” With her elegant demeanor, smiling face and ebullient enthusiasm, no one could have guessed that Andréanne Dandeneau concealed such fierce determination.
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.
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.
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.
STORY OF CATHERINE’S VINES
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.
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 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.
David Albert was born and raised in Fisher Branch, Manitoba. David is a self-taught Aboriginal Métis artist. In the early seventies, as an art teacher, his love of nature gave him the opportunity to become involved in many outdoor activities with his students. He then became an art consultant for the Manitoba Department of Education. He is proud of his Métis roots and is co-founder and past Chair of the Elzar-Goulet Local, the only French-speaking Métis Local under the governance of the MMF. He helped establish the Metis Student Association at the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface.
For over 40 years, he has actively been involved in the Festival du Voyageur and as past Official Voyageur still contributes many volunteer hours yearly to this Festival. He most recently accepted to serve on the Board of Manito Ahbee Festival Inc., an Aboriginal Festival for All Nations under the leadership of Lisa Meeches of Eagle Vision Productions. In his retirement, he enjoys creating one of a kind artwork on Andréanne's clothing, owner of an Aboriginal Métis women's clothing design and manufacturing company based in Winnipeg, called Voilà par/by Andréanne.
Candace Lipischak is the boss and owner of Productions Canart Productions, a business she launched in 2007, offering Graphic Design/Desktop Publishing and Printing Services. Digging in her Franco-Métis roots in Otterburne, Manitoba, Candace is also a multidisciplined artist inspired by her surroundings living along the Rat River. Among her love of photography and playing the drums, carving diamond willow and painting, Candace has found a new passion as an upcycler. Creating unique pieces out of tin, forged steel, hand stained glass jar lids, and recycled barn board found on the farm, her art is proof of her love for Graphic Design and all things related to creativity and nature, and being able to think outside the box.)