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« The Red River Coat | Main | Métis couture: Belcourt and Valentino »
Tuesday
Mar152016

Métis garments

Colette Balcaen and Pascal Jaouen. Farandole: Perspectives on Western Canadian Métis Culture. The Textile Museum, Toronto, 2013.


What looks like a rather beautiful exhibition a couple of years ago at the Textile Museum in Toronto, Farandole: Perspectives on Western Canadian Metis Culture, Sept 18-Nov 17, 2013: a collaboration between a Métis artist, Colette Balcaen, and a French fashion designer from Normandy, Pascal Jaouen.  What interests me, in the midst of the ghostly nature of the human form embroidered on scrim, is this one particular suit. Métissé is a French toile that combines linen and cotton. The Métis sash appears ghostly, thin, a scrim of a belt.

It is also interesting how the cut of the coat, the trousers, faintly fin de siècle, resonates with the more traditional image of Métis historic garments, below, specifically this beautifully cut, European-styled coat, made in fine hide and embroidered in the woodland way.  Again, like yesterday’s post of the Valentino-Belcourt collaboration, there is form and there is surface.  It appears, so far in my very casual research here, that European form prevails and is made beautiful by indigenous surface.  Both are local by circumstance, both have deep and different histories.

Red River coat, made of animal hide, adopted from a Cree design. The coats had a European cut, beadwork, floral designs, quillwork, and embroidery. n.d.

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