Fashion goes on amid pandemic
- EFN Staff | September 18, 2020
Metis beader and fashion designer Christine Tournier has found a way to keep her business going amid the pandemic by incorporating the COVID-19 reality into her products.
Tournier is the owner of SS River Designs, a women’s wear clothing line that uses original Métis beadwork which is printed onto fabrics.
“In March 2020 when Covid hit, I was ready to proceed with launching my new beadwork design intended for summer, it has a distinct ‘late summer’ feel to it, and when Covid-19 happened, it halted my plans. I wasn’t receiving shipments of fabric as anticipated,” said Tournier. “I had the beadwork done, photographed, tested on fabric, but shipments of final materials were just not possible,”
Several of her projects, contracts and other plans were postponed or cancelled.
Since she had samples ready and was anxious to get working on projects again, she consulted her photographer and the two models she had worked with in the past and discussed what a “Covid-friendly” photo shoot would look like, she said.
Tournier sewed her beadwork onto masks made of natural cotton that was hand dyed with chokecherries, resulting in a beautiful, muted pink fabric.
They were incorporated into the photo shoot, in which only two models were used, so the photographer was able to keep them at safe distances from each other.
Photos were taken in downtown Prince Albert, where they utilized a beautiful outdoor staircase. Other photos show the models walking down the street, maintaining social distance.
Christine plans to open a sewing studio in downtown Prince Albert in October 2020. She felt capturing elements of downtown would be a celebration of the history and culture of the beautiful area.
“The other entrepreneurs, designers and customers I’ve met have enriched this journey so much,” said Tournier. “Because my designs are inspired by culture, and celebrating that art, people have been so interested in it. A lot of the inspiration just comes from meeting people and hearing their stories.”
Photos were done by All My Relations Photography. The models were Hannah Anderson-Ross and Courtney-Dawn Anaquod from Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation.
“My Experience with the Covid photo shoot was amazing,” said Anaquod. “It felt great to be in the eye of the camera again and getting a sense of normalcy since the pandemic hit.”
“Christine does beautiful work on the flower prints. They come out so beautifully. I know she loves what she does, seeing her vision and taking it into art of fashion and making it a reality,” Anaquod said.
“Art is a way of healing, especially in these times of the pandemic. Seeing the smile on her face brings joy to my heart to be able to model for her and show the people what has been created.”