ON COLLABORATION: THE BLUFF POCKET BLAZER

Established in 2008, Natalie Gerber Studio is a boutique, small scale textile printing studio with a two-person printing team producing contemporary hand-crafted yardage. Based in Calgary, Natalie Gerber develops and produces in-studio textile collections while providing design and silkscreen printing services for specialized projects.

Anneke Forbes is a fashion designer based in Calgary, AB and works with 2 assistants. She creates jackets, coats and blazers with classic silhouettes. Each piece is custom tailored, hand sewn and made with luxurious natural fabrics and leathers. Her work is designed to last and created with sustainable methods to keep fashion waste at a minimum.

 

PROCESS

The process begins with a detailed sketch, and the art work is then transferred to the computer to be turned into a repeating pattern. The design is separated into multiple layers, one for each colour in the image and each layer is printed as a transparency.

The studio’s silkscreens are coated in a light sensitive photo emulsion liquid and dried. When it is exposed to UV light it will harden onto the screen and become water-resistant. Then the transparency is placed against the emulsion, which blocks out the light preventing the unexposed areas from hardening. These unhardened areas will wash out leaving a stencil on the screen through which the ink will pass and create a print on fabric.

Printing on fabric is achieved by moving pigment across the screen, back and forth from lead to assistant printer, using a squeegee. While The Studio strives for printing perfection, those slight nuances that happen when a product is made by hand are a part of its innate beauty and a witness to the makers’ touch. 

Anneke takes the finished fabric and begins the process of turning it into a finished product. Each individual blazer begins with a fitting. The client tries on the size that most closely suits their body and a fit specialist determines the pattern adjustments necessary. A production assistant pre-shrinks, cuts, and fuses the fabric, then sews the linings and punches the covered buttons on a hand press. Then Anneke takes over with the more difficult operations like the buttonholes and pockets.  She sews the body together, attaches the sleeves, and inserts the lining. Devotion to perfection defines every step of the process which takes approximately 15 hours uninterrupted. Upon completion, a perfectly tailored blazer is hung, freshly steamed and pressed.

COLLABORATION

Natalie and Anneke have been planning to collaborate for years and after sitting down to plan  out their project, they settled on a slim fitting blazer printed with the Alberta Wild Rose.

Natalie says that, “Collaborating with Anneke Forbes, a maker as equally dedicated to her craft as I am to mine, is inspiring. The Bluff Pocket Blazer is both a beautiful piece to have in your wardrobe and part of a story about two women with a greater vision for design in Western Canada."

Anneke’s inspiration for the garment was to challenge herself while creating a classic design. “A blazer is a wardrobe staple and the needs of my client for a perfectly fitting, unique offering inspired this garment. The design is unfussy and therefore the perfect companion and canvas for Natalie's gorgeous print.”

 

ABOUT THE PRINT

The “Prairie Roze” print is part of the Natalie Gerber ‘FLORALZ’ series, and is inspired by our provincial flower. The Wild Rose is a rose species native to the northern Great Plains and found in the foothills of Alberta, and all the way to the Yukon. While the print was created specifically for this collaboration, a variation is part of Natalie’s spring collection and will debut with new colorways. Keep an eye out for linens, pillows and more home furnishings printed with her new pattern!

 

 


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