The Gord Downie Collaboration
Gord Downie Collaboration
One of the best things about what I do is the wonderful collaborations I have with great actors, artists, and musicians. One of my most moving experiences was the chance to work with Gord Downie on his last tour, after Izzy Camilleri, the wonderful stylist, brought me in to design his hats. I think everyone (or at least everyone in Canada) saw The Man Machine Poem tour, which was the farewell tour for the Tragically Hip, after Gord had learned it would be his last, due to incurable cancer.
Besides being such a huge honour, it was also bittersweet and a little scary as it meant so much to everyone involved. So I was very happy the six hats I created would be so well received, and we followed that up with 2 more for his final Secret Path solo show about Chanie Wenjack fleeing the residential school system.
Then finally after his passing I also made hats for the Away is Mine Collection. They became iconic, and the purple hat continues to live on as the logo for The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, which lives quietly in my heart, with gratitude.
This collection has allowed me the time and space to dig down into my creative process, sift through my conversations and correspondence with Gord and come up with something custom, and celebratory, and by my own hands.
I still think of him often and the few moments we shared, I love his poetry and his music and the way his passing was handled and how he brought out a lot of goodwill and positive change in the country. He won’t be soon forgotten.
Man Machine Poem tour - David Bastedo
Away is Mine collection - Elle Marie