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Victoire x N-Product: Feathers of Confederation

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A couple of months ago, the ladies behind Victoire approached us with a simple question.

"Would we be into designing a window display for the shop on Wellington?"

Katie and Regine have created something really special in Ottawa, they have a keen eye for design and fashion and they are very active in supporting our community. Even though our schedule was (is) over-extended, It was an easy decision.

After a couple of brief chats over a "concept", they gave one final direction.

"We trust you, do what you do."

Those words are at once wonderful and daunting and they can lead to an absolute glory or a fantastic disaster.

So armed with the trust of two creative people that we respected and our usual lack of time, we forged ahead.


Enter 'Feathers of Confederation', it was an inkling of an idea we had a while back. Its genesis was very typical of our process. It went pretty much like this:

Dom (flipping through William Notman's 'Portrait of a Period'): You know what, these dudes look like well-heeled birds.

Chrys: Birds?

Dom: Yeah, check out Sir John A. Macdonald.

Chrys: Yeah kinda...

Dom: He's more like a Feather of Confederation..hehe..ha... 

Chrys: Good one.

Dom: We should do a series. Replace their craniums with a beak and bird noggin...their provincial bird heads! Genius.

Chrys: Ya we should.

Dom: Is it a stupid idea?

Chrys: No.

Dom: Is it is weird?

Chrys: Definitely.

After a couple of completed portraits, other things pushed this little weird project to the upper-upper deck along their other weird idea cousins waiting to be baked completely in the production oven.

Instantly, we thought this window display would be a great excuse to blow some dust off this concept. The window was to be dressed for November, as part 'Support Local' month. The concept came from a quick observation, but it was also a fun absurdist's take on the men who amalgamated this land of ours. When you think of Victoire, you think of a slew of strong women, so the contrast of all boys club seemed like a perfect juxtaposition. 

So there you have it, we had a rationale—now, do we have the time to pull it off? Having no time to think about failure is sometimes even better that having ample time to plan and think accordingly. 

Plan A

  1. Make four or five oversized frames from metal shelves that we harvested from the defunct Zellers before their Targetifcation.
  2. Complete four or five portraits and print them on canvas.
  3. Week before install, panic openly. Work on everything else not related to window display.
  4. Scrap initial plan of multiple frames and a handful of portraits, replace with Plan B.

Plan B

  1. Make a single giant metal frame from previously mention Zellers shoe racks.
  2. Complete all 36 portraits and display all of them in a digital frame.
  3. Panic openly and get it done.
  4. Borrow sweet restored vintage chair from White Monkey.
  5. November 1st, Feathers of Confederation was installed.

Here's ho we didi it. Look at said Father, find their aviary doppelgänger, punnify name of genetically modify said father. 

Special thanks to our homies Neil who helped out with a bunch of portraits, and Yan who helped fabricate the steel frame; we wouldn't have hit the deadline without them. Oh yeah, hire them for all your design/dev needs.

Rinse and repeat 35 times.

Oh yeah—at the last minute—we decide to take a couple of those portraits and make some velveteen throw pillows.

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