Damask for the Masses: Part III

Flipping the bird, the single-digit salute, giving the finger or flipping someone off—no matter how you phrase it, the gesture is the same. Middle finger extended to the sky with the other digits in flexion or converted into some sort of gnarled claw. Often regarded as a symbolic act of defiance, disdain and rebellion, it has been ingrained into the psyche of punk rock and pop culture for a long time. Ignoring the fact that the ancient meaning of the gesture was slightly more nefarious and offensive, we now see celebrities jumping on the middle finger bandwagon. It seems as though no one is interested in subtlety or hiding their disdain anymore. Either that or there is some sort of street cred and perceived edginess behind the act. But, I digress. It is a way of defining yourself as someone that “doesn’t give a F✱CK!” and that’s not always a bad thing. While we often look up to the people that break from the pack and march the beat of their own drum. There is a certain degree of bravery in going against the norms to forge your own path. This is where the “pretty bird” damask patterning makes the most sense—at its core, it is a way of saying I forge my own path haters be damned!

pretty bird punk damask pattern

Damask has deep connections with decadence and the exotic. Before the industrial revolution people sought after the most unique damask patterns to help define their own aesthetic. A modern equivalent to finding these unique fabric patterns would be in discovering underground music, seeking out burgeoning fashion designers and creating your own individual aesthetic that refuses to conform to popularity. After all, “variety is the spice of life”. Flipping the bird, even a pretty one, on conformity and banality is living life with a punk rock edge. Be a flipping pretty bird and let that damask pattern fly.



Great opportunities to truly collaborate don’t come around too often. But when they do they are truly special.

When I met the You Are Collective for the first time we knew there was an important connection that needed to be made between the LGBTQ2IA+ community, its allies and mental health, but it took time to figure out what that would look like. We knew we wanted designed apparel we would all be proud to wear ourselves. We also knew we wanted to dedicate a portion of proceeds to a cause that meant something to the LGBTQ2IA+ community and had a close tie to the mental health initiatives of You Are Collective. The result was a thoughtfully designed collection of T-shirts, stickers, and hats of which a portion of the proceeds goes towards the local LGBTQ2IA+ and allies youth group. We felt it was important to support this group whose main focus is to create a safe space for individuals to be themselves and support each other.

LGBTQ2IA+ Design

I love breaking out all the colours of the crayon box for Pride-themed designs. However, this project was about more than trying to be colourful it was about making apparel that makes a statement. When we really break it down the cornerstone of Pride is equality and acknowledgement that LOVE = LOVE no matter who you are. So I decided to create a graphic that would say that with a combination of words, shapes, and colours in its most simplistic of forms. Many experiments were done before reaching a final design that incorporated a 3D multi-chromatic heart intertwined within the word LOVE housed within a box. The technique that was used to create the twisting 3D multi-chromatic heart design was something I had always wanted to learn how to do, but I needed a good reason to do it. Fortunately, this technique fits so nicely as an expression of Pride and the spectrum of identities that are part of the LGBT2QIA+ community I felt it could finally be explored.

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The ALLY treatment needed to represent what an ally was in a separate way from the LOVE design. I wanted to create something that an ally to the LGBT2QIA+ community could wear with pride as a way of including them in the celebration. I often think of an ally as someone who is there standing with you in the rain on the bad days as well as celebrating with you in the sun on the good days. It is friendship and love in action; providing strength, support, and understanding when we need it most. This is why the word ALLY was set in a similar way as the LOVE graphic but within a rain of rainbows instead of a heart. It signifies the importance of the strength and support of an ally when the rain starts to fall.


The result is a collection of designs created out of love and respect for the LGBT2QIA+ community and the allies that help support it. A collaboration with an exceptional social enterprise donating a portion of proceeds to help support the well-being of LGBT2QIA+ youth, their friends and allies within the community.