We're all Hunter's here.
By Casey Strynadka
Natalie Purschwitz had been running Hunt and Gather, a successful clothing store featuring her own line (also called Hunt and Gather) found in the heart of Gastown, when construction hit the whole block. As the street was going to be closed, she decided to leave that location. Now with her new project Make Shift, she's busier then ever trying to create her own clothing to wear for an entire year.
Purschwitz owned Hunt and Gather for three-and-a-half years but only envisioned it as a three-year project. The idea for 'Hunt and Gather' came from her studies of archaeology. She considered everybody to be 'hunters and gatherer's' finding what we need to survive even in our modern world. Her Fall '09 collection consists of wool dresses, which are also available in a soft wool and cashmere blend, great for layering. Long sleeves, tights, leggings and shirts go great with them. Full body jumpsuits are also another little surprise in her fall pieces this year. She describes them as aviator influenced and you can also get these in wool, or a wool and cashmere blend. Although she no longer has her store, Purschwitz still has her website for Hunt and Gather up and going. You can also come to her new location to try things on before online purchasing to make sure your sizing is right.
As of September 1st Natalie Purschwitz has started a research and art project known as Makeshift. Makeshift is a project designed around the idea of creating what she wears everyday for an entire year - and she means every single article of clothing and accessories that we wear daily. Articles including everything from her shoes, to her pants, to her purses and even to her bra. This project is meant for Purschwitz to discover "how clothing effects our everyday life," to see if it is possible for one person to actually make everything that they wear. Soon she wants to start selling her designs that she's been creating for Makeshift. Prices range from socks priced $25 to $30 dollars, undies at $20 dollars, and long sleeved shirts ranging from $80 to $100 dollars. This is a project where the inevitable outcome is that she is becoming more conscious of the environment. Purschwitz is recycling a lot of her wardrobe and materials that she already has. She is also trying to use natural fabrics and fibres.
Purschwitz is writing a daily blog so others can follow her progress, updating it with her entire outfit for the day and pictures of new articles of clothing or shoes she has finished making. The hardest pieces to create are "bras and shoes," Purschwitz claims laughing. She has a small store on 8th and Cordova street in Gastown, which was provided to her by Parking Sport, an organization that supports local artists and give them an opportunity to have a space to display their work for one free year. It is meant as a 'launching pad' for new artists. This location is where followers of her blog can go and see her designs first hand, or where her Hunt and Gather fans can make appointments to try on clothes before making purchases online.
Wanting to check out Hunt and Gather's winter collection? Come to the launch and sale at Mooncruise gallery scheduled for the end of October. You can also visit her website at www.huntandgather.ca. And be sure to follow Purschwitz's blog Make Shift at www.makeshiftproject.blogspot.com. We're all Hunter's here.