Fall Winter 2021 Seasonal Prints Wrap-up

Written by Hannah Evin


Posted on December 10 2021

Apart from our basics collection, Blue Sky introduces thoughtfully designed bamboo prints twice a year. With all the Fall Winter 2021 prints now released, we had a conversation with our textile designer Norma Jean Robinson and got a look at the inspiration behind each print design.

Red Shards

Red Shards is a print about love and overcoming heartbreak.

The shattered pieces were inspired from a broken china bowl. The arrangement of broken pieces on a red background symbolizes heartbreak after a memorable love. Through this print, we want to reminding our audience of the enthusiasm of love, as well as the beauty that can come after heartbreak.


Red Zebra

Red Zebra is a special print inspired by the Zebra plant and a family connection.

The Zebra plant is a common house plant with white and green leaves. Our textile designer Norma (also sister of Marilyn) formed this idea from a book called “Indoor Gardening Made Easy”. The book was a gift from Norma and Marilyn’s older sister Margaret, who is the Executive Director of Decoda Literacy Solutions


Cyan Feather

Cyan Feather is a combination of childhood memories and imagination.

The base layer in Cyan blue is made from a digital liquify tool to create detailed textures, and the black peacock feathers are added on top of it. When Norma was a kid, there were always peacocks hanging out in her mother’s backyard in Castlegar, those peacocks also climbed onto the roof of her house often. Norma cherished this childhood memory and it has now led to the creation of a beautiful print.


Indigo Marbling

Indigo Marbling is a print design we made to show off our printing technique.

The specific technique used to make the print is Suminagashi, which is a Japanese paper marbling technique. The word Suminagashi means "ink floating". The common practice of it is to add ink onto a water surface, and then place a piece of plain paper or silk on it, leaving the shape to form with the liquid flow. Thanks to this freeform technique, everyone can expect to receive their own unique Indigo Marbling print as every piece is different!


Khaki Art


Khaki Art is a print based on Norma’s favourite sport, cross-country skiing.

If there is anything that Norma loves more than designing prints, it is cross-country skiing. When Norma skis she always has her khaki ski jacket on, which eventually became the inspiration of our Khaki Art print. (FYI, Marilyn also loves skiing, but she prefers the slopes and downhill skiing.)

(Left: Marilyn enjoying downhill skiing with our Dixie Leggings underneath her ski pants to keep her warm. Right: Norma wearing her khaki ski jacket while cross-country skiing.)



Khaki Azalea

Khaki Azalea was inspired by the Azalea plant.

When Norma was young, she always found Azalea plants in her father’s neighbourhood in Fairview, she still appreciates Azalea plants to this day. She once took a picture of the plant and turned it into a drawing, which later transformed into our Khaki Azalea print. 


Barbie Bling


Norma got the inspiration for Barbie Bling from her daughter.

If you take a closer look at the print, there are Barbie boots on it. Since Norma’s daughter loved playing with Barbie dolls when she was younger, Norma would always make her matching clothes and furniture for the Barbies. When Norma was designing prints, she thought of her daughter and came up with this idea. The classic Barbie boots and the purple/black colour combination were curated to provide a vintage vibe.


Violet Windowpane

Violet Windowpane is another print that incorporates the Suminagashi technique. 

Norma once purchased a leaded glass window in a second-hand store, and she decided to create a new print that combined the window shape with the Suminagashi technique. This time, she increased the complexity and made seven different Suminagashi prints, which can be seen as the background of the leaded window. 


Watercolour Blooms

Watercolour Blooms is a print that Norma made in memory of her mother who always had African Violets around. The print was originally called Granny Flowers, because everyone called Norma's mom "Granny".


Orchid Mums

Orchid Mums is a print inspired by Sumi paintings from China (also known as Ink Wash Painting).

These paintings usually have four specific plants as the main theme; Plum Blossom, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum, AKA "Mums". They are referred to as the "Four Gentlemen" and are the symbols of the four seasons in Chinese culture. These plants also represent the spirits of "Rejuvenation, Endurance, Modesty, and Persistence".



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